DALLAS, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) is the first in the nation to implement a software program that will manage, track and recruit volunteers for its 228 schools. The program, VOLY.org, was customized for Dallas ISD by Dallas' VolunteerNowTM, one of the largest volunteer centers in the country. The system is smart phone-friendly and launched with the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
Community engagement through the district's 27,000-plus volunteers plays a vital role in enhancing educational opportunities for Dallas ISD students. The VOLY.org technology saves time and money by simplifying and standardizing volunteer management across the district, making it easier for individuals and groups to become involved in schools and placing volunteers where they can be most effective for students.
Like Amazon.com and other commercial sites, the system "learns" specific volunteer interests over time and sends recurring and new opportunities of a similar nature by email, encouraging volunteers to continue or increase volunteer efforts. It provides automated tools for outlining potential volunteer opportunities available at each of Dallas ISD's 228 campuses; tracks, schedules and reports volunteer activities; and allows for remote check-in and check-out.
"Dallas ISD is one of the largest school districts in the nation and fortunately has a tremendous number of individual volunteers, both parent and non-parent, as well as organizations that volunteer in the classroom," said CEO Tammy Richards. "Engaging and managing a volunteer workforce of this size, and on so many different campuses, is incredibly time-consuming. VOLY.org, accessible on the custom portal we designed for Dallas ISD, is the most practical, easy and cost effective volunteer management system available today. It is a great asset for the district and its volunteers."
During the 2015-2016 school year, 27,433 volunteers contributed 436,236 volunteer hours across Dallas ISD. Those hours translated into more than $10,953,885 dollars of manpower for Dallas ISD schools and students, making them an incredible resource for our teachers, staff and students. At just over a month into the 2016-2017 school year, 10,118 volunteers had already registered on VOLY.org.
"We have a significant number of volunteers who only volunteer one time each year," said Malia Nix, Dallas ISD Volunteer and Partnership Services. "We believe VOLY.org and its ability to learn specific volunteer interests over time and its robust communication features will grow our one-time volunteers into regular weekly or monthly volunteers.
"In addition, VOLY.org will help us create easier, faster, more frequent and more meaningful engagement for our volunteers which will improve efficiency for district level and campus level volunteer coordinators. Our main goal is to make a meaningful impact on student achievement through Dallas ISD volunteers."
VolunteerNow is accustomed to implementing its 24/7 VOLY.org platform in settings around North Texas and beyond state lines. Recently, VolunteerNow staff was called to Flint, Michigan, where VOLY.org was instrumental in streamlining volunteer and donation efforts throughout the ongoing water crisis. Within North Texas, VOLY.org is used to match more than 2,200 nonprofit organizations with those seeking volunteer opportunities. VOLY.org also powers the City of Dallas volunteer program, recruiting and matching volunteers to a number of city programs that have benefited animal services, education, the environment and more. The city accrues hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours annually.
"We want to acknowledge Dallas ISD for incorporating this forward-thinking program in their approach to ensuring success for its students," added Richards. "Dallas ISD is the second largest school district in the state and the 16th largest in the nation. It truly does 'take a village' and implementing VOLY.org is a very progressive step toward seamlessly accessing and incorporating outside resources to impact the educational success for all Dallas ISD students."
"I love VOLY.org," said Jannette Watts, community liaison at Kennedy-Curry Middle School. "It's quick, manageable and user-friendly. The volunteers love the fact that they could create an account and log their hours. On the administrative end, it takes the guess work out of who volunteered and what opportunity they completed."
Prior to returning to the classroom for the new school year, each volunteer will be required to register and complete district orientation online with VOLY.org, a process that takes approximately 15 minutes. School volunteers interested in more information should visit dallasisd.voly.org.
About VolunteerNow and VOLY.org
VolunteerNow is a national provider of volunteer engagement software through its proprietary technology, VOLY.org. The easy-to-use system pairs the VolunteerNow's volunteer engagement expertise with state-of-the-art technology that engages, tracks and manages volunteers in service to their communities. VOLY.org has expanded its software-as-a-service across the U.S. for the growth of volunteerism and the mobilization of volunteer efforts in corporations, banks, municipalities, court systems and school districts, as well as in the continued support of volunteer centers and nonprofits.
Headquartered in Dallas, VolunteerNow also serves as the hub of volunteerism in North Texas, mobilizing more than 40,000 volunteers who give 1.1 million hours of volunteer service valued at $28 million each year. VolunteerNow is a national thought leader in volunteerism and one of the largest volunteer centers in the country.
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