Ardgowan Hospice is a compassionate place of care for people living in Inverclyde who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, such as cancer, heart failure, lung disease, kidney failure or neurological conditions. Volunteers are involved across the hospice, from helping within the In-Patient Unit and Access buildings to assisting in our charity shops and fundraising in Inverclyde.
When we first spoke to Graham, Heather and the wonderful team at Ardgowan, volunteer management was being facilitated through email and “a spreadsheet - a very big and confusing one at that!”
The general admin of managing the volunteers was proving challenging. Heather stated that “keeping on top of the references and other parts of the paperwork was difficult. It made it much harder to see what stage the application was at at a glance.”
Since adopting Volunteero the organisation has:
- Cut the staff time spent onboarding volunteers by almost 90%
- Reduced the time from application to becoming a volunteer by over 50%
- Boosted volunteer engagement
- Improved the insights and reports they can produce for the board and funders
- Managing the application and onboarding process for new volunteers
- Collecting references and managing other tasks involved in onboarding
- Offering tasks and opportunities and effectively gathering interest
- Understanding what volunteers were conducting which activities
- Obtaining volunteer feedback and producing data on the volunteering program
Ardgowan Hospice were able to do away with their PDF application form and build the volunteer application forms digitally through Volunteero. These forms can then be embedded directly on your website or posted to an opportunities page on your website which is managed by Volunteero. Heather says that “embedding links for applications on our website has allowed us to capture volunteers at the time who may previously have to wait a few days before an email reply with the application”
Applications submitted can then be managed in Volunteero. Staff can be notified when a new application is received, they can then move them through an onboarding journey designed by the team.
“The automation of a lot of the work has been a huge time saver.”
Volunteero offers exciting features to automate repetitive tasks such as the collection of character references for applicants. Heather said “It has taken a lot of the leg work from chasing references typing emails, chasing email replies and has removed the need to call references.”
Attrition through the onboarding process is often a challenge for all organisations and this often stems from a lack of transparency for the applicant. With Volunteero, providing transparency to applicants has never been easier. Volunteer applicants can subscribe to application updates when they submit their applications. Organisations can then update statuses and add comments to applications which are automatically communicated to the applicant.
Previously if there was a new task that needed volunteer involvement the team would email out to the volunteers and monitor the inbox for replies or wait to speak to them when they came in for their next shift.
With Volunteero, Heather and the team can create missions with ease and publish them to their volunteers through the app. They can use groups to show only relevant missions to volunteers. Each mission can contain the features and information the volunteers need to decide if it is something they’d like to do and then actually conduct the task. Heather says it takes “10 minutes to design and type up a new mission. The process is very quick”
Using missions organisations can empower their volunteers and provide them with an accessible and flexible volunteering experience.
“I can now post missions and allow volunteers the autonomy to say yes or no rather than waiting for them to come on shift again.”
By streamlining the day-to-day deployment of volunteers, organisations can finally make time for the areas of work they wished they had time to work on.
“The system has allowed me to have more time to concentrate on the other side of volunteer management and has allowed me to implement initiative which I had previously no time to do. We have hosted cheese and wine nights, pizza and pasta nights as well as introduced ways to better communicate with Volunteers.“
Email and phone calls were the most common means of communication at Ardgowan Hospice. The problem can be that emails may be missed and they do not allow volunteers to connect. And phone calls are reliant on that being a good time for the volunteer.
Volunteero offered a complementary means of communication, instant messaging. Organisations can message volunteers directly or create group chats.
“We use this feature a lot - we love to send out messages on mass at the same time much easier than emailing all the time.”
Not only does this mean messages received deliver push notifications which are opened on average 45x more than emails but also it allows volunteers to speak to each other in a space the organisation controls.
“Engagement for volunteering has been improved with the chat feature to allow them to arrange meet-ups and share information.”
Being able to produce insights and data can be valuable when it comes to board updates and also obtaining funding. Volunteero offers valuable real-time insights at your fingertips. At Ardgowan, Heather stated “we never done much reporting in the past so it's great to have this feature now”
Volunteero makes it easy, it isn’t an arduous process but involves a few clicks and the data you need is right there in front of you.
“Monthly reporting varies but doesn't take us more than an hour now to produce reports and tables”
Ardgowan Hospice has saved significant amounts of time across all elements of volunteer management, freeing them up for more impactful work that had until now, been put on the back burner. Their volunteers are more engaged, productive and feel like part of a team. And finally, the Ardgowan team have impact data to demonstrate the wonderful work of their volunteers.
If you’d like to achieve the same results, why not get in touch and book a demo today!