Since 2017, VolunteerHub has played an important role in Mel Trotter Ministries volunteer program.

We recently had an opportunity to interview Dawn Kaltenberg-VanHorn, Volunteer and Internship Coordinator for Mel Trotter Ministries. Here is what she had to say about Mel Trotter Ministries and their use of VolunteerHub.

What is your role at Mel Trotter Ministries?

Dawn says: I have been with Mel Trotter for a little over 3 years and currently serve as the organizations Volunteer and Internship Coordinator. The main focus of my role is onboarding all of our community and guest (those who stay in our shelter).


What is the mission of Mel Trotter Ministries?

Dawn says: Mel Trotter Ministries exists to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ, through rescue and restoration for anyone experiencing hunger and homelessness.


How has Mel Trotter Ministries positively impacted the community?

Dawn says: Even amid COVID-19, Mel Trotter Ministries has been able to help many people within the community experiencing hunger and homelessness. In 2020, we served 5,081 individuals in conjunction with Heartside Ministry, helped 264 individuals secure employment, and provided medical appointments to 377 individuals. Through our ministry, 336 individuals dedicated or rededicated their lives to Christ, and 92% of shelter guests successfully remained housed after one year.


How many volunteers per year support your organization and its mission?

Dawn says: Currently, we have a total of 4,878 volunteers in our database. Here is a breakdown of our volunteers registered over the last 3 years (keep in mind the impact of the pandemic).

2019 (617) volunteers registered for events

2020 (536) volunteers registered for events

2021 (356) volunteers registered for events


How has COVID-19 impacted the way your organization manages volunteers?

Dawn says: COVID-19 greatly reduced the number of volunteers we could safely utilize. Thus far, in 2021, we have enlisted the support of 356 new volunteers, a number that is much lower than pre-pandemic. Luckily, we were able to recruit individuals living in our shelters as volunteers which allowed us to continue to serve the community and carry on towards reaching our mission. Our shelter clients really stepped up to the plate when we needed them to. The pandemic changed the way we process volunteers and the steps that they take to register.


What features of VolunteerHub do you find the most valuable?

Dawn says: There are many great features in VolunteerHub that allow us to execute a well-rounded volunteer program, engage volunteers, and manage data. Landing pages are great, I create landing pages for recurring groups so that they only see the opportunities that pertain to them, which enhances personalization. I also really like being able to reserve time slots for specific groups because it ensures that those hours will not be available in the general sign-up for a specific event.

We also utilize the OnSite and Kiosk feature of VolunteerHub, this functionality makes it easier for us to check-in and process our event volunteers.

Finally, the reporting features of VolunteerHub are helpful. I like being able to pull and analyze data that pertains to the success of our events and program as a whole.


How has VolunteerHub helped Mel Trotter Ministries adjust to the pandemic?

Dawn says: Using VolunteerHub has allowed our organization to implement COVID-19 protocols as part of our volunteer registration and recruitment process. In VolunteerHub, volunteers can upload their vaccination card, as part of the registration process, and bypass COVID testing prior to a shift. We also kiosk feature of VolunteerHub to limit contact.


What would you say to other Volunteer Coordinators who still manage volunteer data manually?

Dawn says: O my gosh, I cannot even imagine trying to manage volunteer data without a volunteer management solution. For organizations managing many volunteers, it just doesn’t make any sense. Yes, implementing VolunteerHub does require an initial and ongoing investment, but, the return-on-investment and hours saved far outweigh the latter. When you can automate, less work is better.


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