How to choose the right volunteer management software

The complete guide to finding the right volunteer management software platform for your cause or event.


What is Volunteer Management Software?

A volunteer management software (VMS) is a solution that can automate every aspect of a volunteer management program.

From recruitment to rostering to reward and recognition, effective volunteer management software can ease the burden on nonprofit organisations by offering an all-in-one solution for the smooth-running of volunteer management processes.

It's a modern day solution to giving large numbers of volunteers an engaging and positive experience, while easing the pressure on your team to deliver results.

In this guide we will highlight the considerations you need to make now so you can find the right vendor, plan for a smooth implementation and grow your volunteer program to meet your goals.

rosterfy schedulle assets-3

Reasons to adopt a volunteer management software platform

Volunteer management software helps volunteer managers streamline their entire volunteer management workflow by replacing time-consuming manual processes with automation. Our research has found that replacing manual processes with automation results in a 40% reduction in the workload of volunteer managers. This frees up their time to concentrate on more productive work outcomes such as growing their volunteer database. 

Implementing the right volunteer management software offers the following benefits to an organisation:

Increase Engagement

A fully branded volunteer portal will help increase engagement and conversion rates for application to active volunteers

Improve Communication

Timely and role relevant communication is easier with automated SMS and emails sent through the platform automatically

Be More Effective

Spend far fewer hours chasing volunteers for details, sending confirmations and answering the same questions

Four signs you need to introduce a volunteer management platform

Increasing Volunteer Numbers
Overworked admin
No shows
Reporting Impact

Types of volunteer management software

Volunteers play a vital role in nonprofit organisations, sporting events and local government programs.

They commit their time and talents to missions they deeply care about, making it essential to invest in the infrastructure that backs these endeavors, especially when considering that the average value of a volunteer hour exceeds $30.

The types of volunteer management software spans from simple scheduling applications to advanced, highly adaptable systems that seamlessly blend with an organisation's current technology infrastructure such as Rosterfy.

There is a lot of choice out there for organisations when choosing a platform so it's important to understand your current needs and where you want to take your volunteer program to help you narrow down your search.

What to consider when choosing your volunteer management software?


How much are you able to invest in your new volunteer management platform?


Are there any specific needs that need to be met such as accessibility controls or meeting compliance standards? 


What must this platform allow you to do based on your volunteering roles and usage expectations?


Who do you expect to use your volunteer program and how do you plan on rolling the platform out?


Can the platform meet your future goals for your volunteer program with more people and added complexity?


Does your organisation utilise any applications that must seamlessly integrate with your new platform such as Salesforce, Microsoft or payment apps?


How will your new provider of volunteer management software help you implement it across your volunteer program?


When you need a little help will the new provider be in your corner and provide a fast and helpful solution?

How will your volunteer program benefit from a VMS?

Volunteer management software is a centralised system used to recruit, screen, schedule, train and retain volunteers. It is an all-in-one system that helps organisations administer events, programs and initiatives.  Volunteer management software removes the need to use separate tools and applications for the different aspects involved with volunteer recruitment, management and engagement. 

This software allows for the automation of rostering, shift allocation and confirmations, notification of any last-minute changes to an event’s venue or timing, training, and check-ins and check-outs. Another aspect of volunteer management software is that it allows volunteers to take control of their own volunteering experience by enabling them to choose shifts that suit them, track their volunteered hours, view certificates, complete training online at a time convenient to them, and select their preferred rewards.

Volunteer management software can also be used to evaluate the performance and success of a volunteer program. It provides a reporting capability to present data that can be used to inform donor reports, grant applications, and meet government reporting requirements.

An effective volunteer management solution is designed to result in a demonstrable improvement to a non-profit, organisation or event business processes, saving the organisation time and money.

How much should you budget for a volunteer management software solution?

The amount you spend on a volunteer management software program should be relative to the impact  volunteers have on your organisation.

Incorporating a Volunteer Management Software (VMS) is an investment in enhancing the volunteer experience. Whether your organisation aims to boost its fundraising efforts or a City Council aspires to deepen its community engagement, the benefits of this investment, or return on investment (ROI), manifest in various ways.

More on the ROI of Rosterfy

Every year, the British Heart Foundation savings over $200,000 thanks to the efficiencies gained with Rosterfy. Their ROI calculations are based on the reduction in hours required, the accelerated process for integrating volunteers into their programs, and the heightened success in converting potential volunteers into active contributors.

Encircle (3)

"Being able to have different volunteers at different checkpoints has made our onboarding process so much smoother. Onboarding was so hard to manage before Rosterfy and now I feel it’s just built in"

Jessica Benelli

Volunteer & Programming Coordinator, Encircle

How to choose the right volunteer management software provider

Finding those must have features

You may have a few features that consider to be must have - these are features that your volunteer program couldn't operate without. Before speaking to vendors make sure you know the core needs of your program so you can make sure they have you covered.

Many Volunteer Management Software providers offer the basic set of features such as scheduling and email communication but not all providers can automate all of this and offer role or skill specific role scheduling.

Branded Portal

Complete control over the branding and content in your volunteer portal

Email and SMS

Automate follow-up messages to volunteers through SMS, portal, and email.

Scheduling Tools

Schedule volunteers and keep everyone informed where and when they are needed.


Understand the impact of your volunteer program with comprehensive reports.

Check in & Out

Check volunteers in and out onsite with ease via our kiosk or geo-fencing options.

Reward Volunteers

Engage and retain your volunteers through the gamification of reward and recognition.

Local Data Hosting

Ensure you meet your specific data handling regulations with localised data hosting.

Workflows and Automations

Use Rosterfy's powerful automations engine to automate 75% of manual processes.
Definitive Guide to Successful Volunteer Recruitment

Successful Volunteer Recruitment: The Definitive Guide

Want to better understand how to future proof your volunteer recruitment?

Go beyond simply filling opportunities and build a robust volunteer program by engaging with the next generation of volunteers and ensuring diversity throughout your program. 

Choosing a Vendor

Once you understand the needs of your program you can start shortlisting vendors to speak to and customer reviews are a good place to begin.

It's important to find a vendor that not only fills your feature requirements but has a reputation of delivering a quality implementation and continues to innovate.

Rosterfy is recognised on many of the commonly used software review websites as a high performance leader and one that continues to improve the platform.

Reviews for Rosterfy on G2

G2 Customer Reviews

Continue to assess your needs

Understand the needs of your program may change over time as it grows. What you needed when you first started using VMS might not be enough today as you increase the number volunteers or the amount of data you collect.

You can future proof your volunteer program by choosing a platform you know you can grow into, that has features that will add value today and even more so tomorrow such as reporting, automations or the ability to schedule across multiple locations.

Your team will change over time too so it's important to choose a volunteer management software provider with an intuitive and easy to learn system.

Volunteers expect an app

The modern day volunteer expects a seamless experience from signing up to volunteer with you to the communication they get on their mobile.

Rosterfy helps you provide a world class volunteer experience by instantly syncing your volunteer opportunities to a profile they can access on their Rosterfy mobile app.

Get all the benefits of delivering a modern volunteer experience without needing to develop an app.


Why more people pick Rosterfy

Rosterfy has built a excellent reputation as a global leader of volunteer management software by offering a platform that will 'Future Proof' your volunteer program.

Many of the world's most recognised non profits and global sporting events manage their volunteer programs and we continue to innovate and improve the platform.

Request a demo today and see for yourself how Rosterfy can bring volunteer management to life.


Lifeline (2)

Over 100 million volunteer hours of volunteering have been powered by Rosterfy