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I'll get started then. Right. Oh hang on a second person!

All of
a sudden this guy walks works.

Hi Claire. I was just –Hi– Where are you, where are you from?

I'm from Volunteer Center Salford in Manchester.

Oh hello

Local. Yeah

Yeah. Local conference make two minutes apart from each other.

Do you use Civi

Yes we do. We have them in what we call a volunteering portal that we use to match volunteers with opportunities and we use Civi to do that. But I think it's, I'm not really the technical person that someone else in the organization is on leave this week but I think what as is, is a plugin, right, type system.

But for the, the Covid response. We've used Webforms to register volunteers that's the way we did it because the council the council set took well it was some of the councillors set up a Facebook page and got. I think it was about 600 people registering in a couple of days, to wanting to volunteer but they had no way to manage them. The case was basically what we did is set up a registration on our Web site. The registration Website so their info was done on a Webform. Yeah. So that's the way we did it.

Okay well I'm just going to run through what we've done and how we've used it and stuff, but yeah, if you've got any questions any time as it is only a few of us just like butt in and just ask.

from the Web chat as well. Milan has said "Hi guys Milan from Catalyst Balkans. Great. Looking forward to the presentation." Then he said "No problem". I think you're going to get a cup of tea.  Oh yeah here he is.

Yeah. Is here. Yeah I'm here. I was here. I had a I had to go where the Kings go on the walk on foot. So. Yeah that's why I'm here. Maybe maybe I will be around because I have two cats and they're pretty much silly but I'm here. I'm trying to follow. So sorry. I was like in one. Yeah. OK I heard you. So do need something for me to tell something about I again. Or whatever you want. I was looking forward to see a presentation and how do you use CiviVolunteer, because for me is like interesting plugin that I still don't comprehend it very well. I would like to see your your your your perspective so that that's the reason why I'm here. Yeah. Yeah I think I see Caroline's coming in as well. She works with me. Her so. Hello Hello Caroline. So she might be able to chip it as well.

Yeah if you've got any questions as we go along now I'll try and answer them both equally like Nick and Rose is doing something but Nick said he'd, you know can help answer stuff as well in the main hall. I don't know it because this is quite new too to us as well. So I'll I'll start going through it like I said and if you want to chip in you just just just butt in so.

turn off my mike sorry.

I can't see my own presentation now. Well how do I get rid of these people. Okay. I'll just put you to the. Okay. So just to explain the situation of how we came to use CiviCRM here. So let's count. So Leeds is our local government body for the city. Basically took over thirty three charities across the city to be emergency hubs.

So a bit like you, Claire I suppose, they sort of council led like volunteer office is Voluntary Action Leeds, they're called, they got everyone to sign up online who wanted to help across Leeds in different ways and they had like was well over 5000 people in the end it was it was mad.

And then what they did is they looked at where everyboad lived and then sent out all the volunteers to each individual hubg. So we got sent easily like a couple of hundred people and then we already had 90 local people as volunteers anyway, so just literally sort of overnight we got an influx of like hundreds of people, and loads of people ringing and emailing saying they wanted to help and yeah we just sort of had to think of something.

So the aim of what the council were trying to do and what we were trying to do to facilitate it was that one vulnerable people in Leeds would make a request for support to the council and if they lived in our postcode if they lived in our area they were then given you know given to us and then we had to we have to match up we'd find a volunteer basically to go out and and you know do the shopping or the prescription collection or whatever it is for them. So that was sort of the aim of it.

But because yeah because of the sort of the sheer numbers of people, because we're very small charity, we're really very very local so. And you know, I'm part time, a lot of our staff are part time, and we also have a thousand older people to support as well in the community, so we had a lot on our plate. So we needed something that could manage a large number of volunteers and contact everybody really quickly and we wanted, I wanted to do something, which which allowed the volunteers to select what they wanted to do rather than me linking them up or signing them off course or ringing around all the time saying can you do this? Can you do that?

And yeah sort of create something that was kind of a bit standardise so that everyone could use it. And yeah it was just like a good platform a basis to go from. So that's where why we turned to CiviVolunteer. And we only came across it because I sort of just I just Googled the word Civi and volunteer to see if it could do anything. I saw this extensions and I was like Yeah. I was like Rose, add on this extension for me, because we already use Civi, we have our thousand members on there already. So this means that everything would be in one place for all the staff to be able to use it, and obviously create reports because we have to report regularly back to the council and keep records of finances and things like that.

And then yeah. It offered most of the features of what we wanted. It's not perfect but I'll come on to that.

So how we use Civi? So a bit like what Claire said. Initially we, because of data protection and everything. I just had to ask all the volunteers to sign up again via our, an online form which you can see on the screen just so that it was really quick to enter all these new volunteers straight onto the system, and they were ready to go. And you know that was really quick to set up you know we got that were ready and working in a day and and most of the volunteers signed up within a day. So we were it was really quick and easy to do. So on, on the, in Civi itself there's a, you click on volunteers and create a new project. So this shows you, I'm just going to move my little thing. This shows you here what creating a project is.

Now we had to we just did one project for basically lockdown support and used really generic details for it because we had because of the nature of the shifts that were coming in. Yeah we didn't want to have millions of projects so there wasn't really any description used we just had the title of the volunteer role of community care volunteers and you can add in, you can see at the bottom where it says manager can add in all the different staff members you want to be involved with the project they can then edit it, or receive alerts and, the beneficiary again, because there's gonna be so many beneficiaries and we didn't have their information necessarily.

We just created one single Leeds City Council beneficiary, as a way to just link it on to Civi which, which isn't an ideal this isn't though. That's not an ideal way of doing it really but ideally we'd have it all the shifts linked to you know somebody on Civi but because of data protection obviously we can't, we couldn't be adding people's details on you know without their permission. So this is the way we got round it. So once we got the project set up each volunteer shift.

Basically it was all very unique. So we had to create an individual role for every single shift. So we got well over 200 roles on this project. Now which you can see on the screen. And again this bit this part of the CiviVolunteer I found a bit frustrating because there's no way to put background information in that we could figure out how to do it.

So you could see it like one of the examples here it says like phone befriender for Mr. B. So when someone signs up for that they get an automated e-mail but it just says phone befriended for Mr. B. But if we could add in hidden information in the background to that role set where it says you know phone a friend for Mr. Bedford or whatever.

You know make it a lot quicker to automate sort of responses and get information out there which we're having to do manually at the moment. So yeah it was it's been quite tricky to make lots of different unique roles, that doesn't give away any personal information whatsoever. And then you can't delete any of them either because if you delete it it deletes the record off of Civi.

So it says 166 on there but we're well over that now. So. So yeah that's one of the sort of downsides to it but it does the job. And every time you create a role.

You can that you then create a shift we create a shift for that role which is then advertised on a public page, so this page is great. So you've got a list of all way – so you can see how it looks in the end. So the project is just the community care volunteers, which is fine. With is just Leeds City Council so you might normally have, your you know your referral name there or something like that but again because it's a public page we couldn't we can't be advertising people's names. Then the role.

And there's a lot – you can see a tiny little speech mark there next to like Ms. E And that gives a bit more detail about the role and then the day when it is and all people need to do is just click sign up. Click which ones they'd like to do and sign up and then who you are whoever's looking after it. So for me I'll get an alert to say you know this volunteer signed up to do this shift which is great. And both me – this is what I get.

This is the alert I get. And also the volunteer gets. Now this is,  this e-mail can be edited. So we again, we made it really really simple. So we just basically repeated what was already on that. On the web page. This web page basically just repeated it again here and then this is what I mean where it would be good if if there was a way to enter hidden data like the name of like Ms JD and her actual address so that when somebody received this automated e-mail she said "Oh well thanks for helping out you know Joan Dodd. You know this is what you have to do. This is her address. Off you go". Basically and you'd make it really smooth and automated. But we we couldn't figure out a way to do that. So at the moment we just get this alert to let us know that somebody is gonna be doing this volunteering.


Who didn't change that picture. Sorry. Why is that.

No, no I didn't change the picture on this one. So sorry guys the wrong picture but basically we we then had to utilize Civi message templates, to make it easier.

So like when Wendy, who's one of our volunteers, signed up we generate. We just go on her her you know her profile page on Civi and email us straight from there using a shopping template or something like that. And all we then have to fill in is that background data of the name of the person who needs help, where to go when and telephone number. So there is not much you know background information really that needs to go in but it was just a little it's just a little detail that would have made it a little bits mover and easier to do. But we just do it manually.

And then what were their volunteer signs up as well it also creates a record so on Wednesday's profile under records it creates a new volunteer record. That's so, so we know she's got a record of volunteering but again some of the information about the role and things just doesn't transfer over. So it's like really it's really vague when you look at it. So again you can see on the screen here, all the bits highlight it in red. These are basically things that ideally would be great to be just, you know, transfer that data from the Civi role the CiviVolunteer thing into the record because you do put in the duration in minutes into a CiviVolunteer shift.

But for some reason we could not get it to come over into the record. And the subject as well is always the project may not the the role name of the volunteer or the volunteer shift. So again these are sort of the little bits that we then have to manually do it but at least we've got a record on Wendys file that she signed up on to do this, to do a shift on this day. And we just have to like fill in the last bits few details so.

So that's quite good. So it does, it's good that it makes that record for you automatically by locking in detail. So what we are now how to move more thing.

So yeah the pros of using CiviVolunteer was they just enabled us to, manage the reactive nature of these like referrals so if we got one in week within you know within a few minutes we could put a role up on the on that web page, send out on a mass e-mail to to all our volunteers and you know, usually within five minutes we've got somebody signed up. It's really easy for the volunteers to use so that they could just click on the shifts that they they were interested in.

It's good that they're volunteer record is created so that we don't have to go in and create a new record at least one is is there. And if you did want to assign volunteers yourself, it's really easy to do just within the project management tool you can just assign volunteers and you just click on that and it's really easy. Easy to promote to the volunteers as I said and it links with our current system.

I think the cons which I've touched on already are that the the records. Yeah. They don't update all the information automatically. It's like I said it be good if the information you type in to the CiviVolunteer role transferred over to that record, so that you didn't have to keep manually adding it, to the roles. Could Yeah. They can't contain that person information because they advertised on a public page so a capacity to have that sort of hidden data that could then be used to to generate automated e-mails much easier and update those Civi records a lot easier would be better.

Yeah, I don't know. I mean this is just our way of doing it. Maybe you guys might know way more than me about Civi Volunteer, but we couldn't figure out because each row each referral was so unique we had to create all these individual roles. And like I said you can't delete them because they're not deletes the record. So it is a bit cluttered in our project's, sort of management area because we've got so many roles on there.

So I don't know if you guys know anywhere around the or have any tricks. Yeah. Automated e-mail again it is great that you can tailor that to whatever you want it to say but unless it can send out like relevant information is kind of you know, it didn't do much really. And then, yeah. So. All the shift. All the records that were created to automatically set to scheduled and they didn't go to completed when –you know after the date and time that was supposed to be done. So which is a bit frustrating because then you have to go in and manually change them all to.

But by the same token it did make sure that we keep on track of you know shifts that were ongoing and there was just a few technical hitches. Sometimes there's just creating duplicate shifts or blank ones or popping up and we've no idea why and you know all that sort of thing. So there's a few technical blips who've had with that but you know it has been a godsend to be able to manage this and use those sort of email templates and the mass mailings out to all the volunteers in order to manage it all. It's not the way we usually manage volunteers so like I said it is totally new to us.

So you guys might be might know more than me like I said about how to use it or things like that. Yeah. I mean any questions or any advice from you guys or anything to add Caroline. You know if I've missed anything. What else have  I missed?

I can't hear you Caroline.

nothing to add. You've covered all the pros and cons pretty well. –Yeah–. Is

I was going to say the public signup aspect is really good because you don't have to constantly be aware of the availability of your volunteers. Coz, they're actually making an active decision to sign up. So it's kind of like, you know, you don't have to do that side of the match - they're matching themselves too.

I think that was really important for us because we had such limited capacity staff-wise that we just we needed something where yeah people could could could assign themselves they could look at roughly where it was and what it what it was. And we had all their availability but at the end of the day that can constantly change in itself. So it's yeah it made it so much easier to just say right here is what we need. And people just wish we'd never gone wanting for volunteer.

e've always had loads of them too. So I don't know what it would be like in a situation where you were struggling for them.

We've got
a few more few more people have entered in. Has anyone got any questions or want me to go back on anything or do you guys use it differently like.

I was wondering and you said it's not how you would normally work with volunteers. It's something you've had to use because in essence you've been asked to scale up and because of current events yes or set up in a particular direction I guess. So would you would you see this being how, now you've seen it and used it isn't something you would think – well yeah we could use this ongoing without volunteers – or is it actually does it create hassles that you would otherwise avoid in the smaller scale. Or like do you would want or.

I think I think it would be worth trying with some of our normal volunteering so without a lot of ah. So alot of our charity works with older adults. We run things like groups and befriending and things like that. I do that sort of social support side of things. So a lot of volunteers when they come on board they tend to do one thing like regularly.

If you see what I mean whilst this has been you know different every day loads of different things going on. Yeah. So in that sense the kind of having the shift listed and people signing up things doesn't necessarily apply because we just you know we just know we're going to have a volunteer you know come every week. But saying that there are like one off events and things like that the crop up and we just need volunteers really quickly. So I think for some of our tech-savvy volunteers and I say tech-savvy this is just clicking a button saying signup, I know.

But I unfortunately. That is tech savvy for us, for a lot of our, you know, service users and things like that so it could be used but I I would say that probably half of volunteers don't even, you know, use email like interact with email and things that I don't like to be online. So see I have to do a lot of like prints and things as well to sort of access them.

But yeah I mean moving forward into the digital age and as people get more digitally minded this sort of thing will be really really helpful. I don't. Does anyone else use CiviVolunteer like or use it in a different way to this. Because yeah you know, I've I've not come across anybody who uses it at all in Leeds. So we're the only emergency hub using it to do this, how everyone else is managing with spreadsheets and things I really don't know. But. Yeah.

Chime in if if if you guys use use it in a different way.

I'm actually going to pause it there because we've had a message in our chat being put by one of the one of the bosses of the event saying they hope everything is going very well and they're hoping that we'll be able to come back to the main hall sometime soon. So I think you've played the time perfectly and they've also asked us to nominate someone to call back and chat. I'm slightly worried about and I was oh wasn't being warned about that. So if anybody feels that they could give a really brief synopsis just of what we've covered just kind of in a sense I think it's quite simple quite simple really because I think is a very easy detail for us and we could just mention a couple of pros and cons and what what it's been like to not feel confident enough to be able to do that.

Grand, that's that's me doing that then. Okay. So. Well oh God. Oh well that's the end of this. That's great. We'll get out of here and if you haven't got a link just look in the chat room there in the chat window to access the chat just moving mouse around at the bottom middle you'll see the chat icon you can click on a chat that friends at the chatbox and chatbox there there's a link here that link and you can head out from here and back into the main conference call. Thanks so much everybody.

Thank you.

you so much.

you guys. It was very nice, thanks.

CiviVolunteer to co-ordinate volunteers in lockdown

Playback speed: 1
  • Presenter
    Louisa Peters, Volunteer Coordinator of Moor Allerton Elderly Care
  • Moderator
    Matt Spiller
  • Filmed in
    Leeds, UK
  • Filmed on
    25 June 2020
  • Length
    30:07 (mm:ss)
  • License
    CC-BY (Attribution)

This is a test project – the transcript was auto-generated with some human clean-up, so please ignore any typos.