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Volunteer Centre Bath and beyond

Mike Plows
Chief Executive
Volunteer Centre Bath and beyond
July 2016

volunteer centre bath and beyond

Previously, we were using Do-it to host our volunteering opportunities for the area. Unfortunately we had numerous problems with it, and as a Volunteer Centre, it allowed us minimum flexibility. During the initial year of Do-it going live we had to increase our staff resources by six hours a week to manage the database, which we could ill afford.

We also weren’t able to get the information we needed from Do-it, so we were running VBase alongside it, causing us additional work and duplication.

Our trustee board had concerns about staying with Do-it for several reasons;

  • the increase in resource costs
  • the lack of flexibility with the system
  • the customer service we received from Do-it – we felt they didn’t care about the issues we were raising.

Moving to Volunteer Connect

The first time we heard about Volunteer Connect was last year, when one of our volunteers was holidaying in Dorset and picked up the local volunteering newsletter there. It included information about a new database and service they were introducing there – Volunteer Connect.

We were interested to find out more so had an initial discussion with Marie Waterman, the manager at Volunteer Centre Dorset. Alongside this, we also met with two other database providers to look at different systems too.

We made our decision to go with Volunteer Connect and we found the transition process very straight forward. We were supported extremely well by a professional and caring team at VC Connect. There were a couple of obstacles to overcome, which you would expect when moving to a new system, but any problems the team have been there to help and advise us.

The most challenging aspect of moving database systems was encouraging the staff team to let go and embrace the new! Also, it was initially quite a challenge working with our local organisations, because it was yet another change for them. However now it’s a lot better and our customers seem a lot more confident in managing their own volunteering roles on Volunteer Connect.

First class customer service and support

We opted for the two-day onsite training package, and then ongoing telephone support thereafter. Although we must have been a challenge at times for the VC Connect team, they have never made us feel like we were stupid, but always willing to help and answer any questions we may have. The level of support from the VC Connect support team is first class and professional. I am now using VC Connect as the benchmark for my staff in regards to customer service!

My advice to other Volunteer Centres considering a new database system is to speak to the VC Connect team – and also speak to other Volunteer Centres who are now using the Volunteer Connect system.

The biggest benefit of Volunteer Connect for us is regaining control of our own destiny. We now have one system that provides us with everything we need as a Volunteer Centre. We also have a partner in VC Connect who listen to us, and are readily there to support us whenever we need it.

Interested?

If you would like to chat with us about the benefits of VC Connect, Volunteer Connect or VC Connect for Wellbeing, our team are ready to help!