News flash, June 5, 2013: There are now over 6,000 VolunteerSignup.org users (e.g., organizations and groups) who have created 9,600 volunteer signup sheets that have been used to recruit over 162,000 volunteers. Hurray!
VolunteerSignup.org is operated by TRAFx Research Ltd. (TRAFx) as a free service for non-commercial, volunteer-support activities that provide social benefit. Why would we do this? Quite simply, we believe volunteers do important work and that volunteerism should be encouraged in society. By definition, volunteers are not paid. So, they are motivated more by passion than by pay. Also, our staff, outside their jobs here at TRAFx, are volunteers and volunteer coordinators themselves, and understand that volunteering should be made as easy and convenient as possible. One way to make volunteering easier is by using online signup sheets for recruiting volunteers for events and activities. With VolunteerSignup.org, volunteers simply look at a list of volunteer opportunities and click to sign up for one.
TRAFx is a small technology company located in beautiful Canmore, Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies, near Banff National Park. (It is gorgeous here. If you have not been, you really should come.) We design, manufacture and sell a sophisticated line of trail and road traffic counters, and the software used to process the data these devices collect. Most of our customers are government agencies that manage public lands (e.g., national parks, provincial parks, state parks, forest service, etc.) TRAFx has been in business since 2001.
We had the software engineering talent within our company to create VolunteerSignup.org so we decided to do it. It took us about a year to create, working on it when we could (after all, we still had to run our regular business). We are proud of what we have created and very encouraged by its growing popularity. We thank those who have offered feedback and suggestions.
We do not intend to commercialize VolunteerSignup.org. There are no ads. Our big investment was the considerable time it took to write and refine the code that runs the website. Renting server space on the cloud, and keeping the website up and running, costs little, so we do not need to charge fees or seek donations---even a small company like ours can find the money to pay for this. In the future, we hope to offer a version of the website in other languages---Spanish, German, Hindi, etc. If you can help in this regard, please let us know.
Please spread the word about Volunteersignup.org!
A very short history of volunteersignup.org
Sep 2010 - a very, very simple online signup sheet developed for Canmore Nordic Ski Club's fall ski swap (online signup was a success)
Oct 2010 to July 2011 - other Canmore and Banff-based organizations use the bare bones service (word quickly spreads)
Aug 2011 - www.volunteersignup.org website created to make the service available internationally (goes live in Aug 2011).
Fall 2011 to present - lots of refining and polishing of the code and website (the service is a big hit)
Jan 17, 2013 - A noteworthy milestone: 100,000 volunteer opportunities filled using VolunteerSignup.org (we are very happy about that!)