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I appreciate how VSys was able to provide custom configurations that were based on our volunteer program. This has saved me many hours of being at my desk and has allowed me more face-to-face time with our volunteers. Jenny DeFreece
Volunteer Manager
Case Study Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA)
Challenges KCPA had three main challenges:
  1. Online Training for New Apprentices
  2. Managed Volunteer Progression (Apprentice > Master)
  3. Managed Ticket Awarding (based on seniority and hours)

The Kauffman Center is the premier performing arts venue in Kansas City, MO and manages approximately 500 volunteers per year. Volunteers compete with one another in order to be volunteers at premier performances (free or reduced-price tickets!). All aspects of their custom onboarding, training, scheduling, recognition, and ticket allocation systems are operated through VSys.

New volunteers serve as "Apprentices" that complete a custom application form that includes sign-off's on paperwork. Selected volunteers then complete seven (7) online trainings and complete a survey before being accepted as ushers. The trainings are presented progressively through the VSys Online Training Module when approved volunteers login to their VSys Live profile. The custom survey records their experience with both the trainings and the curriculum. Volunteers can monitor their personal progress through the entire onboarding and training process from their personal dashboards.

Priority Access The most interesting aspect of the Kauffman Center deployment was their multi-tier advancement system. The Kauffman Center asked VSys to automatically advance people to Bronze, Silver, Gold, Royal and Diamond levels based on seniority and number of hours achieved. This then serves much like a frequent flyer/airline elite status, enabling volunteers at these levels first choices for signup. Depending on which level a volunteer has obtained they can sign up to be volunteers during premier performances free of charge. This is a highly competitive process, with hundreds of volunteers signing up at once!

For example, using job signup window rules,

  • Early in the month, volunteers can do advanced searches with the "Upcoming Performance and Event Schedule", but can only see shifts, not sign up for them.
  • Starting at Monday at 10am, Diamond members are allowed to sign up for one shift.
  • At noon that day, Royal members can sign up for one shift.
  • On Tuesday at 10am, Gold members can sign up for one shift; then at noon that day, Silver members.
  • On Wednesday at 10am, Bronze members, then Active members at noon.
  • At 10am on Thursday, all restrictions are lifted.
During the signup period volunteers can only select one shift, they just get earlier access based on their status. (And for 2021, job signup restrictions are used to limit volunteers to only one shift each week, even after the status limits are lifted.)

Volunteer Access

As most volunteers are seniors, the Kauffman Center also uses the VSys to present "how-to" videos that guide volunteers through the simple steps required to apply for positions, record hours and participate in the lotteries. Their application form was custom configured and presents inside their website. After the application has been accepted volunteers can login to view their hours, assignment calendars, history of assignments, lists of future assignments and their "Upcoming Performance & Event Schedule" which shows assignments by upcoming performances at the center. They can print this information as well.

Training and Support

Core staff was trained by VSys personnel through virtual webinars. The curriculum was co-developed and is continually updated as product and processes change, particularly in regards to the custom modules.

Project Complete

From the outset this deployment has required a full partnership between the Kauffman Center and VSys. Once the core system was designed and personnel were trained a schedule of weekly meetings was established with the VSys support team. These has resulted in a significant number of custom configurations that have helped the solution "fit like a glove" to KCPA's unique requirements.

The pandemic in 2020 has caused the Kauffman Center to temporarily close, with only a few exceptions. This has lead to many changes in how the system is deployed. VSys has supported these many changes, free of charge, making it possible to continue provide limited services to the public with an eye to returning in full capacity in the late summer/early fall of 2021.