A blog by our CEO, Matt Dyer

In a recent government survey, one in seven respondents said they volunteered for a group or organisation at least once a month.

Although figures are down on previous years (mainly a legacy of Covid), that still equates to a whopping 7 million people giving up their time to help others and support a cause they care about.

Most charities rely to some extent on volunteers, and some use hundreds. But are you able to demonstrate to your funders the added value your volunteers bring? And if so, are you doing it in the most time-efficient and painless way?

Recording and reporting on volunteers' work in a CRM system can pose challenges. Chances are, your volunteers are out in the community, not sitting in your office – so whatever CRM you use needs to be cloud-based.

Then there’s data protection. Your volunteers are probably only providing a specific service to specific clients, so you don’t want to allow them access to everyone's personal data. That means you'll need effective access controls in place.

There’s also a cost challenge. Traditional cloud-based CRMs are licenced per user. But does it really make sense to pay the same licence fee for someone who volunteers, say, every second Wednesday as you would pay for a full-time staff member?

Finally, statistics show that disabled people are just as likely to volunteer as non-disabled people. Your system needs to be easy to use for people with or without disabilities.

Don't worry. There's a straightforward solution to all of this.

Charitylog is a volunteer-friendly, cloud-based CRM designed specifically to enable your volunteers to log their work, while seeing only the data relevant to them.

You pay a fixed fee based on the turnover of your charity. And there’s a generous limit on the number of people who can log in at the same time (we’ve recently made this unlimited on our most popular plan, Plus).

With everyone in your organisation, paid or unpaid, using your CRM, it’s much easier to keep track of work and save time when it comes to reporting to funders and trustees – while not having to worry about unexpected software bills.

If your charity hasn’t worked this way before, enabling volunteers to log their own work on your CRM might seem like a slightly radical concept. Be brave! It will be worth it. The best approach is to start gradually, with people who are comfortable using computers, or happy to learn. They can become Charitylog champions who can help the next group.

And you're not alone: we can support you with everything from how to set the access controls for your volunteers to tips on making life easier for new users so they’ll be confidently logging into the system in no time!

Get in touch to find out more.

* Figures quoted at the start are from Gov.uk pages on the Community Life Survey 2021/22.

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