Bay Volunteers is a community-based service coordinated by Hope Church Lancaster in partnership with various Lancaster DIstrict-based organisations including the local authority and NHS trust. The volunteering program aims to bring support to those in their community who need it, especially those who are vulnerable, housebound and/or isolated.
We first met the Bay Volunteers team in 2021 when Volunteero was still in its infancy. The team used AirTable and Zapier automations before then moving to TeamKinetic in February 2022 to manage volunteer data, activity and reporting.
- The existing system did not provide sufficient insight and reporting
- This also negatively impacted their partners and ability to access funding
- Tracking and oversight were taking countless hours of time for the team
- Lacking a native user-friendly app which was a massive put-off for volunteers, especially younger volunteers
The Volunteero app tracks volunteer activity and provides a simple and easy way for volunteers to report back and log their time. The management dashboard provides this data in a digestible format and this can be filtered for specific groups, regions and activity types.
This has resulted in efficiencies gained by Bay Volunteers. “The range of filters, sorting and groups save us a lot of time when we're checking on what has been done each week and who hasn't reported, etc.”
The team estimate that this is saving over 3 hours a week and the reporting and data is more accurate. This equates to a minimum of 156 staff hours saved per year.
The Volunteero platform incorporates reminders for volunteers which can be set by each organisation and activity type. This removes the need to continually chase volunteers for reports and also increases engagement. This saves the Bay Volunteers team around an hour per week or an additional 52 staff hours per year. Matt from Bay Volunteers says “It's made it easier, slicker and saved me time, and volunteers are more engaged and doing their admin (mainly reports) which helps to save my time nagging them too.”
Reporting and Insights
This was a key challenge for the Bay Volunteers team on their previous system. Volunteers can flag any safeguarding concerns or actions through the app with the click of a button. This not only provides volunteers with a better experience but also ensures that these concerns are logged, recorded and actioned with ease. “The ability for volunteers to flag things through reports rather than me having to check every single report is a massive time saver and means that I can see the important reports quicker, so I can respond.”
All of the relevant data is captured and organised automatically by the platform, this is extremely valuable when it comes to managing partner relationships and providing data on referrals but also helps evidence impact for funding bids. Matt says “The insights are fantastic for being able to report to our partners as well as help us get funding through more accurate data. The ability to choose date periods and filter and sort is very important in there too within the reports and insights sections.”
Volunteero is the only VMS that offers instant messaging which allows you to create dynamic group chats and message volunteers directly. Chat notification open rates are 95% which compares extremely favourably vs 20% for emails. It also allows volunteers to engage with each other digitally and securely which email cannot offer.
Matt says he “can keep all mission admin off my emails and in the chat for the most part which is a bit neater and tidier, and easier for our other admins to cover when I am off. I have moved a lot off email and onto the chat which gets a lot more engagement as well as quicker engagement most likely due to the notifications of chat from the app on mobile devices.”
Overall, Volunteero has helped Bay Volunteers save time with day-to-day management and reporting. It has improved the relationships with key partners and funders and it has improved the volunteer experience and engagement. When asked for a few final words, here is what Matt from Bay Volunteers had to say.
“We love Volunteero and I am so thankful for the time it saves me, making our admin and management way easier as well as the speed at which changes and updates are done to make sure that things work well and improve to best fit our needs as a service - Ash and the development team do a fantastic job to bring these as quick as possible, and Josie (and Ash too) make sure that help is given and that there is support asap when things aren't working properly! Loving Volunteero - highly recommend it!”
Bay Volunteers achieved an estimated total of £3,120 vs their previous system through staff hours saved as well as improving the staff and volunteer experience.
In short, not all volunteering platforms are made equal. We built the platform from the ground up in partnership with volunteer managers and volunteers to ensure we solved the problems faced by both. If you’d like to know more about how we can help supercharge your volunteering programs, please get in touch or book a demo. We’d love to speak to you.