This is one in a series of posts where I will be discussing the new features and changes we have built in to version 6 of our volunteer management software VolunteerKinetic.

From version 2 we have included a feedback system for both volunteers and providers, where they can leave a star rating out of 5 and some comments of their experiences.

Version 5 saw the arrival of an admin approval system where, if they choose to, the administrator would approve each feedback before either the provider or volunteer could see it.

Volunteers could see their average feedback rating, how they were doing compared to the rest of the volunteers and the individual comments that providers had left.

We never wanted to demotivate the volunteers but our and other’s research showed us that by ranking the volunteers we risked just that. The star rating also skewed the data as providers when faced with very many volunteers to rate and comment on would often just leave the rating at the default value.


Version 6 introduces a whole new rating system based on thumbs up or thumbs down. This binary system is much simpler and clearer to both the volunteers and providers. Volunteers will only ever see their thumbs up comments, the very rare thumbs down comments will be directed to the administrator so they can try to resolve any issues and action accordingly.

We have also removed the over all ranking from the volunteers homepage, just giving them their total thumbs ups so far. We think this will help to keep the volunteer motivated and their overall feedback will not be susceptible to skewing by a rogue single star rating that was usually a mistake or by lots of default 3 star ratings.