HandsOn Connect

HandsOn Connect is the next-generation volunteer management solution from Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network. It’s a full lifecycle volunteer management platform that expands your capability to manage, track and report on people, programs, trainings and volunteer opportunities in real time. HandsOn Connect uses Salesforce.com, the leader in web-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management), to support the broadest model of volunteer management in the marketplace. It's available to any organization that wants a comprehensive data management system for volunteer engagement and project management without the need to buy and update software or hardware. Click here to download the product brochure.


HandsOn Connect Action Center Home Page

Some of the key features of HandsOn Connect, include:

  • Special Event and Opportunity Management
    • Creation and management of volunteer opportunities
  • Volunteer Management
    • Search capabilities for volunteers by skill
  • Team Management
    • Engagement and management of volunteer teams
  • Website Management
    • Customizable web presence, with a portal for volunteer engagement and management
    • Sophisticated search capabilities to find volunteer opportunities
    • Registration and tracking of volunteer activities
  • Administrative Tools
    • Dynamic site control panel for posting content such as toolkits or integrating with social media tools
    • Communication capabilities for nonprofits and volunteers
  • Reporting and Impact Tracking
    • Verification of volunteer activity and hours reporting
  • Sponsor and Donor Management


We've put together a 20 minute overview of HandsOn Connect's public site functionality.

Live Demos

We also have a series of upcoming Live Demos of HandsOn Connect which give you a more in-depth view of HandsOn Connects features and allows you to ask questions of our staff. Register for the demo and save your spot by clicking the link next to the date and time that works best for you.

Sign Up

HandsOn Connect is here!!!  Submit the following information so we can follow-up with you and provide more details on how you can experience this tool in action.


1. Are you an Affiliate of HandsOn Network, a nonprofit, government, or for profit organization?

2. What is your organization's annual budget?

3. Roughly how may volunteer opportunities do you manage or supply on an annual basis?

4. Roughly how many volunteers do you manage on an annual basis?

5. What tools/technology are you currently using for volunteer menegement?

5a. If other, please describe:

6. What is the URL for your current website?

7. How can we help you?

Please provide your contact information:

First Name

Last Name






Zip Code*



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Q: Where is HandsOn Connect hosted?

A: HandsOn Connect is hosted on Salesforce.com’s platform in the cloud.  Salesforce.com is the pioneer and industry leader in cloud computing with over 60,000 organizations and over 1.5 MM users.  You can learn more at www.salesforce.com.


Q: How are HandsOn Connect and Salesforce related?

A:  The easiest way to explain this is to compare Salesforce.com to an iPhone.  An iPhone comes with a platform of existing functionality, and you can expand on this functionality by purchasing App’s from the App Store.  Like your iPhone, Salesforce.com has an App Exchange where you can select from over 1000 applications to complement the functionality of Salesforce (i.e. Fundraising, Accounting, broadcast email, etc.)  HandsOn Connect is an app that plugs into Salesforce to provide access to our specialized volunteer management functionality and decades of best practices.   Salesforce.com is a CRM platform that invested over $80MM (yes that’s MILLION!) in research and development on the functionality that comes standard with Salesforce.com  They are the industry leader in cloud computing and CRM with over $1.5B (yes that’s BILLION!) in revenue annually from their corporate customers.  They are VERY motivated to maintain their leadership position and do that by pushing out new features and functionality 3 - 4 times per year.  POLI/HandsOn Network has invested over $1.8MM into HandsOn Connect to date, and are committed to continually improving the product just like Salesforce is committed to improving their platform.  With HandsOn Connect you get the best of both worlds, best in class CRM from Salesforce and best in class volunteer management from HandsOn Connect.


Q: Can we manipulate the look and feel of the websites hosted on force.com?

A: The public site which volunteers and other partners interact with is built around a content management system that allows for easy creation of site navigation and content.  The core functionalities and features of the site are hard-coded and ready to run, and you can create as many additional pages of content and navigation as you wish, quickly and easily.  The sites templates are flexible, but not open to complete modification. A one-time option of changing the overall color scheme of the site is included in the deployment cost. Additional high-level customizations may be available on a fee-basis.


Q: Can HandsOn Connect manage large scale events such as a Servathon?

A: Yes!  HandsOn Connect allows you to create events that bundle multiple volunteer opportunities for the purpose of marketing and reporting.  Each event has its own special page (with its own unique URL) where you can add rich content, add sponsor logos and tell people about the event.  Volunteers can also click on a link to show them all of the opportunities associated with the event, where they can sign up or express interest in the individual opportunities.  Your public website on HandsOn Connect will also have a special events tab that you can populate with whatever information you’d like.


Q: I need to provide reports to my board each month.  Can I do that with HandsOn Connect?

A: Yes!  One of the most powerful features of HandsOn Connect is its ability to provide real time reporting on ALL of the data you capture.  If you don’t find what you need in the standard report templates that are included with HandsOn Connect, you can create custom reports in different formats (tabular, summary or matrix) with the ability to drag and drop fields into the report, change the location of columns, filter data (equal, not equal to, less than, greater than, contains, does not contain, etc.), and create charts and graphs associated with your report.   Reports can be exported (in Excel or CSV format) for further manipulation, and you can save report templates so that you can run the same report each time you need it without having to create a new report each time.  Have a report that your board wants the 1st of each month?  No problem.  You can schedule a report to run and automatically have it sent to board members on the day(s) of your choosing! 


Q: We have a lot of volunteers who like to volunteer with family members/people at their church/people that they work with.  Can they participate in volunteer opportunities as a team?

A: Yes!  The team functionality in HandsOn Connect gives volunteers an easy way to manage a group of people that they want to volunteer with and allows you to report on the activities of the team, including the number of hours the team has volunteered and for which opportunities.  Teams can be either private (where a Team Captain invites specific volunteers to participate on the team) or public (where volunteers can search on your public site to sign up for a team that shares similar interests).  Team Captains can email all of their team members at once via HandsOn Connect and sign some or all of the members up for opportunities. 


Q: Can I “test drive” HandsOn Connect?

A: We can make available a public demo site that you can test drive to experience the process from an external user perspective.  The administrative site, however, does require intermediate experience with the Salesforce Platform and training in HandsOn Connect processes and procedures.  It is not something that can be administered effectively without the training that we provide as part of the deployment process. Instead, check out the recorded demos or join one of our live demos that you can ask to see specific functionality in HandsOn Connect that you need for your business practices.   (*If you are an experienced Salesforce user and want to at least examine the administrative site, email us at sales@handsonconnect.org and we will try to accommodate your request.)


Q: I’m concerned about protecting the security of the people we serve as well as our volunteers.  How does HandsOn Connect do that?

A: Salesforce is used by over 60,000 corporations including most of the Fortune 100.  Their security measures state of the art, you can view their security statement here: http://www.salesforce.com/company/privacy/security.jsp


Q: How much does HandsOn Connect cost?

A: We know that paying for a volunteer management technology can be a burden on your organization, so we’ve created a sliding scale for fees that are discounted based on your affiliate status, nonprofit status, and annual program budget.  For more information, please email sales@handsonconnect.org.  


Q: I love HandsOn Connect!  What are the next steps to getting started?

A:  We are thrilled that you would like to move forward with HandsOn Connect!  Please email sales@handsonconnect.org and we’ll get you started!



Q: I am a volunteer looking to participate in an opportunity.  Where should I look for a project in my area?

A: To find an opportunity in your area you can begin your search at www.HandsOnNetwork.org


Q: Who can use/buy HandsOn Connect?  Do I need to be a 501c3?

A: HandsOn Connect can be used by an organization of any type. There are substantial discounts for qualifying non-profit organizations, and further discounts for nonprofits that are affiliates of the HandsOn Network.


Q: We have several counties throughout the state (or chapters throughout the nation) and we want to have one point of entry for volunteers and organizations as well as aggregate reporting.  Can HandsOn Connect do that?

A: Yes!  Phase one of the HandsOn Connect State Portal offers the ability to create custom search widgets that can be embedded on your existing website that connect visitors to opportunities that are posted by HandsOn Connect users located in counties/cities in your state.  We can even produce search results that include opportunities that are not on HandsOn Connect, for those counties/cities that are using a different technology and posting projects through www.AllForGood.org.   We also offer robust reporting for all the counties/cities that are using HandsOn Connect as part of the State Portal Phase One Feature Set.  For more information, please email sales@handsonconnect.org


Q: Can HandsOn Connect support projects with international locations?

A: The ability to add volunteer opportunity locations in other countries outside of the United States is coming in 2012.


Q: I already have the nonprofit start pack from Salesforce.  How does HandsOn Connect differ from that?

A: The nonprofit starter pack in Salesforce provides tools for internally managing donors and constituents.  HandsOn Connect is designed specifically for managing volunteer engagement and provides a public website for volunteers and nonprofit organizational partners.   Having both of these together in Salesforce provides a complimentary, powerful unified platform for nonprofits that work with volunteers.


Q: What benefits does HandsOn Connect provide to volunteers?

A: HandsOn Connect provides volunteers with a simple yet powerful way to manage their volunteer activities. It provides automated search and email tools to notify volunteers when opportunities and events come available that match their interests. Using the site, they can express interest in specific opportunities and maintain a record of their future and past volunteer activities, including the hours they served.


Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect with my existing website?

A: HandsOn Connect is currently designed as a stand-alone website.  The HandsOn Connect public site can be easily expanded to house all your content.  For users wishing to maintain a separate stand-alone website, we have HandsOn Connect users who have successfully cross-linked HandsOn Connect to allow users to easily navigate between the two sites.  We are exploring ways that HandsOn Connect functionality can be embedded into an existing website but do not have a ready-made solution for that at this time. Custom solutions that utilize APIs to transfer data between existing web technologies and HandsOn Connect are possible, and pricing for integrations is handled on a case-by-case basis.  For more information, please email sales@handsonconnect.org


Q: Can I sell sponsorships on my HandsOn Connect website?

A: Yes. HandsOn Connect allows you to place different levels of sponsorship graphics on your website. You can even indicate whether you want them to appear based on a specific interest area that a volunteer searches on or they can appear on opportunity search pages.


Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect to prepare for and respond to emergency situations in my community?

A: HandsOn Connect offers robust volunteer management that makes a range of disaster preparation and response management possible.  A complete Disaster Module, with special features targeted specifically at disaster response is in development will be available in 2012.


Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect to work with non-English speaking populations in my community?

A:  International language support is scheduled to be rolled out in 2012.


Q: Where can I see some examples of HandsOn Connect websites?

A: Customer success stories and links to existing client websites can be found at www.HandsOnConnect.org

Customer Success Stories

HandsOn Twin Cities (Previous Tech Platform = HandsOn Tech)

Click to see HandsOn Twin Cities' Success Story and their web site powered by HandsOn Connect.

Volunteer Lenawee! (Previous Tech Platform = 1800Volunteer)

Click to see Volunteer Lenawee's Success Story and their web site powered by HandsOn Connect.

Chicago Cares (Previous Tech Platform = Custom Solution)

Click to see Chicago Cares' Success Story and their web site powered by HandsOn Connect.

HandsOn Battle Creek (Previous Tech Platform = Volunteer Solutions)

Click to see HandsOn Battle Creek's Success Story and their web site powered by HandsOn Connect.

Other Examples of HandsOn Connect Sites

L.A. Works

Hands On Greater Portland

Pittsburgh Cares

United Way Volunteer Connection

HandsOn Kansas State

HandsOn Greater Richmond

HandsOn Hartford

HandsOn Asheville

HandsOn Bay Area