Keeping track of volunteers is no small task for a nonprofit. Cornerstone not only served 4,174 people in crisis last year, they also were host to over 1,172 volunteers. Cornerstone’s volunteers put in more than 10,000 hours of service.
Cornerstone volunteers are responsible for hosting and preparing meals for clients and their families, providing after-school program assistance, serving as childcare providers, answering the crisis line, helping with accounts payable and grounds keeping. All of these tasks help to fulfill Cornerstone’s mission of helping children and adults who have suffered from domestic or sexual violence as well as victims of human trafficking and crime.
Last spring, the Eden Prairie Community Foundation provided a community impact grant to Cornerstone to help strengthen the volunteer program through a purchase of software called Volgistics. This program has upgraded the volunteer tracking process for accuracy and efficiency.
Prior to the grant funding, the tracking of volunteers was a labor-intensive, manual process. The Volgistics software reduces the amount of time staff will spend tracking volunteers. “If we can do more with the folks that we have and be more efficient, it allows us to be better stewards of the resources that we get,” says Cornerstone Director of Advancement Courtney Poja.
Volgistics allows Cornerstone staff to track volunteers’ skills and talents, says Poja. This type of tracking helps to maximize assistance from volunteers and helps volunteers feel their time and energy is put to the highest use.
In addition to keeping track of volunteer hours and talents, Volgistics can store background checks for volunteers. The program also has built-in reminders to notify staff when volunteers need to update their background checks; a very important aspect of keeping volunteers staffed is up-to-date background checks.
Cornerstone receives funding through donor support and grants. Oftentimes this means proving their volunteer staff hours to potential funders to demonstrate they are maximizing their resources. Volgistics allows Cornerstone to run analytics on volunteer involvement. This information shows the volunteer impact to potential funders, which may create further opportunities for growth.
Cornerstone’s volunteer program fills a need in the Eden Prairie, both for the families in crisis as well as for providing a service opportunity to engage citizens in donating their time to strengthen the community. The grant funding for the Volgistics program came from the Foundation’s community impact granting program. This program accepts grant proposals once per year for projects that fill an unmet need and positively impact residents of Eden Prairie.
The Foundation is now accepting grant proposals through Dec. 21 for programs and projects taking place in 2019. For more information on the granting program as well as ways for you to get involved in financially supporting the granting program, please explore this website or contact Executive Director Mark Weber at (952) 949-8499 or [email protected].
(This blog post was written by the Foundation’s fall intern, Emily.)