The national charity for homeless people, Crisis, has received over 30 percent more applications to volunteer for its annual Crisis at Christmas event than this time last year, aided by the Crisis at Christmas Volunteer Community (http://christmas.crisis.org.uk). Developed by web-enabled technology specialist Totally Communications and launched a month ago, the online volunteer portal has seen record numbers of people apply to help deliver Christmas to homeless people in the UK over the festive period.
With an average annual volunteer rate of around 8,000 people, all performing one of 100 roles across the charity’s network of nine local centres and one operations centre, Crisis at Christmas had previously processed applications manually. Since the launch of the Crisis at Christmas Volunteer Community last month, Crisis is now one month ahead of last year’s event in terms of building its volunteer base, which currently stands at over 7,300.
“The new system is testament to the hard work put in by Totally Communications and the technical team at Crisis,” comments Ashley Bladon, Project Manager and IT & Systems Coordinator for Crisis at Christmas. “We had nearly as many applications on the first day as we have previously got in two weeks we have already processed and accepted around 90 per cent of the applications, which is unheard of! Typically this time every year the staff at the Crisis head office are extremely busy processing applications manually, but because everything is automated this year, we have been able to plough many more resources into the event itself.”
In June 2011, Totally Communications was chosen by Crisis to develop a web-based application that completely automates its previously time-consuming administration and paperwork. Through the Community, prospective and existing volunteers can apply for roles, view their shifts and request changes as well as communicate with other volunteers.
Bladon says: “Thanks to the ease of using the new system, as well as the great new community area, anecdotal evidence suggests all queries are down by around 60 percent.”
Andy Margolis, Managing Director of Totally Communications adds: “Crisis has already experienced some true measurable success since the portal went live – and there is more to come! Once the volunteer operation is fully under way, Crisis centres benefit from full attendance monitoring and access to operational data in real-time. Paperwork has already been dramatically reduced and volunteers are creating a great experience by interacting online.”
The Crisis at Christmas Volunteer Community is taking applications at http://christmas.crisis.org.uk.
About Totally Communications
Totally Communications is a full service digital marketing company and developer of bespoke software that maximises the power of the web to drive efficiencies for business and the third sector. Established in 2002 and owned by the publicly traded parent company Totally Plc (TLY:LN), the company is strategically based just outside of the City and West end of London.
Totally Communications offers web-enabled bespoke software development, systems integration and consultancy as well as search marketing services via its Rise Digital brand.
Specialising in LAMP based open source technology, Totally Communications has created over 120 bespoke software packages/tools/websites for its customers; from simple databases to extremely powerful, web-enabled, business critical work-flow applications. The company is also expert in the consolidation and integration of front and back office systems, using the power of the web to drive efficiencies in data, workflow, change management and disaster/recovery planning.
Totally Communications is headed up by a team of highly qualified system architects, software developers and online marketing experts. The company delivers a full service to its customers, from consultancy and development, to the successful execution of web-based software and services. Its customer base covers a very diverse range of markets and sizes, ranging from large corporate companies and individuals, to the charity and non-profit sector.
Background on Crisis
Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. We are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change. Our innovative education, employment, housing and well-being services address individual needs and help people to transform their lives. We are determined campaigners, working to prevent people from becoming homeless and advocating solutions informed by research and our direct experience. We have ambitious plans for the future and are committed to help more people in more places across the UK. We know we won’t end homelessness overnight or on our own. But we take a lead, collaborate with others and, together, make change happen.
Joanna Cannon / Stuart Cooper
Spreckley Partners Ltd.
T: 020 7388 9988