Interview with Justin Bettcher, Development and Community Engagement Coordinator
Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Centre is an organization that aims to provide a welcoming space for people of all sexual orientations, cultures, and gender identities to come together, learn, socialize, grow, and find acceptance. Their goal is to fight for basic human rights in the LGBTQ+ community, and this initiative stems from the threats and discrimination their community has witnessed and experienced.
They have many activities, programs, and groups for volunteers to take part in and help build a get-away for everyone in their community. Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Centre’s mission is to recover those that struggle with addiction due to challenges they’ve faced and provide a home that makes everyone feel safe regardless of their sexual orientation.
Justin Bettcher explained the process of signing up for shifts before Bloomerang Volunteer “first, you would fill out the volunteer application and then proceed to schedule for a training session. Then, you receive periodic emails of a calendar template that had different shift opportunities with different timeframes. From there, you would have to email the coordinator which specific time and date you prefer and wait for them to confirm.”
“The applications we receive are connected to our website, and we get an email that notifies us of that individual’s application. From there, we run background checks and reach out to them,” explained Justin. The sign-up process required back and forth communications from the applicant and the organization to confirm a suitable shift time and date.
Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Centre has chosen Bloomerang Volunteer to ease the process of screening, recruiting, and communicating with applicants and volunteers. This has provided them with more free time to engage with volunteers and focus on how to enhance their experience volunteering with their organization.
“Now that we’re with Bloomerang Volunteer, we simply send over an email template that we’ve created from the software that has a link to the website to sign up and to get registered with our organization and has become a part of our overall volunteer process.”
Justin explained how he uses the Bloomerang Volunteer app to communicate with his staff members ensuring that they have enough volunteers scheduled for certain shifts. “Every Saturday, a specific staff member will be on call, and we all utilize the app to ensure if we have volunteers scheduled for all the shifts for the day. If we have to reach out to anyone, we go on our phones to pull up a certain shift and time from there we know exactly who to reach out to from the list.”
Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Centre has fastened their process of allowing their volunteers to choose the most suitable schedule to volunteer or unschedule for a shift if they may not make it without the hassle of communicating back and forth.
“Our volunteers predominantly utilize the Bloomerang Volunteer software to conveniently self-schedule and unschedule themselves.”
Justin uses the RosterMode feature to sign-up certain volunteers who are available to attend an open shift, “I’ll send out an email to my volunteers to let them know about an available shift and ask them to let me know who’s available to attend. They usually hop on there and sign-up for a shift, or they’ll email me and let me know about their availability. Then, I’ll go in the backend and go into RosterMode to sign them up.” explained Justin.
EASY CALENDAR VIEW
Justin utilizes the calendar view to help report on his shifts to see if it’s staffed or un-staffed. “I go to the calendar view of the schedule itself, and I monitor the engagement levels of my volunteers. When I go into the calendar view, it automatically brings up the week that we’re in, so it provides a bird’s eye view on the week, making it easy to analyze in real-time,” commented Justin.