I am struggling with finding the right tool to manage a high school debate team. We have four major problem sets:
1) At the beginning of the year, I need to register students, excecute waiver forms, and accept dues;
2) I need students to tell me what debate events they want to compete in during the school year;
3) Once registered students have picked their events, then I need A tool for the parent to coordinating an event to communicate with students and parents for that event; and
4) Tracking volunteer tasks for parents
We have an 0365 subcription. It works reasonably well for #3–although the process of setting up the mailing lists is very manual. We have used DocuSign to execute waivers. But it is again a manual process of sorting out the responses, seeing what students have missed what forms, and then pushing out the forms to the parent organizing any event involving that student.
Since these aren't public events that people are registering to attend, I wonder whether volunteer management software would be a better strategy than looking for an event tool. The more complex volunteer management systems can support a sign-up workflow that includes signing release forms, allow people to sign up for shifts (debate events in your case), send out communications, and assign volunteer tasks. One aspect of your use cases that I don't know about is the dues payment piece. Maybe that could happen through a separate tool either before students sign up or after they complete that process.
Here's a recent NTEN discussion on the subject. And here's Idealware's Consumers Guide to Volunteer Management Systems. It's from 2011, but it should get you started.
Good luck, and please let us know what you find.
RobertForum Moderator Robert L. Weiner ConsultingStrategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizationsrobert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] comwww.rlweiner.com
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