What's the Difference Between a Team and User Group?

Created by Brittany Crow, Modified on Wed, 20 Sep 2023 at 09:35 AM by Brittany Crow

Heads up! This article is intended for site managersIf you're an advanced program manager, click here. If you're a program facilitator looking for information about reviewing your programs, click here.

If you have volunteers expressing an interest in participating in a group, then you might be wondering if you should recommend a Team or create a User Group. Both are very helpful features that work best in different situations. Let's look at how they're different and when you should choose one over the other! Here we cover: 

What is a team? 

A team is a chance for volunteers to create and manage their own group. They can build their own team when responding to Opportunities that have team signup enabled! Teams can be made for coworkers, families, or friends that wish to volunteer together. With teams, volunteers pick and choose who they want to work with and then respond to an Opportunity with that 

So you know: Teams are created in response to an Opportunity. They can be formed by the volunteers forming the team, or when you or an advanced program manager respond on their behalf. 

When should I recommend a team? 

Recommend a team, or create one for your volunteers, when they express an interest in volunteering with their coworkers, family members, or friends. Teams are great because: 

  • They allow small or large groups to volunteer at Opportunities together. 
  • Can be managed by the volunteers' themselves by selecting a Team Leader from their members. 
  • They're a fun way for friends or families to share their contributions with their Team Resume! 

What is a user group? 

Unlike teams, a user group is created by you—which your advanced program managers can help manage! A user group helps you quickly identify users on your site that have shared interests or skillsets. You can assign a user group leader, but you or your advanced program managers are still the ones managing the user groups. It's also a great tool for filtering and reporting on users within those groups! User groups let you track the activity of a group of people over time. 

  • Does your organization offer a Program dedicated to operating an animal shelter and need volunteers that are trained and licensed veterinarians? 
    • You could create a user group for that! 
  • Does your organization host court-mandated Opportunities? 
    • You could create a user group to protect the group members' data and information and to share private Opportunities specifically for them! 
  • With a user group, you can quickly filter the users within that user group with the User Filter for the reporting data you need! 

So you know: User Groups are created to help group individuals together for quick filtering, reporting, and scheduling. They can exist outside of an Opportunity response. 

When would I create a user group? 

You would want to create a user group instead of a team when: 

  • You have court-mandated Opportunities that require discretion and privacy. 
  • You want to share specific or private Opportunities with only specific volunteers. 
    • Just know that you always have the option to share private Opportunities with specific volunteers, but this is one tool that can help keep things organized! 
  • You want to quickly assign specific Opportunities to a group of qualified users. 
  • You want to quickly filter users by shared interests, causes, skillsets, etc. 
  • You need to report on a specific group of volunteers. 
  • You want to quickly send an email blast to a select group of volunteers. 
  • You or an advanced program manager want to manage the user group. 
  • When you want users in a user group to track their engagement and hours with their user group resume. 

Which is best? 

Follow the flow chart questions to see which we recommend: