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Attention, Trailblazer!

Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. This module is designed for Lightning Experience.

You can learn about switching between interfaces, enabling Lightning Experience, and more in the Lightning Experience Basics module here on Trailhead.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe how one organization, EarthCorps, uses Volunteers for Salesforce to manage all their volunteering efforts.
  • List the common management processes handled by Volunteers for Salesforce.
  • Explain how campaigns, jobs, and shifts relate to each other in Volunteers for Salesforce.

Meet EarthCorps

Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S) is an application for volunteer management that has transformed nonprofit organizations worldwide. In this trail, we follow the story of EarthCorps, a Seattle-based nonprofit that’s been using V4S to build a global community of leaders through local environmental service. Its Corps Program is an intensive, yearlong service experience for young adults aged 18 to 25. Corps members spend the year leading environmental restoration projects throughout the Puget Sound region. They receive training in natural resource management, global environmental issues, and leadership skills.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofit organizations, and EarthCorps is no exception. Each year, EarthCorps leads more than 10,000 volunteers in environmental service projects in western Washington, providing over 100,000 hours of service.

EarthCorps works with volunteers from community organizations, schools, businesses, other nonprofits, and government agencies. It’s crucial for EarthCorps to effectively manage relationships with individual volunteers and the organizations they represent. EarthCorps also needs to provide a calendar of volunteering events on its website so that participants can sign up for events online. It also relies on email communication tools, a system that enables crew leaders to manage volunteer groups, and robust reporting on volunteer activities and their impact.

V4S provides EarthCorps with all this functionality and provides a platform for managing its entire volunteer program end to end.

Volunteers for Salesforce in a Nutshell

V4S comes free for any nonprofit along with a trial version of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). If you haven’t signed up for a trial version of NPSP, head over to the Nonprofit Cloud: Quick Look module and do that now. After you’ve signed up for a trial and successfully logged in to NPSP, come back to this unit to continue learning about V4S.



To get V4S, you must sign up for a trial version of the Nonprofit Success Pack. V4S doesn’t come with independently installed versions of the Nonprofit Success Pack.

V4S handles many common volunteer management processes.
  • Managing the volunteer jobs that an organization needs filled
  • Tracking the hours a volunteer works
  • Tracking hours against specific volunteer shifts
  • Tracking the volunteer hours and jobs for a specific event
  • Tracking the skills volunteers have and matching volunteers to jobs by skills and availability
  • Displaying a calendar of jobs and shifts on an organization’s website
  • Allowing volunteers to sign up for shifts via the website
  • Allowing volunteers to report the hours they’ve worked
  • Sending email reminders for upcoming shifts to confirmed volunteers
  • Sending Thank You emails to volunteers that sign up for a shift from the website

Incredible! This trail shows you how V4S transformed EarthCorps, and how it can help you transform your own nonprofit organization.

How Does Volunteers for Salesforce Work?

V4S uses some Salesforce standard objects that you’re probably already familiar with: contacts and campaigns. If you have no idea what contacts are, hop over to the Nonprofit Cloud: Quick Look module. It’s well worth the detour.

V4S also introduces some custom objects into your Salesforce org.

Standard Objects Used by V4S Custom Objects Included in V4S
Contacts—Represent individual volunteers. Volunteer jobs—Track jobs to fill and skills needed
Campaigns—Represent individual volunteer events or initiatives. Volunteer shifts—Track dates, times, and the number of volunteers needed for a job
Volunteer hours—Track the hours a volunteer spends with your organization

The diagram shows how these all work together. Your volunteers sign up for either a job or a shift depending on how you organize your volunteer structure. Later we show you different options and ideas for creating this structure in Salesforce.

Volunteer management structure

Now that you’ve met EarthCorps and learned some of the basics of how V4S works, let’s take a closer look at the application itself in the next unit.