Volunteering at RFC
Why is RFC implementing a Volunteer Management System (VMS)?
RFC values the volunteer contribution of our members, and therefore that contribution needs to be well-managed. In addition, using an automated system will increase the effectiveness of volunteer management, and decrease our operational costs.
Rockcliffe Flying Club is a not-for-profit club, as opposed to a for-profit business. RFC has always attached great importance to the contribution of our members. This contribution of time and talents reduces costs and, more importantly, it also reinforces the social and participation aspects of our club.
For years, RFC has used manual methods to publicize and schedule volunteer opportunities. We have used bulletin boards, sign-up sheets, phone calls, and word of mouth, but with the new technology widely available in recent years, most volunteer opportunities are now initially announced via email. Logging of hours has been paper-based - everything was recorded in the Volunteer Binder, and manually totaled at the end of the year.
Implementing a Volunteer Management System (VMS) has several operational advantages:
- Every member will see the complete list of volunteer opportunities. Previously, if a job was posted on the bulletin board (for example), then only those club members who came through the clubhouse would be aware of the opportunity,
- There will be one method of applying for an opportunity. Previously, we have had problems with double-booking, as some members would apply for a position via email, some would write their name on the bulletin board, and some would talk to the Event Coordinator. Because of these multiple channels, sometimes more than one member would be confirmed for the same job,
- Members will be able to easily to see the total hours they have contributed year-to-date, as all hours are recorded online, and the VMS has a reporting capability. Previously, members would need to visit the club and review the hours recorded in the binder,
- Staff time, to manage the volunteers and do the year-end administration, will be reduced, due to the application of software automation.
When is the Volunteer Management System being implemented?
RFC will switch to the new system on January 1, 2013. The VMS system has been selected, configured, and staff are being trained in the use of the system.
Current methods for announcing volunteer opportunities, and recording volunteer time, will be maintained through December 31, 2012.
How many volunteer hours do I need to contribute each year?
Each year you can contribute as many, or as few, volunteer hours as you wish.
VMS Technical Questions
What software do I need to use to access the RFC VMS?
Your home computer, or any computer at the RFC clubhouse, can be used to access the VMS. The only software required is your existing web browser.
We have tested VMS with the most popular web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. It probably works with other web browsers as well (e.g. Safari).
Who is the software vendor for our selected VMS? Where is the system run? Where is my personal data stored?
We have selected software from Volunteer2 ("Volunteer Squared"). This Canadian company is based in Burlington, Ontario. The system runs, and the data is stored, in a datacentre in Hamilton, Ontario.
By selecting a commercially-available package as opposed to writing our own software, we do not need to worry about maintaining the software in the future. Selecting a Canadian vendor ensures that our data is fully protected by law, and is not subject to legislation such as the USA's Patriot Act.
Why are we not running the software on our own servers?
Running the software on the vendor's servers means that RFC does not need to buy servers, install operating systems or the Volunteer Management application, pay for electricity, require an upgrade to the Internet connection to the clubhouse, or worry about having to back up the data. All these considerations are managed by the vendor (though we will perform our own backups in addition to the vendor's backups).
What type of computer can be used to access the system? Can I use my Mac?
You can access the system if your computer is running any of Windows, Macintosh or UNIX.
What software do I need to install on my computer to use the system?
To use the VMS the only software required on your computer is a web browser. All computers have a web browser installed.
There is one area where additional software may be required: VMS can display your volunteer hours, but you can also download your hours as a PDF or as a spreadsheet. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read a PDF, or a program such as Microsoft Excel to read a spreadsheet.
What web browser do I use? Do I have to use Internet Explorer?
We have successfully tested the system with the three commonly-used web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. It should also work with Safari (Macintosh computers).
Do I need a high-speed connection to use the system? Can I use dial-up?
The system has a low band-width requirement, and is very usable over a dial-up Internet connection.
Can the clubhouse computers be used to access the system?
Absolutely. There is a bookmark to the login page on each of the clubhouse computers.
Remember to logout after using the system whenever using a shared computer, such as at the RFC clubhouse, or at a public library.
Can I use the system from my smartphone? From my iPad or Tablet or Playbook?
All access to the VMS website is through a web browser. There is a mobile version of the VMS website suitable for smartphones or tablets, at www.MyVolunteerPage.mobi
Accessing the VMS
I forgot my password. What do I do?
On the signon screen there is a link “Forgot your username and password?” Clicking this link will take you to a web page where you can initiate an immediate self-reset of your password (it is required that you have put a valid email address into the system).
Administrators of the system are unable to display your current password. They can put a specific new password into your account.
Enrolling in the RFC Volunteer Management System
How do I access the Volunteer Management System (VMS)?
There is a link on the www.rfc.ca home page (under Quick Links). If you are using a computer in the RFC clubhouse, the web browsers have a bookmark to the VMS.
Will RFC automatically enroll me into the Volunteer Management System?
The software does have this capability. However, all RFC members who are interested in volunteering hours will self-enroll. You can enroll at any time.
How do I enroll myself in the system?
On the RFC home page there is a “Volunteer Management System” link, which will open a new web page. On this page there a link to an Enrollment Guide, which has the instructions for self-enrollment in the system.
After you enroll yourself, the Membership Manager will be notified of your application, and approve your enrollment in the system.
There is a field where I can enter my birthday. Why is RFC requesting this information?
The screens for the VMS are standard for all users of the system, which is why the birthday (DOB) field is on the bottom of the “Basic Info” information screen.
RFC does not use your DOB in the Volunteer Management System, so we ask that you do not enter this data.
What should I select as my username?
You can use anything you want for your username. However, your username must be unique among all users of the system, so a common name such as “Brenda” is likely already taken.
We suggest using your email address for your username, as your email address is guaranteed to be unique worldwide. You can change your username after you enroll yourself in the system.
The Volunteer Management System wants me to enter my mailing address, phone numbers, etc. Should I enter it? How will the system use the information?
These fields should be completed:
- Your email address is mandatory, and key to the operation of the VMS,
- By entering your phone number(s), your phone contact information will be used by the Coordinator for the Events where you have volunteered. If you do not enter a phone number, you can be contacted y email only,
- At this time RFC will not be using the VMS mailing address data. However, in the future we may use the VMS as the authoritative source for updating RFC records – since users can update the address data themselves rather than contacting Dispatch.
Why does the Volunteer Management System want me to enter my RFC membership number?
The RFC membership number is the linkage between the RFC membership system and the VMS.
Enter your RFC Membership Number under My Profile > Additional Info.
What should I enter for my 2013 target volunteer number of hours?
Your annual target should be set to 20 hours. The annual target is used by the VMS reports, so the reporting subsystem can say you have achieved nn% of your annual target.
Why do I need to be approved, after I apply for a VMS account?
The link to the VMS system, including the enrollment process, is in a publically-accessible part of the RFC website. Anyone in the world who finds this link can enroll themselves in our system.
Therefore, to keep enrollments restricted to “those we know”, all applications for membership go through an approval process. Individuals who are not known will be rejected.
What is a Qualification?
“Qualification” is the term used throughout the VMS do describe a specific skill or attribute required for a volunteer activity. Examples of a Qualification could include completion of training, a certification, a Drivers License, etc.
How are Qualifications used?
Qualifications are used as a filter, to determine what Activities you will be able to see, and therefore for what Activities you will be able to volunteer. For example, if you do not have a Drivers License then it makes no sense to show you the Shuttle Driver opportunities.
Why are you asking for the expiry date for my driver’s license?
Certain volunteer activities, such as plowing snow or driving a shuttle van, require operating a vehicle. In order to volunteer for these activities, RFC requires that you possess a Driver License (D/L).
It is not mandatory that you note that you have a D/L, or you provide an expiry date. However, if you do not then you will not be a candidate for those activities which require a D/L.
I have an Ontario Class D driver’s license, but the system only has a place to record if that I have a Class G. How do I enter this?
A Class D is a “superset” of the Class G, in that a Class D grants all of the operating privileges of a Class G, plus more. If you have a Class D, or other class which incorporates all the privileges of a Class G, use “Class G” on the website.
Note that a Class M (Motorcycle) license, by itself, does not incorporate the privileges of a Class G.
Why does the system want to know if I am 25 or older? Or 21 or older? Or 18 or older?
From time to time, there will be activities which have an age restriction. An example is the Canada Day Shuttle Van driver, where the shuttle van is a rental, and the car rental company requires that the driver be 25 years of age. If you do not specify your age category, you won’t see activities which do have an age restriction.
Signing up for Activities
What is an “Activity”?
Activity is the term used in the VMS for a volunteer opportunity.
Will all volunteer activities be posted in the Volunteer Management System?
Yes. Activities (volunteer opportunities) may be publicized via email or on a club bulletin board, but they always will be in the VMS.
My friend signed up for an activity, and we would like to do it together. I want to volunteer, but I don’t see the activity?
There are two possible reasons:
- You do not have one of the Qualifications necessary for that activity. Or, you do have the Qualification but did not register that Qualification in the VMS,
- The Activity was defined as needing a certain number of volunteers, and the quota has been filled (so the Activity is no longer shown on the “we need volunteers for this activity” list).
Email the Event Coordinator and express your desire to volunteer together. We’ll see what can be re-arranged – we like to keep our volunteers happy and busy.
Will I be able to sign up for a job by writing my name on a sheet on the clubhouse Bulletin Boards?
As of January 1st 2013, there may be announcement of an activity on the bulletin boards, but there will no longer be a signup sheet. You’ll do the signup in the VMS – you can use any of the public computers in the clubhouse.
Will notification of volunteer activities be posted on the clubhouse bulletin boards? Or emailed to all members?
The primary listing of volunteer opportunities will be kept in the VMS. For events, such as the spring cleanup, Canada Day, etc, after the Activities have been loaded in the VMS there will likely also be an email blast to all members.
How do I sign up for an activity?
After signing in to the VMS, click on “Sign Up”, then click on an Activity.
Recording Volunteer Hours
What will happen to The Binder, which was previously used to record volunteer hours?
As of January 1st 2013, there will be no binder, and no manual volunteer hours recording system of any kind. All hours will be entered in the VMS.
I don’t want to use the system to record my hours. Will the binder still be available?
It is being finalized by the Board.
They do. View it here: http://www.volunteer2.com/privacy/privacy.asp
What if I forget to record my hours in the system?
There is no change from the current binder-based system: If you do not record volunteer hours, there is no record from which to give you credit.
Can I email in my hours, and have the RFC staff enter them?
One of the objectives of implementing the VMS is to reduce RFC operating costs, therefore RFC is not offering a data entry service.
If your computer is capable of sending email, it is capable of entering the hours in the VMS.
My computer is currently not working. How do I access the system?
You were probably onsite at the airport when you completed the volunteer hours, so one option is to log the hours using the RFC public computers.
Recording and viewing volunteer hours
I worked a scheduled shift from 9am – 11am. Will the system automatically log my hours for me?
No. This additional feature has been requested from the software vendor.
What if I do not record my hours in the Volunteer Management System?
Hours can be logged at any time after the completion of the Activity – hours do not need to be logged “within 24 hours” or any other such restriction.
I am recording my hours. Who is approving them?
The system has been configured to auto-approve all submissions – you’ll see this on the “Hours Log” page where your most recent hours are listed (and checked as “Approved”).
The system can be configured to have a default of requiring manual approval of hours, as a system-wide default, or for specific individuals.
Ooops. I logged 2.2 hours, but I only worked 1.2 hours.
On the “Log Hours” page you can see your most recent hours. If your inaccurate submission is on this page then you can delete the entry yourself, and then re-enter the correct value.
If the inaccurate submission is not on list of Recent Entries, you can either:
Can I see how many hours I have volunteered this year to date?
Yes. Under the Reports tab there are multiple reports available, which will show what hours you have logged.
My wife helps at Canada Day, but is not an RFC member. Do I get credit for her hours?
Absolutely. She should create her own account in the VMS and volunteer for the Activity, and then log her hours under her account. For you to get credit for her hours, she should put your RFC Membership Member in her VMS account.
We ask that you do not log her hours in your account, as it will look like you double-entered your hours. In addition, we would like to recognize her, for her contribution – not have it buried in your account.
I am having trouble using the system. How do I get help?