Build better volunteer communities

Author: kangarolf (Page 1 of 3)

Congratulations GreaterSport on your #GS1Million achievment

Local sports charity GreaterSport set the target in 2010 to achieve 1 MILLION people regularly active across Greater Manchester by 2017.

Partners across the County worked together to ensure more people had the opportunity to be active.

The most recent Active People Survey shows that the 1 MILLION target has been exceeded with 1,045,758 people regularly active in Greater Manchester.

We have loved being involved with GreaterSport and helping them achieve this fantastic milestone. Well done to everyone that has been involved!


TeamKinetic is a proud Manchester company, and I am unashamedly Mancunian. My town. I often jokingly refer to as the centre of the universe when in other cities and countries. So the despicable actions of an individual on Monday night in my city have cut to my core. I have experienced anger, sadness, confusion, back to anger and now resolve.

Manchester was where TeamKinetic was born, working with Manchester City Council 8 years ago, we built the first version of our Volunteer Management Platform. Our colleagues in Manchester City Council knew that its people were its true capital, that if we could make it easy for the people of Manchester to give their time and skills, they would do this freely and they would make this city a beacon for best practice for volunteering.

So, it was with extra confusion I found myself watching the news and hearing how this young man, who was born in Manchester has committed this heinous and cowardly act. I found myself questioning my city and to some extent the impact of my last 8 years of work. As an individual who has worked for most of his professional life as a teacher in Manchester, then on helping to build communities, I was left feeling frustrated, disappointed, and sad. Had my work be a waste, had we failed?

But yesterday evening I listened to the amazing stories of bravery and generosity that were told, from a homeless man running into danger to help the injured or how taxi drivers took young people home free of charge, how the people of Manchester rallied to offer accommodation, to raise money and to provide food and refreshments to those that needed them, to give blood and then to stand shoulder to shoulder against this mindless hate in a beautiful demonstration of the spirit of the city.

Events like that on Monday, born of hate, are designed to test our resolve, to instil a sense of fear across our city. They are a reminder to the us all that extremism continues to fester in the dark corners of our communities and there are people out there that are attracted to the rhetoric of hate.

It is with fresh resolve then that I move forward with our work, with the knowledge that the majority of people of Manchester, Britain and the world share our optimism in the human spirit. That the depraved acts of individuals and small numbers of extremists do not drive us apart, but bring us together to reinforce our shared humanity and drive us to continue to make our communities stronger and more resilient. We know this work will be difficult and there will be more dark days ahead where our resolve will be tested again, but working together, helping each other we will beat the hate with love and kindness.

The team at TeamKinetic send their heartfelt condolences to everyone that was affected by Mondays attack and we make the promise that we will continue with our work to help to build stronger communities in Manchester, the UK and the world.

TeamKinetic – our new integrated solution that includes VolunteerKinetic

VolunteerKinetic is a volunteer management web solution that enables you to grow and nurture your volunteer community and to manage thousands of volunteers from one integrated dashboard. We have also developed solutions for clubs, accreditation, reporting and others that exist along side VolunteerKinetic for many of our customers.

We have talked many times about how great it would be if all our customers could access any of them, easily from one login and that’s exactly what we’re doing.



A volunteer management solution that makes it quick and easy to grow and nurture your volunteer community with excellent communication tools that enable you to manage thousands of volunteers.



Bring together the power of volunteering and membership in your club community. Clubs can manage their own club profile, promoting their club and expanding their potential membership. Your community gains easy access to the entire range of opportunities across your area. Volunteers help clubs grow and clubs help volunteers grow.



An accreditation system that lets you generate badges for your volunteers and other officials for major events. You can either create badges from events on opportunities on your database or create standalone membership for custom accreditation.



Generate an event webpage which describes the event, lists volunteer opportunities and allows you to make documents and images available for download by users. Your volunteer opportunities can be associated with these events or just create a stand alone event to publicise it to your community



InformKinetic gives you all the insight you need across your integrated hubs. Live reporting on the KPIs and metrics that are important to you in downloadable CSV format and visual reports online. Make informed decisions using accurate data collected automatically from across the TeamKinetic range.



Generate course and training information for your community to access including session information and downloadable materials. Courses are available to search by your community and you can create HourTrade vouchers to use to reduce the cost of training. Let your community know how they can improve their skills.

For our existing customers this is great news as they will have access to some new and improved tools and will be able to increase the scope and usefulness of TeamKinetic for them.

New customers will be able to pick and choose which aspects of TeamKinetic they want to use and manage the total cost of the solution by only taking those modules they require, but being able to expand with their programme when required.

Our new TeamKinetic offering is not just a re-positioning of our existing solutions, there are also improvements across the range to aid integration and make each component more flexible. There will also be new front ends so that your customers and volunteers can get the information they need.

Its going to be an exciting time for us and we’ll be writing about each module and step on the way to the release of TeamKinetic.

VolunteerKinetic – Version 6.2

Version 6.2 is an interim release adding some sought after features and all the usual small fixes and improvements. It went live at the start of July, some of the new features include the following:

Provider Profile Page

provider profile edit page

EDIT profile page

Providers can now create their own web page which can be viewed by users even if they are not registered on the system.  All they have to do is goto PROFILE > YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE from their menu bar. Here they can upload their own profile images and descriptions, and preview what it will look like before they save it.

We have also added the ability for opportunity providers to set a custom website address making it much easier to promote (see right).

The providers custom web address looks like

The biggest change was adding the ability to automatically link new volunteer registrations to an opportunity provider via the providers profile page. This is great for situations where an opportunity provider may need to communicate with a particular group of newly registered volunteers, even before they have joined any of their opportunities.

This is being used right now for schools, whereby each school directs their pupils to their profile page, when the pupils register by clicking the REGISTER TO ACCESS THESE OPPORTUNITIES button (see below) they automatically become LINKED to the school. The school can then contact all their signed up pupils and direct them to their new opportunities or add them manually, they can also track which pupils have signed up and how many hours they have logged on the schools opportunities.

Note: Providers can view all volunteers who have previously joined one of their opportunities via the MANAGE VOLUNTEERS > YOUR VOLUNTEERS screen, they can also view volunteers who have been LINKED to them either by the administrator or by registering via a providers profile page, by going to the MANAGE VOLUNTEERS > YOUR LINKED VOLUNTEERS screen.

PREVIEW profile page

PREVIEW profile page

Dont worry, all volunteer information and logged hours are recorded on your system in the normal way, the only difference is the volunteers are automatically linked to the provider.  This new approach encourages providers to promote their profile page, which will in turn promote your system and increase your volunteer workforce.

Geographical Grouping Of Volunteers

Finding and grouping volunteers is especially important for our national customers. There is now the ability to search for voluntees in a pre-defined geographical areas.  All you have to do is upload a custom area file that matches postcodes to your functional areas, be it counties, cities or something more abstract like north, south, east and west. You can also use this search criteria to send group emails to specific volunteers.

Other new features;

  • maximum age for an opportunity as well as minimum
  • its now impossible to remove (delete) an opportunity that has recorded hours
  • Search for volunteers depending on whether they have opted in or out of weekly emails

Keep an eye out for the V7 article which covers the major changes coming with the next version of VolunteerKinetic where it will morph into TeamKinetic, our new integrated solution.


VolunteerKinetic is a volunteer management web solution that makes it quick and easy to manage thousands of volunteers from one integrated dashboard.

VolunteerKinetic V6 – New Events and Provider Layout

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.

We often get asked how providers can tell volunteers a little about themselves and promote their organisation to the volunteers. Previously the provider profile has been limited to a few words and a logo.

In version 6 we have improved the look and feel of the provider profile immensely. Providers can now add a large background header image, overlayed with their logo and organisation name. There is also a WYSIWYG* text editor where they can complete their profile text, choosing their own colour scheme and font sizes.

You take a look at First Choice Sports‘ profile on our demo site.

We have also added a similar layout for the events pages which advertise and promote an event and the opportunities and roles available within that event. In addition the events home page lets you add documents for the volunteers to download.

We think these changes will greatly enhance the visual experience for the volunteer and hopefully lead to more volunteer signups for events.

*What you see is what you get – A text editor that allows you to see exactly how your text will appear to the end user.

VolunteerKinetic V6 – Accreditation

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.


Some of our larger customers regularly run very large national events that may involve hundreds of volunteers across many roles. We already provide useful downloads listing all the volunteers on events and which sessions they are signed up for. What we didn’t have was any sort of accreditation service.

Version 6 sees the release of our first stage in our accreditation process, the creation and printing of volunteer identification badges. This allows you to specify the text of the badge title, a general information section and an access area box. The badge comes complete with the volunteers profile picture, their unique ID and your organisation logo.

Once you are happy with your text, you simply select the opportunity or event you wish to create badges for and a PDF document will be automatically generated containing a single volunteer on each A6 sized page. This document is ready for printing in house or sending out to your preferred print shop.

We think this will be a great time saver, and even if you do not need a specific ID card for your event or opportunity it’s a good method of giving your volunteers a sense of belonging and building that team mentality.


VolunteerKinetic V6 – Fairer Rating System

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.

VolunteerKinetic V6 – More Email Customisation

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

It’s always important the Volunteers get the right information at the right time. Whilst version 5 enabled administrators to customise some emails, such as the new registration emails, version 6 extends this ability to more email types and improves the structure of the emails allowing key information to always be merged into the emails whilst still allowing the administrators to customise the main portion of the email.


We achieve this by splitting the email into fixed prefix and suffix areas with a customisable content section.

For instance, the session signup email that is sent to a volunteer when they initially join an opportunity will contain helpful information regarding the opportunity they have signed up for in the prefix and the session list they are currently signed up for in the suffix, which obviously changes every time the email is sent.

You can see in the image above the areas that are replaced when the email is sent, they are all enclosed between *| |* tags like *|PROVIDER|* or *|OPPNAME|*.

The main content section is then editable by the admin via a WYSIWYG* text editor and can contain any combination of font sizes and colours they wish.

We believe you will find this is a big improvement over the previous system where if you choose to customise the email you would lose the specific tags that were replaced when the email was actually created.


*what you see is what you get – This means how you lay out the text on the screen is how it will look to the end user.

VolunteerKinetic V6 – Age Restricted Registration

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.


Although we have always provided the ability to block access to opportunities based on age, there was never any restriction on registering; a new volunteer could be any age.

We wanted to maintain easy access to the opportunities for younger volunteers but also give the administrators some control over what happens to younger volunteers and how they are registered.

In version 6 administrators can set the age at which registrations must be verified. If a volunteer registers who is equal to or younger than this age then they will be taken to the age verification screen. Here they are asked to provide the email address of their parent or guardian.

The parent or guardian will receive an email asking them to follow a link to confirm that they give permission for the young person to join the site and access all suitable opportunities.

Until the volunteer has been verified they will not be able to join any opportunities, though they will still be able to search and browse the current opportunities and hopefully be enthused enough to ensure their parent or guardian verifies them as soon as possible!

If you have questions or issues around age verification please feel free to get in touch at

VolunteerKinetic V6 – Session Calender and Schedule

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.


In version 6 there is a volunteer calender that is available to both the volunteer and the admin. This shows all the volunteers sessions in blue and all available sessions in grey. This is a great way of quickly checking out what sessions you have coming up and also deciding if you can attend sessions on other opportunities.


In addition there is a printable list of the volunteer’s sessions underneath the calender which can be ordered by date or opportunity.

We’ve found that the calender feature is especially helpful for those volunteers who are attending multiple roles at an event. These volunteers can plan their day more effectively with a visual representation of when and where their sesisons are.

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