VolunteerHub has helped Mercy Chefs automate volunteer management and create a streamlined, easy-to-use, system for volunteers. We had an opportunity to talk to Molly MacDonald, lead volunteer coordinator for Mercy Chefs and learn how her organization is leveraging VolunteerHub.
What is the aim of Mercy Chefs?
Molly: We create hot, fresh, restaurant-style, quality meals in times of greatest need. Our main mission is feeding people.
What is your day-to-day like at Mercy Chefs? What led you to become a volunteer coordinator?
Molly: I have been with Mercy Chefs for a little over 3 years and when I came to the organization I created its volunteer program, alongside our communications department. My day-to-day life as a volunteer coordinator is comprised of two-parts. There is an office side and then a deployment side. When I am in the office, I am focused on administration; so I am making sure that we are ready for disaster season. We are a disaster relieve nonprofit so on the volunteer side I am preparing and planning. When I am on a disaster site, I am managing volunteers which could be anywhere from 10 volunteers to 200 or more volunteers, depending on the disaster.
How many meals does Mercy Chefs serve per year?
Molly: Since inception, we have served over 25 million meals to people all over the world.
How many volunteers does it take to support Mercy Chefs?
Molly: Every year, we are growing at Mercy Chefs. With serving so many meals, comes the need for a lot of hands. In 2022, we utilized 6000 volunteers serving over 18000 hours.
How did you manage volunteers before VolunteerHub?
Molly: We used Google spreadsheets and excel to manage volunteers before VolunteerHub. You know, I always thought I was proficient in excel spreadsheets, until I had to use spreadsheets for all of the locations we were supporting with volunteers. It was a tedious process that required a lot of work and time to input all of our volunteer data. Before VolunteerHub, I spent 7-10 hours per week entering data, manually. The old process could not have supported our growth.
When you were vetting volunteer management software, what were the must-haves?
Molly: First and foremost, a streamlined and automated way to track hours. We wanted volunteers to be able to just hit a button when they started their shift and hit a button when their shift was over. Second, we wanted a user-friendly platform that was attractive, aligned with our branding, and easy-to-use. Finally, we wanted a solution that could support our growth.
What has your experience been like with VolunteerHub so far?
Molly: VolunteerHub has been a breath of fresh air for our organization, it really has. It is amazing knowing that I can just log into VolunteerHub, go to our admin page, and access all of our volunteer data. VolunteerHub has made it so easy to engage our volunteers and reward our top-performing volunteers, who we call superstars. VolunteerHub has been a great data source and its feature-set fits our needs. I couldn’t imagine managing our program without it.
What has your experience been like with VolunteerHub implementation, training, and support?
It has been great, the team at VolunteerHub stands behind the software.
How have your volunteers adopted VolunteerHub?
When we launched VolunteerHub, I was interested to see what volunteers would say about it as not everyone likes change. Volunteers loved it. I received calls and in-person feedback from volunteers about how easy the system was to use.
Ready to transform your volunteer program?
Mercy Chefs is a great example of how the right volunteer software can make all the difference in accomplishing a mission. VolunteerHub provides the features your organization needs to transform and automate your volunteer program.