Age UK Northamptonshire has an abundance of volunteering opportunities to reduce social isolation and improve the well-being of older people. Due to the organisation's nature, all volunteers must provide two references before embarking on any volunteering tasks.
Caroline Roy, Volunteer Coordinator for Age UK Northamptonshire oversees the volunteer onboarding process and coordinates all volunteering activities. She runs an efficient and supportive ship, but a pain point for her has always been gathering volunteer references.
Caroline would have to:
- Write up a personalised email to the referee
- Chase up when responses were slow
- Track outstanding references in spreadsheets
- Receive the references back
- Scan or copy them into her database
Gathering each reference takes at least 30 minutes, that's one hour of her time, per volunteer application. Given that in September 2022 alone, Age UK Northamptonshire received 16 Volunteer applications. That's at least 16 hours of admin time that Caroline had to dedicate to collecting volunteer references.
Thanks to Volunteero’s new automated reference collection feature, time spent gathering references for volunteers is now SECONDS!
When submitting their application, a prospective volunteer is required to provide the details of two referees. Once the form is submitted, Volunteero automatically emails Caroline’s bespoke Volunteer Reference form to those people, and once completed notifies Caroline.
Although it’s early days for Caroline using this new feature, she told us “I’ve had one back already, it pinged straight through against that application form, I approved it and moved the volunteer onto the next stage of their application”
Funnily enough whilst we were chatting with her a second one pinged through!
For Caroline, having the reminder email sent to referrers after seven days has also helped her to keep volunteer applications moving swiftly on the system. The quicker a volunteer is onboarded, the quicker they can start their role and make a difference in the life of an older person.
When asked what she thinks of the new feature Caroline told us “ I just LOVE IT!”
So do we Caroline, so do we!