Save the Children is one of the largest charities in the UK. With over 13,000 volunteers they helped reach 22.1 million children directly through their work in 2016.
Their mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
Part of their vision is to create the best possible experience for their volunteers to help them achieve this goal. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without our volunteers. Providing them with the platform to feel empowered to do more was crucial for us.” – Wendy Halley, Volunteering Programme Manager.
Like many other organisations, Save the Children was dependent on spreadsheets, data was out of date and scattered across different silos. After evaluating their processes, it was time to invest in a more efficient way to bring the organisation together. They needed a reliable and secure platform to store all of their information, whilst providing the functionality to handle recruitment, management and engagement. Juggling between applications was no longer the answer and they wanted to embrace an all-encompassing solution.
It was also important for Save the Children to maintain a consistent experience across every interaction the volunteer has with the organisation. Establishing lasting, first impressions and nurturing these relationships throughout the journey was a top priority. They realised the user experience is paramount to engaging and retaining volunteers and needed a solution that was highly interactive and easy to use.
Juggling between applications was no longer the answer
When assessing applications, Save the Children identified Assemble as a stable, scalable platform that can handle large volumes of data and volunteers. Assemble was the solution that would satisfy their needs – providing functionality that covers every aspect of the volunteer journey. It was important for Save the Children to adapt like any other modern organisation and embrace the digital age. As Wendy remembers, “We saw Assemble as the future of volunteering. The significant moment for us was when we were able to manage our Virgin London Marathon volunteers. With its intuitive interface, managers easily adopted the system to recruit volunteers and schedule their shifts within the first few weeks of use.”
The functionality offered by Assemble, especially its ability to reduce onboarding time, was a key feature for Save the Children. Assemble enables the charity to connect and onboard new volunteers faster and smarter than any process they had ever seen. Within a few clicks, they take advantage of opportunity creation and automated reference checks; ensuring a seamless recruitment experience. A process that could have taken months beforehand can now be resolved in a matter of days. Wendy states, “After working in volunteering for 15 years I was crying out for a system like this. Expanding our reach has never been easier.”
A clear, actionable view of volunteer information now exists. Assemble enables volunteers to update contact details, skills and interests, providing managers with a holistic view of their volunteers. From here, volunteer managers are now able to manage invitations to conferences and other events, build rotas and share files. And it’s because of this functionality that Assemble can create reports, providing the charity with clear insights into their organisation.
Connect and onboard new volunteers faster and smarter
Security and peace of mind
With the introduction of new GDPR regulations imminent, Save the Children needed a company that understands its importance. Assemble satisfies concerns around security and compliance requirements, putting at ease those who require data to remain private and stored in the EU.
“Considering the volume of data, and number of users adopting the system, it was paramount we could lean on an application we could trust” says Wendy. “Security is a big priority for us. As discussions around data privacy regulations were increasing, Assemble addressed these with confidence.”
Another vital benefit Assemble offers Save the Children is security around user permissions. “Assemble Enterprise really gives us peace of mind. It provides us with the flexibility we need to manage our volunteers at scale. Having several management layers within the organisation, the ability to customise user permissions was crucial for us” – Rachel Bayley, Head of Volunteering. Assemble comes equipped with comprehensive administration capabilities that allow for complete control when it comes to user management and account permissions.
Assemble satisfies concerns around security and compliance
Positive feedback has been received across all departments. “It was very easy to use and was widely accepted by our users” Wendy says. Engagement is also on the up. One of the biggest contributors to this is the mobile app. Providing volunteers with a fast and responsive way to connect on the go has prompted an increase in engagement. Queries are swiftly resolved and communication is encouraged, breaking down any barriers that existed beforehand. Wendy continues, “Providing functionality across desktop, mobile or tablet, allows volunteers every opportunity to use the system, regardless of how they wish to interact.”
Conversion rates have also been improved. The time it would take between applying and being placed for an opportunity within the organisation was far too long previously. Wendy admits, “We were seeing potential volunteers drop out of the process due to its long-winded nature.” Using automated reference checks accelerates this part of the process. The internal messaging and applicant portal then provides a personable, connected environment that keeps applicants updated. “This is the start of their volunteer journey with us – Assemble makes sure it’s a memorable one” adds Wendy.
The visibility, control and peace of mind that Assemble provides Save the Children has allowed the organisation to continue growing faster than ever before. Removing the challenges of antiquated processes has allowed managers to step away from heavy administration and focus on other, more impactful tasks.