It has been an enjoyable last couple of weeks working on a brand new project.
I’m on the board of our town’s local youth sports association. They were using an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all registrations and youth contact information. Many people on the board needed to have access to this information. The trouble of course is that as soon as the excel spreadsheet is emailed, you now have multiple copies of the information and within days they become disparate. Another difficulty was when a board member or coach wanted to send an email to all youth or just to all soccer players, extracting those emails from excel was difficult.
In a few days I put together a very simple tool that helped to solve this problem. However, I realized that with a bit more thought and effort, I could build something that any youth-based organization could use.
YouthAtPlay.com (version 1.0) is now released for the first time to help serve that purpose. Anyone can create a free account and begin using the tool today. It is in its infancy of course but here is a short list of features it currently does as well as plans for the future.
First and foremost, this is not meant to be for families to go and find out what is going on. That module may come later when the need arises but for now at least, this tool is focused on helping the people that run the organization behind the scenes. The biggest challenge for me was to build a tool that ANYONE could use. I wanted this tool to be easy to understand and simple enough for anyone to create an account and start using.
- Create and maintain a database of all youth contact information such as address, primary and secondary phone and emails
- Create groups and associate children to these groups, which could be used for things like Soccer, Football, Baseball etc
- Multiple Users – You have the ability to let others in your organization use the tool such as board members or coaches
- Send emails to all children or to just a group (upgrade free…see below)
- Simple PDF reports for things like Role Call
- SSL Authentication
In addition to listening to what the users want, here are a few other features I wish to add:
- Sports Module – Create programs, Teams and Schedules
- Simple Registrations – Ability to keep track of who paid for what and when
- Events – Keep track of what is going on
- Calendar – Display Events and/or Schedules in a nice calendar format
- Storing Emails – Ability to look back at what was sent with the ability to resend something
- Tasks – Ability to create a simple to do list with owners
- CSV Exports – Ability to export the core youth database into CSV for whatever use they may have.
I have high hopes for YouthAtPlay.com
If you are in charge of or are on the board of any youth organization, give it a try and let me know what you think. I just released this officially yesterday and already I have a few users giving it a try.
In it’s simplest form, it can be used for any youth organization. Girls Scouts, Sports Organization, Kids Event Management, School Teacher, whatever… If you need to keep track of many children and send emails to their parents, this tool could be for you.
Also, for a limited time (Until August 31st, 2008), since this is considered a beta release, I’ll upgrade your account for free for 6 months. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “YouthAtPlay.com Discount” in the subject line and your newly created username.
This tool really is simple in scope but powerful for everyone who is wrestling with excel spreadsheets and multiple users who need to send emails. In time, it will be even more useful.
Give it a try, you will be up and running in minutes! Just keep in mind that it’s a work in progress 🙂