What is Document Storage and why is it a ‘must-have’ for volunteer managers?

We’ve pretty much all heard of Dropbox and Google Drive by now. Document storage is the process of storing documents as electronic files.

There are some obvious benefits to using document storage online, instead of physically storing paper documents, especially for an organization working with volunteers:

Access documents instantly. You don’t want to drag along a filing cabinet when you’re working from home, traveling, or onsite at an event location. Knowing you can have access to key documents about your volunteers will help you breathe easy.

Keep everything in the same place. If you are using a volunteer management solution, you should be able to attach files to a volunteer profile. It will make you feel in control if you get a call and need to find information quickly.

Delegate responsibilities. We all know that managing volunteers also means wearing many hats. It’s great to lean on team members — and having information on a volunteer in one place is an awesome way to stay organized. Having documents stored online, but also shared with others means you’re all on the same page.

Save the environment. One added benefit of storing documents online is how little paper you’ll need. Your volunteers, especially the younger generation will appreciate this.

Stay efficient. You’d be surprised how much time you can waste looking for a piece of paper if it’s not in the right place. By streamlining the storage and retrieval of all these documents, it’s saving time.

What should a Volunteer Manager be looking for when it comes to a document storage solution?

It’s important to think about document storage in two ways: private documents and public documents.

  • Private document storage is typically saved to the volunteer database and only accessible to the volunteer coordinator and/or relevant people within the organization. This information can be confidential, and files used to make sure someone has met the requirements as a volunteer — ie; background check confirmations, certifications, signed waivers, CVs, parental consents, and much more.
  • Public document storage is when you make files available for volunteers to download. It’s useful to housekeep online documents you wish for your volunteers to download and read.

Attaching Documents to a Volunteer’s Profile

A Volunteer Coordinator needs to be able to access files quickly and there’s no easier way than attaching it directly to someone’s profile in a volunteer management solution like Timecounts.

Upload documents from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, Facebook, Instagram, and much more. Document management gives Volunteers is a way to see all the files related to a volunteer, such as a CV or signed waiver in the same place.

A Resources Section for Volunteers

Making online resources available with one simple click are an invaluable way to streamline the volunteer onboarding process. Instead of constantly emailing attachments, keep key documents in one place for your volunteers to read and download. A Resources section is a great way to post a volunteer handbook, code of conduct, and other key documents.

It’s best to make these documents available, with instruction, to approved volunteers. This means they have been given full access to your volunteer hub. It will make a new volunteer feel as if they now have access to something special and reached a new stage in the onboarding process.