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Create a volunteer hours form in LGL in 4 steps

Posted November 8, 2018 by Timi Paccioretti

collect volunteer hours with online forms

Do you wish there was an easier way to document the hours that your volunteers contribute to your organization WITHOUT having to manually enter that data?

Do we have some good news for you! If your organization is using Little Green Light as your donor management system, you have all the tools you need to make this sometimes cumbersome process as easy as pie.


Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

Step 1: Enable forms in your LGL account

The first step is to make sure you have enabled the LGL forms feature that comes included with your Little Green Light account.

Step 2: Build a form to accept volunteer hours

Build the form to collect the information you need about those volunteer hours. Be sure you think about what pieces of information you most need to collect. Tip: Make it easy for your volunteers to fill out the form by making it brief and allowing them to pick from a pre-set list of options.

Watch this quick video tutorial to see how easy it is to create a form in Little Green Light to collect your volunteer hours:



Here’s a sample of what your form might look like once a theme has been added:

sample volunteer hours collection form

Step 3: Sync your form submission to your volunteer’s constituent record

Make sure that you set up the mapping of your form fields to the fields in LGL so that the information you collect on your form will automatically sync up with the volunteer’s constituent record in your LGL account.

Here’s what the volunteer fields will look like when you map them in your form:

map volunteer hours to LGL

Step 4: Publish your form on your website or email it to your volunteers

It’s important to make submitting time entries simple for your volunteers. You can publish your volunteer hours form on your organization’s website. Be sure to add it on a page that is easy to find, so your volunteers can submit the hours they’ve worked from there.

Or, if you wish, you can send an email to your volunteers each month and include the link to your volunteer hour form in the email. Little Green Light offers the ability for some fields in the form to be pre-populated (i.e., with the volunteer’s name and email, for instance) so all they will need to complete is the number of hours they worked. This is a great way to save time!

By following these 4 steps, you’ll be able to automate the process of collecting and maintaining volunteer hours data in your Little Green Light database. Give it a try and let us know how it goes. We think you’ll love saving time using this cool feature!

10 thoughts on “Create a volunteer hours form in LGL in 4 steps

  1. Question: what if a volunteer fills out this form more than once? You suggested emailing it to volunteers monthly, but each time they complete the form, won’t it overwrite data for the previous month? It seems like the database can’t hold more than 1 value for “vol. date” or “vol. hours.” Or can it?

    1. Hi Emily,

      That’s a great question. In LGL, each time the form is filled out, it would record a new volunteer time entry. It would not overwrite existing data but add to it.


  2. It really would be more helpful if there was a component to this that is like signup genius and helped us schedule volunteers to certain events and if they were logged in it would add their hours.

    1. Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for the feedback. Please feel free to email our support team with this feature request.


    2. Up-voting this suggestion as well.
      Volunteer Hub /Sign Up Genius is fantastic about publishing all the various shifts we need to fill. Then website visitors can self schedule their volunteer shift and sign a liability waiver online to keep on their filed. They check in when they arrive at a kiosk and we track their hours that way. We host roughly 6000 volunteers annually.
      Now, obviously, I would love for this to be better integrated with our CRM (that’s why I’m here investigating LGL). But this suggested work-around does not appear very volunteer friendly.

  3. Hi. I am the executive director of MentorPrize. We recruit mentors for the disadvantaged. Instead of a form to track hours, is there a way I can set up a mentor application form? We currently have one on our website via VolunteerHub but I’d like to use LGL instead as we use LGL for all donations. My hesitation is there are several fields that are needed for a mentor application. I don’t want these fields to show on all consitituents. Will they?

    1. Hi Jeanna,

      Yes, you could use LGL’s forms for an application. I’d suggest connecting with a member of our support team to discuss how best to add the data back into your LGL account. This would be a great question to bring to one of our Customer Q&A sessions. You can register for one on the Help page in your LGL account.


  4. Hi Timi, thanks for this article. We’re getting ready to replace our existing volunteer checkin / checkout kiosk (a touchscreen PC in Kiosk mode with an Access application) since we’ve moved to LGL and the old system was for importing hours into a different Donor Management System. Our current solution let’s the volunteer look themselves up in a list of volunteers from the DMS so we can record the hours with their ID to make sure we always credit the right volunteer and to reduce the input they have to do when checking in and out. Basically, they type the first few characters of their last name, select themselves, select the volunteer activity from a dropdown and select checkin time (defaults to current time) to start. When they leave, they select themselves from the list of checked in users and select the checkout time (defaults to current time).

    I know LGL forms can map fields to LGL records for updating / adding data to LGL. Can they also do lookups from LGL for dropdown fields and use the choice to access a related piece of data like finding ID from name? And can they do math so we can collect checkin and checkout time then calculate the duration instead of relying on the volunteer to do that correctly?

    We may have 50 volunteers checking in and out during an open pantry session so waiting while each types in name and email address and hoping they don’t make any typos doesn’t really meet our needs but we’d like to build on the idea you’ve presented here. I’ll build something with the LGL API if forms can’t do this but I’d rather use forms if it can so that the staff can more easily maintain it in the long run.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for commenting on the article. Your questions are good ones and I’d suggest reaching out to our support team for assistance.


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