How a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award-winning organization flawlessly executes volunteer management
THE Background
Fort Collins is an outdoor-loving Colorado city with a robust volunteer program.
The City of Fort Collins is located in northern Colorado and is regarded as an epicenter for outdoor adventure, craft breweries, and recreational activities. With around 170,000 residents, Fort Collins is the fourth-largest city in Colorado and has a vibrant and growing volunteer base.

The city boasts 49 natural areas covering over 40,000 acres, 600 acres of parks, and 20 miles of hiking and biking trails. The city of Fort Collins runs a robust volunteer program with 2,800 active ongoing volunteers, nearly 600 of whom serve in the natural areas. Volunteers contributed 146,071 hours to Fort Collins in 2017, equivalent to 73 full-time employees and providing a value of 3.8 million.
Navigating between several ineffective systems was costing volunteer coordinators time and money.
Fort Collins Natural Areas (FCNA) only has three full-time and two seasonal staff members to manage over 437 programs per year with 12,400 public attendees. In addition, they oversee 585 active volunteers, 1,214 one-time volunteers, and countless sites between natural areas, community programs, special events, and school field trips.

FCNA used several different methods to track hours, registrations, and logs to manage such a large quantity of volunteers, participants, and sites. Unfortunately, current efforts were inefficient and ineffective, from an antiquated volunteer management system to the old school pen-and-paper method.

Volunteer coordinators for the natural areas found they were spending too much time aggregating data and not enough time engaging their volunteers. So they began their search for a comprehensive volunteer management system that could check off all the items on their list.
Finding an all-in-one system that checks all the boxes.
FCNA researched existing software like Volgistics, Altru by Blackbaud, and Eventbrite, as well as internal custom-build solutions. However, they struggled to find an all-in-one volunteer management system that met their needs.

Key priorities for a volunteer management system included:
1. Volunteer and participant registration and management
2. Self-reported site visits
3. Unlimited administrators, volunteers, and participants without an additional cost
4. Reporting customizable to the organization as a whole or each individual area
After sending out an RFP, the city found its answer in Squarei Technologies and Offero.
Squarei Technologies was awarded the contract, and Offero was created as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product. The system operates under a “grant back” program, uniquely allowing organizations to collaborate and drive the development of the product.
Offero was so successful for the natural areas that it was expanded city-wide across 30 departments. It is now used by dozens of cities, states, counties, and other organizations.
In addition to the aforementioned features, Offero delivers the following:
  • Education management with custom courses
  • Up-to-the-minute details on registrations, open shifts, and event attendance
  • Cloud-based and mobile responsive
  • Onsite training and unlimited annual support
  • A dedicated Offero expert who speaks the language of everyone in the organization
  • Automatic volunteer and participant feedback requests
  • Automated volunteer reminders and notifications
  • Volunteer onboarding module with integrated background screening
  • Easy to use by all ages and experience levels
Since the launch of Offero, Fort Collins Natural Areas has experienced:
Event participants iconCommunication iconClock iconTarget icon
increased volunteer retention
increased engagement
increased time for volunteers
accurate reporting

"Offero has given us the ability to combine several programs and communication systems all in one easy to use system. We can now schedule volunteer projects, shifts, events and community programs all within one system and calendar."

Pam Mayhew

Pam Mayhew

Larimer County Natural Resources