Manage Volunteer Tasks

Posted on 2014-08-22
Last Modified: 2014-10-10
My wife and I are volunteer australian partners for a smallish community development project in Southern India.  We and the project started 6 years ago and it is going caring for 40 orphan children and assisting the poor in the neighbouring village.   As it has grown, the workload on us has grown, and we are falling behind.  So we need to get others to volunteer and help with some of the tasks.  There has been interest expressed, and we realise we need to help facilitate this by documenting what we need help with.

Before I went too far documenting, I wanted to see if any of the EE experts can suggest smart ways of documenting to achieve the following:
- simple to document
- can be used for other purposes
- flexible and quick to update
- easy to communicate  

I have started to develop a spreadsheet (see attached) to give you an example of what I think I should document (eg 1/ organisational structure, - broken down into portfolios, and functions, 2 / associated tasks -  and relevant details including who it is assigned to).  I want to be able to produce and print out a summary for each portfolio, showing objective, functions, and tasks, to give to interested people

You might think Im getting a bit elaborate jumping from a 'winging it' style of management to being overly organised, but I can see it could also be useful for another charity I help with which is struggling with the man running it and carrying all the load, but only being able to get limited assistance as he can not clearly communicate whats involved when he asks someone to look after a portfolio.

So looking for some suggestions that might help, and explanation why.  (NB If it appears the spreadsheet I am starting to develop might be best, as a separate question might ask if someone could show best way to produce summary report)
Question by:gh_user
    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    I am sure that a spreadsheet could be made to work but
    I would suggest a data base which deals with words rather than a spreadsheet which was designed to deal with numbers
    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    by:Paul Sauvé
    Have you thought of using MS OneNote? It is included in MS Office.

    However OneNote 2013 is free and can be used on all devices (tablet, iPad, PC) and information is easily shared using MS OneDrive - internet connexion is required for sharing amongst devices.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    by:Daniel Kline
    I would suggest using a simple access database in SharePoint Online as a part of an Office 265 subscription.  Changing views of the database in SharePoint is easy and would resolve most reporting issues.  Because it is an online service, it is accessible from anywhere that Internet access is available.  Simple entry screens can be created for mobile users.
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    by:Richard Daneke
    Microsoft Project could provide the answer.  It does allow you to :
    export/import Excel files,
    provide reports on who does what,

    what tasks are unassigned,
    schedule activities for a simple Calendar report,
    report what activities are assigned to which volunteers
    report what volunteers are assigned to which activities,
    group your activities in separate files and consolidated the files for an organization view
    list your volunteers,

    It is a database (Access) that can be quickly customized.

    Accepted Solution

    Thanks for suggestions so far.
    Another option I realized is to utilise Workflowy, a website tool I was introduced to last year.
    Not as good as a database, but simple to document and share.
    Ill see what others come up with and then will close out this question awarding points to best answers

    Author Closing Comment

    Hi all
    Just shared points between those who made suggestions.
    Have gone with my after-thought suggestion of using Workflowy.

    Thanks for your input.

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