Easy Volunteer and Client Sign-in

“Just like many other nonprofits Rainbow Center needs to be able to track not only each unduplicated individual who comes to the Center every year but also how many times they visit. With the program designed by Bigger Boat not only are we able to track those numbers for grant and internal metrics but it seamlessly integrates with our individual client data in Salesforce. Our clients report that it is easy to use and it is has changed our grant reporting from painful to simple.”

– Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, Rainbow Center

The Rainbow Center provides resources and a safe space for the LGBTQA community through education, advocacy and celebration. Bigger Boat Consulting worked with the Rainbow Center to implement Salesforce to manage their clients, donors and volunteers.

A key part of the Rainbow Center’s work is a drop-in center for LGBTQA youth. One of the goals for the Rainbow Center implementation was to have an easy-to-use system to track when clients and volunteers came to the Rainbow Center. Clients and volunteers sign in every time they come to the Rainbow Center. Before the Salesforce implementation, this was done on paper sign-in sheets that were then manually entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Their reporting was limited. They were able to get a count of visits to their center but not easily get a count of unduplicated visitors or demographics associated with the visits.

Clients come to the Rainbow Center for various reasons including attending specific groups, participating in Community Hours, looking for resources, or to speak to a staff member. Rainbow Center wanted a way to track the date, time and reason for the client visit. This information helps the Rainbow Center tell their story to funders. Some of their funding comes from grants that require detailed information on the number of people served and the demographics of those served.

The Rainbow Center also wanted to use a sign-in system for volunteers. To know how many hours the volunteer was on-site, the system also needed sign-out functionality that would calculate the number of hours worked and update the volunteer hours record.

How it was done

At the front desk, there is a tablet available for sign-ins. Using a Public Site (25 are included in the Power of Us license grant), the tablet displays an admin configurable Flow. By default it is set to be a client sign-in. If a volunteer is signing in, they will select volunteer sign-in option, then enter their email address. Email was a good choice for the unique identifier for the Rainbow Center because they track emails for clients and volunteers.


The flow starts with the individual providing their email address. This is used to find their contact record in Salesforce. If a contact record is not found, they will receive a message that they need to talk to the on-site staff person. The staff person will do a quick intake, enter their information into Salesforce, and check them in for a visit.



If the client is found in the system, they are asked to select the reason for their visit:


The flow will create either a client drop-in record, or a volunteer hours record, based on the visit type. For the volunteers function, we used the standard Volunteers for Salesforce functionality that is included in the Nonprofit Starter Pack. Here’s a picture of the flow:


The “RC Community – Create Visit” part of the above flow is calling another flow:


When the volunteer is done, they follow the same process to check-out and the system records the number of volunteer hours. The flow looks for an open volunteer hours record. If it finds one, it assumes they are signing out and will then update the volunteer hours record created earlier with the number of hours worked. Because we also know that some people will leave and not remember to sign-out, a report was created to let the system administrator know the next day if there is an incomplete record.

Here are some examples of reports –

Visits by Age


Visits by Week

Rainbow Center is now able to quickly and easily report on the number of individuals who come to their Center, the number of times they visit, and the reasons for the visit. They are also able to easily report on their volunteer hours. This allows them to complete their grant reports in a more timely fashion and internally analyze their metrics to identify areas of improvement.