8 Free Volunteer Management Tools for Nonprofits

8 Free Volunteer Management Tools for Nonprofits

A few years ago, I accidentally volunteered to take over the daunting job of managing a volunteer staff. I had no experience managing volunteers and didn’t even know that volunteer management software existed.

Honestly, I thought I was offering to manage the staff for a week or two while the current volunteer manager took a vacation. But just like the fate of most of the emails I sent during my tenure as volunteer coordinator, I skimmed that email and missed a major piece of information. I was, in fact, volunteering to indefinitely take over coordinating roughly 25 volunteers for a weekly farmers’ market.

I learned, over the course of a few emails, as how to best manage the volunteer staff. I received the volunteer list and learned that the previous manager sometimes created an Excel file to streamline the process. I’m reluctant to admit exactly how long I maintained my volunteer staff with a spreadsheet and email. (There were so many emails … )

As you well know, the job of recruiting, training and maintaining a happy volunteer staff can be complicated, arduous and, at times, thankless. Volunteer management tools will help you manage every essential task with ease. There are a variety of solutions available today and many of them are reasonably priced, if not free.

Below is a list of eight free volunteer management solutions for nonprofits. Keep in mind that review counts range from 0 to almost 100. They are not ranked because we cannot compare user satisfaction among products that have fewer than 10 reviews.

Following the volunteer management solutions, I have compiled a list of additional free nonprofit solutions that might come in handy. After all, you can never have too many free tools in your toolkit.

Free volunteer management tools
  1. Doodle
  2. Ivolunteer.com
  3. Samaritan
  4. SignUp.com
  5. VolunteerLocal
  6. WhenToHelp
  7. YourVolunteers
  8. Church Director

Doodle Volunteer Management

Product Name: Doodle
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 92

Overview:

Doodle provides a simple way to decide on dates, places and more. It’s used by any group in need of finding a date that works for the majority, which is especially pertinent in the volunteer sphere.

Free account features:
  • 1 administrator
  • Easy scheduling
  • Sync calendar
  • Private and Business plans free for 30 days
Paid option:
  • Private is for professional for $39/year
  • Business is for teams $69/year
What users like:

“We have lots of meetings to plan in our business with people who are volunteers. Doodle gives us the ability to poll when all parties are available and schedule a meeting everyone can get to.” — Doodle review by Victoria S.

What users dislike:

“I love that it is simple and minimalist so you can just get people together without fuss, however, as simple as it is, I’ve not found success with particularly non-techy crowds using it. Techy crowds used to using apps should have no problems though.” — Doodle review by Lark I.

Recommendations to others:

“Use Doodle when you need input from multiple people and don’t want to waste precious time and energy going back and forth trying to figure out a date/time that works for everyone. It is by far the best meeting scheduling tool I have ever used.” — Doodle review by Leola R.


ivolunteer.com Volunteer Management

Product Name: Ivolunteer.com
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 4

Overview:

Ivolunteer.com helps you sign up and manage people for any type of event with customizable, reusable sign up sheets. The free subscription is good for small organizations and events just starting out with Ivolunteer.com

Free account features:
  • 1 administrator
  • Up to 15 volunteers
  • Free subscription must be renewed every 30 days
Paid option:
  • Standard subscription covers 50 volunteers for $20 per 30 days
  • Premium subscription covers 500 volunteers for $175 for 6 months
What users like:

“I love how easy ivolunteer is to use as an admin and for the people who sign up to volunteer with our organization. We serve an older clientele, and they have told me how easy it is to use, which is very important for me and my organization. I enjoy all the features ivolunteer offers and was able to learn the system by just experimenting with it!” — Ivolunteer.com review by Tess M.

What users dislike:

“The aesthetics of the website seem mid-90s, and does not have a current generational feel. I would enjoy seeing an option to change the layout or customize the look and “feel” of my dashboard.” — Ivolunteer.com review by Elizabeth M.

Recommendations to others:

“It is a great system!” — Ivolunteer.com review by Tess M.


Samaritan Volunteer Management

Product Name: Samaritan
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 4

Overview:

Samaritan helps clients manage and grow their volunteer programs with products to match their changing needs. Organizations qualifying for the free version must have an annual organization-wide budget < $400K and also be a current member of Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). Check with Samaritan to apply.

Free account features:
  • 1 administrator
  • Unlimited volunteers
  • Volunteer dashboard
  • Basic custom registration
  • Online training available
Paid option:
  • Simple starts at $2,500/year
  • Standard starts at $4,500/year
  • Pro starts at $15,000/year
What users like:

“Allowing volunteers in different locations/departments to utilize the same system has been a great asset for us. We are now able to offer more volunteer opportunities to our overall organization because of the scheduling feature and the overall user friendliness that it offers.” — Samaritan review by a user in non-profit organization management

What users dislike:

“The backend of the system can be a bit complex because eCoordinator can do so many things. Training new employees requires a bit of time but once there is some familiarity with the system the employee picks new things up quickly. The backend of the system isn’t the most intuitive but accomplished every task set before it.” — Samaritan review by John M.

Recommendations to others:

“We use internal trainers and support. Many times those folks are not available and just provide a multi-page guidance document. This is very frustrating when you are trying to accomplish something that seems easy. I really think the system could be more intuitive and perhaps simplified for users who don’t need the complex data that is obtained.” — Samaritan review by user in utilities


SignUp.com Volunteer Management

Product Name: SignUp.com
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 15

Overview:

SignUp.com helps you organize people and manage time with signups and more. Basic is a free plan from SignUp.com, great for small groups and simple activities.

Free account features:
  • 1 group page
  • 1 custom question field on signup sheet
  • 1 primary organizer
  • Unlimited emails, participants and signups
  • Calendar Sync and embed
  • Custom notifications options
  • Email customer support
Paid option:
  • Starter for $9.99/month
  • Plus for $24.99/month
  • Max for $49.99/month
  • Campus for $99/month
What users like:

“I have used it for both a volunteer organization as well as for my association planning job. It allows you to easily create a schedule and allow volunteers to sign up for shifts and then communicate with them through the site. I used it initially for my volunteer group and then began using it for my planning job as well.” — SignUp.com review by an administrator in non-profit organization management

What users dislike:

“I wish I had more ability to customize autoreplies and reminders when people sign up, but we do not have it in the budget to pay for the service, so such is life. Not an issue with the service, an issue with our organization.” — SignUp.com review by an administrator in research

Recommendations to others:

“It’s a great way to organize volunteers and make sure we have shifts covered.” — Signup.com review by a user in non-profit organization management


VolunteerLocal Volunteer Management

Product Name: VolunteerLocal
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 2

Overview:

VolunteerLocal helps you organize, manage, schedule and communicate with volunteers.

Free account features:
  • 1 admin user
  • Unlimited volunteers, jobs and shifts
  • Custom registration fields
  • Mass email capabilities and event data archiving are unavailable
Paid option:
  • Discover plan is $200/event or $600/year
  • Grow plan is $800/event or $2,400/year
  • Conquer plan is $3,000/event or $10,000/year
What users like:

“Not only is VolunteerLocal incredibly easy to use, their staff are rock stars and incredibly helpful at troubleshooting and answering questions. They have made event volunteer management a breeze.

The feature to copy job descriptions has helped save a ton of time, we use it for an event that we hold every year and not much changes other than dates and times.” — VolunteerLocal review by Jana D.

What users dislike:

“At times it would be nice to have activities listed, but the volunteers could tell us when they are available rather than within our set times.” — VolunteerLocal review by an administrator in health, wellness and fitness

Recommendations to others:

“VolunteerLocal is definitely a step above a lot of the free signup websites out there. Their product streamlines volunteer management, especially for large events. Additionally, their staff are outstanding, helpful, and just all-around amazing. I highly recommend VolunteerLocal to anyone who uses volunteers for special events.” — VolunteerLocal review by Jana D.


WhenToHelp Volunteer Management

Product Name: WhenToHelp
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 2

Overview:

WhenToHelp provides organizers and volunteers alike flexible schedule creation and publishing. Organizations that are considered a charity, have a US 501(C)3 designation, or schedule unpaid volunteers qualify for the extended free use.

Free account features:
  • 250 volunteer max
  • 100 shifts per week max
  • Email schedule reminders
  • Unlimited access for schedulers and volunteers
  • Mobile capabilities, tech support
Paid option:
  • Cost ranges from $15–$108/month depending on the number of volunteers
What users like:

“Workers can tell us when they can and cannot work and we can make schedules that work well for our entire workforce. I don’t know why we did not start using WhenToHelp sooner; it has made my job exponentially easier. My employees can claim, drop and switch shifts with a push of a button and I can go in and approve those changes with ease.” — WhenToHelp review by Christopher C.

What users dislike:

“As user friendly as it is, the online application can be confusing to first timers and freezes at times. I occasionally have to check the website for shift changes. Other than that, my employees love it and even with it’s flaws, we wouldn’t use anything else.” — WhenToHelp review by Christopher C.

Recommendations to others:

“I would highly suggest this for companies and organizations of any size who need multiple workers in place at any given moment.” — WhenToHelp review by Christopher C.


YourVolunteers Volunteer Management

Product Name: YourVolunteers
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Number of reviews: 1

Overview:

YourVolunteers is a free cloud-based volunteer management solution.

Free account features:

 

  • Unlimited volunteer “focuses”
  • 1,000 volunteers per “focus”
  • Volunteer tracking and email reminders
  • Computer, tablet and mobile friendly
  • No email schedules from system
  • Has advertising
Paid option:
  • Premium is $20/month
  • Custom plan varies
What users like:

“There is nothing I dislike about the program. It helps me with anything that I need. [YourVolunteers] is helping to get our business recognized for the good we do.” — YourVolunteers review by Chris D.

Recommendations to others:

“They should try it out to see if it works … for them as well.” — YourVolunteers review by Chris D.


Product Name: Church Director
G2 Crowd Star Rating: N/A
Number of reviews: N/A

Overview:

Church Director helps multi-site and satellite churches, worship teams, ushering and greeting teams, small groups and missionaries coordinate, track and manage team members and assignments.

Free account features:
  • Limited number of teams and team members
  • Individuals schedules
  • Recurring schedules
  • Team calendar
  • Printer friendly reporting
  • RSS feed team alerts
Paid option:
  • Plans range from $5.95/month to $49.95/month, providing coverage for three users to an unlimited number of teams
What users say:

Be the first person to submit a Church Director review today!



Additional free nonprofit solutions

There are many tools beyond volunteer management software to help you run a nonprofit cost effectively and efficiently. I have compiled an additional list of free nonprofit solutions, ranging from time tracking software to free animation software. If you’re in need of some additional solutions, check it out!


Time tracking software

Product Name: Harvest
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Harvest helps you and your staff track time and send invoices from one integrated application.

Harvest offers fast invoicing and payments, and expense tracking. Some of their features include time forecasting, online payments, and robust reporting.

Free account features:
  • 1 person and 2 projects
  • Timesheets
  • Invoicing and payments
  • Expense tracking
  • Integrations with 100+ Apps
  • Apps for iOS, Android & Mac
Paid plan:
  • Starts at $12/month

Product Name: TSheets
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Overview:

TSheets is a comprehensive time tracking software accessible by web or mobile.

Free account features:
  • 1 user
  • Unlimited projects
  • Track, manage and report time
  • Reminders, breaks and overtime alers
  • Integrations with QuickBooks, Xero, Gusto and more
Paid plan:
  • Premium version starts at $4/month

Product Name: Time Doctor
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Time Doctor provides accurate time tracking solutions to help you see where time was spent.

Free account features:
  • See how your employees spend their time
  • Customized reports, reports time logs, screenshots and more
  • Payroll and client billing
  • Free basic plan
Paid plan:
  • Premium version is $9.99 per user, per month

Product Name: TimeCamp
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Overview:

TimeCamp is an automatic time tracking software for teams and individuals.

Free account features:
Paid plan:
  • Basic plan starts at $5.25/month

Product Name: Todoist
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Todoist makes it easy for your team to keep track of their work.

Free account features:
  • Free entry-level version
  • Break down complex tasks and projects
  • Create organized to-do lists and access them from anywhere
Paid plan:
  • Premium version is $29/year
  • 50 percent discount for nonprofits

Task management software

Product Name: Trello
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into cards and boards.

Add as many people as you need and drag them to cards. Add and reorder lists as you need. Trello adapts to your project, team, and workflow.

Free account features:
  • Free basic plan
  • Unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists and attachments
  • One Power-Up per Board
  • Attach files up to 10MB from your computer, or link any file from your Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or Microsoft OneDrive for Business
Paid plan:
  • Upgrade to business plan for $9.99/month

Product Name: Wunderlist
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Wunderlist is a simple checklist app to keep track of all your personal and professional tasks. Take notes, comments, organize your lists into folders, and even share your lists

Free account features:
  • Add files, photos and spreadsheets
  • Assign to-dos
  • Break down large goals into subtasks
  • Customizable
Paid plan:
  • Upgrade to a pro account for $4.99/month

Web conferencing software

Product Name: join.me
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Join.me helps get everyone on the same screen.

Free account features:
  • 3 meeting participants
  • 3 video feeds
  • Screen sharing
  • Internet calling
  • 10 whiteboards (iOS only)
  • Email support

Desktop publishing software

Product Name: Crello
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Overview:

Crello eliminates the need for complex design tools to create visuals by simplifying the design process.

Free account features:
  • Free
  • Over 65 million free stock images
  • 10,000 free design templates
  • Advanced design elements for 99 cents

Be the first user to write a Crello review!


Office suites software

Product Name: LibreOffice
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Overview:

LibreOffice is a free, and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux.

Free account features:
  • Free for nonprofits
  • Edit documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations

These free volunteer management tools, and other tools to aid in volunteer management, are just a few of the many options available for managing volunteers, schedules and events. For additional help in choosing the right solution, check out the volunteer management software category where you can compare products, learn about the benefits and compare all the available features.

Beyond volunteer management tools

There are plenty of software tools for nonprofits covered here — but if you're still looking for more, check out the list here.

* Please note: Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.