Every organisation that works with volunteers always has a certain percentage of them that is less comfortable with technology than others.
Below are some tips on how your Volunteer Coordinator or Supervisor can help those who do not find technology comfortable to use necessarily, feel more comfortable about using Volunteer Buddy.
These tips have been compiled from sites who piloted Volunteer Buddy, and the steps they have taken to ease the non-technical volunteers into using the system.
If the volunteer does not have their own email account
- In this situation, the Volunteer Coordinator/Supervisor should create a free email account (e.g. Gmail) on behalf of the volunteer while they are together, so they can set the email password together.
- The password should be something easy for the volunteer to remember and contain at least 3-4 digits.
- Write the username and password down somewhere the volunteer can easily access it and not lose it (e.g. on their phone).
Setting up their Volunteer Buddy account
- Create the Volunteer Buddy account while the volunteer is with you.
- Wait with them for the Welcome email to arrive in their email account and help them to verify it and choose their Volunteer Buddy password.
- Use the same password you used for their email account: the fewer passwords they have to remember, the more comfortable they will be.
- Once the Volunteer Buddy account is active and ready to use, sit with them and practice signing on and off a couple of times. This helps them feel more confident in doing this on their own.
- Show them how to clock on for a shift. Many users who aren't technologically proficient take a little while to understand that to clock on for a shift, they have to log in, click view and then click clock on. They may assume that the simple act of logging onto the site, or logging on and clicking View is sufficient.
Walk them through this process and practice it a few times until you're confident that they get the idea.
- Have them come to the Coordinator/Supervisor office to sign on for a while until both you and the volunteer are confident in their ability to sign on independently.
The pilot programs have reported that generally, although there are a couple of volunteers that take a bit longer to get used to the system, they have not yet found any that are ultimately unable to use the system.
Patience pays off! Happy volunteering.