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Software for managing volunteer shifts or online Rota's

Managing volunteers and ensuring that you know you have enough volunteers for each shift or session you run is not easy, particularly if you're a volunteer yourself and don't have time (or money) to call everyone every week.

There are some online tools that can help, some are free, some are expensive with lots of features so have a think about your needs.

With all IT related solutions, bear in mind they are only a solution for people who are comfortable and competant using IT solutions, have internet access or own smart phones etc. This can exclude large groups of potential volunteers.

If you use IT to manage your volunteers activity, try to think of ways to involve volunteers who can help but either can not or prefer not to use IT systems. 

On this page you will find some free options and paid for options further down. Sheffield Volunteer Centre can recommend using the Google / Shared calendar approach but we do not use the other software on this site so cannot recommend or comment on them. 

Free and easy:

Google Calendar

Set up a Google Calendar for your rota and share it with people. Put the shifts in as diary entries and ask volunteers to add their name as an event at the time they can volunteer e.g.

This is dead easy for anyone who uses an online calendar and can sync with people’s smart phones.

It also gives flexibility about how people sign up. Volunteers can add an appointment in their ynced e.g. Sheffield Volunteer Centre calendar from their smart phone for the time they want to volunteer without any need for logging in to a website or another app.

People just need to remember to add their name to the e.g. Sheffield Volunteer Centre calendar, not their personal calendar otherwise their name won’t show up publically for other people to see.

Volunteer Spot and Volunteer Local

Both are free with one admin account and have a charge if you want more admin users. The free versions have loads of features and should do all that you need.

Click on these links to go to their pages:

Volunteer Spot home page / Volunteer Spot Prices  

Volunteer Local home page /  Volunteer Local prices 


Free and more complicated:

Google apps:

A bit of technical know-how seems necessary for this but in theory following the instructions and copying and pasting should give you a free online rota with email reminders.

See this blog on 'How to organise a rota using google apps'.


Paid for options:

Top 3 Recommendations from a volunteer management linked in group

1.       Volgistics -

2.       Better Impact -

3.       Hands on connect -

Low cost Paid for option:

Three Rings

This is low cost option, built by volunteers with a large range of features