Getting Started with Spark Systems

SKCC-©2015AustonJames-7278Contact us at to get started.


To begin we will send you a setup checklist.  For the system and server components there is nothing for you to buy and install yourselves, all hardware is provided by The Spark Team using Amazon Cloud Services and the software is installed and maintained by Spark.  Spark will work with your organization on customization of the system for your organization.  These customizations include:

  1. Provide your logo and setup your website address.  Your system will be on your domain (example: and will be customized specifically for you.
  2. Volunteer System
    1. You will customize emails and text messages generated by the system for your organization.
    2. You will customize the wording on the registration page which includes things like the volunteer agreement / waiver.
    3. You will be defining the professions your volunteers may select.  For example you may be registering general volunteers, dentists, truck drivers, etc…  You only need to define the professions which relate to your volunteer duties.  A volunteer doesn’t need to identify themselves as an aircraft pilot of your events don’t need pilots.  You also identify which professions need to have a license specified.
    4. You will be defining the types of assignments needed at your events.  You may only have general volunteer assignments at your events but you may also have paramedics or parking attendants or volunteer lead positions.
    5. You will be defining the events which includes starting times and assignments and configuring things like waiting lists.
    6. We will setup an email address on your domain for Spark to use.  This will be something like  Spark will use this to send emails to your volunteers and responses will go to this email address which you will control.
    7. We will setup your texting service. We will obtain a texting account and phone number for you using the Twilio texting service (used by UBER and AirBnB) which provides a robust high performance texting facility for your system.  You will be paying 3/4 of a cent per text message (1000 messages will cost you $7.50).  Texting is completely under your control and text messages received go to your organization.
  3. Patient Management System
    1. If you are using the patient system you will customize the services being offered.   For example are you offering women’s health services, medical screenings, lab tests, dental procedures, medical referrals, or even services like hair cuts.
    2. You will setup the questions you want asked of your patients.  For example are you employed, an email address, how did you hear about the clinic, when was the last time you saw a doctor?  These are completely defined by you.
    3. You will define the parameters so that the system can automatically recognize your uploaded paper documents.

SKCC-©2015AustonJames-9240What is the cost?

The Spark Team is a volunteer group providing free support and free programming for these systems.  But there are on-going costs to provide the software licenses, physical servers, and networks.  Therefore the cost is evaluated based on the workload needed to support your organization.

  • Number of events per year
  • Number of volunteers expected
  • Do you need both the patient and volunteer systems?

We can support small organizations with 50 volunteers doing a few events per year to larger organizations with 50,000+ volunteers doing weekly events with thousands of volunteers.  The systems are completely scalable and can be setup with fail over to ensure the systems are always available.

If you are organizing volunteer events to help your community we want to help.

The usual costs are outlined here:  General Costs

SKCC-©2015AustonJames-8752What do you need to manage the system?

Since the system is in the cloud all you need is internet access and a web browser.  There is nothing installed on your computers.

Both the patient and volunteer systems are designed to be used by your organization at your events.  For the volunteer system you can check in volunteers and register them on-site.  With the patient system most of the functionality of the system is used on-site to register patients and manage patients.  For these functions you will need internet access at your events and computers with a browser.

The volunteer system documentation: VoRIS Master Documentation

What about on-site hardware?

You will need simple computers and printers for your event.  A small clinic may only need a few laptops and printers while a larger operation with 3000 volunteers serving 3000 patient/customers may need more than 20.  We can help with the estimates.  This equipment is your responsibility however we will help guide you with what is required and how much.  We have a few vendors who have been very generous with their help.

Do you need to purchase both the volunteer and patient management systems?

These systems are connected but can operate independently.  Therefore if you only need the one or the other system that works fine.


How long does it take to get started?

It can take as little as a few days to get started if you have simple events.  Spark needs to purchase and configure the cloud resources for your system then work with you to go through the checklist.  For large complex events your initial setup might take several weeks.