VSP User Spotlight: Theatrikos Theatre Company

Managing the ebb and flow of work at a nonprofit theatre comes with its share of challenges, not least of which is volunteer scheduling. With over 200 volunteers and 13 annual shows — and each show with multiple performances — Volunteer Scheduler Pro allows Bracken Davis to manage the difficult task of scheduling and tracking volunteer hours in a fraction of the time it once took her to do it by hand.

Before she found VSP, Bracken, volunteer scheduler at Theatrikos Theatre Company in Flagstaff, Arizona, knew there had to be a better way. In the past, volunteers would sign up for open positions on a paper signup sheet pinned to a board in the Theatre kitchen. This meant that volunteers had to travel to the office to sign up. Even more challenging was the fact that the office was only open for three half-days each week. The limited accessibility of the schedule meant that volunteers didn’t have an easy or convenient way to get more involved.

When the Theatre transitioned to VSP, the online Web Terminal was a game changer. It gave volunteers 24/7 online access to the Theatre volunteer schedule where they could sign up for open positions, request subs, or accept sub requests. “We schedulers love it,” Bracken shared. Now, whenever there’s a new production on the calendar, Bracken sets up the shifts and sends out the schedule via email to volunteers.

Beyond creating schedules, VSP’s reporting tools have also proven to be invaluable for Theatrikos Theatre since they’ve made it easy to track volunteer hours. Bracken explained, “We have an annual volunteer appreciation dinner each February where we share how many total volunteer hours it takes to run the theatre each year, and also how many hours per show. It really boosts volunteer morale. People think, ‘My gosh, it takes a lot of hours to run this theatre, and I’m a part of that.’”

Additionally, the ability to accurately track volunteer hours is essential for the financial sustainability of the theatre. “It’s important for patrons to know that there’s a lot of people out there putting in a lot of hours for the shows they come to see. It’s also important for grantors to see how many volunteer hours it takes to keep the organization going when they’re choosing who to give the grants to.”

Tracking hours has always been a priority, but it wasn’t always easy. “Before, tracking volunteer hours was a nightmare,” Bracken shared, “We’d literally sit down and go through each program for each show for each month by hand, so the VSP reporting tool has been a huge help.”

Giving volunteers the ability to sign up for open positions online and efficiently tracking volunteer hours has shown that better scheduling helps create a stronger nonprofit, which is something everyone can get excited about — volunteers and leadership alike.