Founded in 1971, The Students Association of MacEwan University is a nonprofit organization working independently of MacEwan University to provide support to students. SAMU started out as an organization providing support to Grant MacEwan College, which in 2009, due to tremendous growth, became MacEwan University. Per its mission, SAMU exists to enrich the student experience.
The nonprofit organization achieves this mission by providing students with programs focused on sustainability, stress reduction, nutrition, financial aid, refugee support, and the arts. The organization also provides students with services including access to its food bank (The Pantry), peer-to-peer support, healthy breakfast, access to health and dental insurance, and campus safety services. The Students Association of MacEwan University is constantly looking at adding new programs and services to support the MacEwan University student body.
In order to achieve its mission, vision, and goals, SAMU relies heavily on the support and commitment of current students, alumni, donors, and volunteers. The organization’s volunteer program utilizes 300 active volunteers, on average, per year. Volunteers fill a plethora of roles including providing peer-to-peer support to students in crisis, working in the food bank to offer students emergency food relief, walking students to their car at night, providing support in the office, and working association events.
“Our volunteer program plays an important role in providing the MacEwan student body with much-needed resources, services, and programs that would otherwise be unattainable without the support and commitment of volunteers,” said Tosheena Thompson, Volunteer Manager for Students Association of MacEwan University
Prior to investing in VolunteerHub, SAMU used another software solution for managing volunteers. Unfortunately, the solution did not provide the functionality that the organization needed to streamline its volunteer program, move away from a manual data entry, or take its program to a new, desired level. SAMU wanted a software solution that provided recognition, communication, and self-check-in features. The organization found the feature-set it was looking for in VolunteerHub.
“There are so many features that VolunteerHub provides our volunteer program that our previous volunteer management solution didn’t offer. These features include the ability to communicate with volunteers directly from the management system, the rewards, and recognition capabilities, being able to organize constituents in user groups, and the kiosk for self-check-in at events,” said Tosheena
Today, SAMU uses many of the features of VolunteerHub to organize, recruit, engage, and reward volunteer constituents strategically. First, the organization has used VolunteerHub to create and deploy a rewards and recognition program that provides students with incentives to volunteer such as SAMU merchandise, gift cards, drawings for tuition, and/or the option to donate points, with an assigned dollar value, to the charity of their choice.
Second, SAMU is using the communication features in VolunteerHub to email volunteer constituents directly from the system, a capability that was not possible with its previous volunteer management software. The communication features allow the organization to create branded, targeted, and trackable communications with ease, providing another avenue to thank, remind, inform, and acknowledge volunteers for their commitment.
Third, SAMU is driving value from VolunteerHub’s Kiosk and OnSite features. The organization is using Kiosk and OnSite to quickly and efficiently check in volunteers at events, simplifying the process for both volunteer constituents and the organization simultaneously.
“VolunteerHub’s Kiosk and OnSite features alone have made the investment in the software worth it for our association. These features were not offered by our previous volunteer management solution, and they are game-changers for our program,” said Tosheena Thompson, Volunteer Manager for Students Association of MacEwan University
Finally, SAMU is benefiting greatly from VolunteerHub’s training, support, and development team who listen to the organization’s suggestions and are constantly working on optimizing the software to provide clients, like SAMU, with long-term value. The sky is the limit for The Students Association of MacEwan University’s volunteer program, a volunteer program that is backed by all the value-rich features in VolunteerHub.
“I really love how the VolunteerHub team listens to customer suggestions and is consistently adding valuable features and capabilities to the software that can help organizations, like ours, take our volunteer program to the next level,” said Tosheena Thompson, Volunteer Manager for Students Association of MacEwan University