The Pear Tree Fund
The services they offer include grants to help with the cost of practical needs such as home adaptations or specialist equipment, as well as funding for counselling and therapy. With the help of volunteers, they provide a befriending service to combat social isolation, and they also offer complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology.
Additionally, The Pear Tree Fund works closely with healthcare professionals to ensure that those in need receive the best possible care and support.
Challenges Facing The Pear Tree Fund
Prior to implementing Charitylog, The Pear Tree Fund had recently transitioned as an organisation into its current form, with a newly built health and wellbeing centre. CEO Kevin Vaughan arrived in post to a limited Microsoft Dynamics implementation that had been introduced to support the new organisation structure and needs. Without sufficient technical expertise in house, it would have meant further significant investment to improve and manage the system to make it fit for purpose.
With The Pear Tree Fund at this stage of growth and transformation, the organisation was moving away from capturing very little about the people they supported and their interactions, to a situation of needing to record extensive personal and private information and histories to facilitate triage and assessment. All of which couldn't be managed by the CRM implementation they were working with.
Identifying the Solution
Having had extensive positive experience of implementing and working with Charitylog in other organisations, Kevin presented the business case to the board to make the switch away from Microsoft Dynamics, which wasn't meeting the needs of the organisation and would have required significant investment to improve.
Beyond the proposal, The Pear Tree Fund team were able to assess the fit, feel and functionality through participating in an interactive product demonstration by one of the Charitylog Implementation Consultants. It became apparent that Charitylog could help them to progress beyond a system set up to manage appointments and very simple outcomes to a CRM that would support case management and the recording and tracking of interactions with clients across a diverse range of services and service types.
“It's not a complex system to use and that was part of why we chose Charitylog. For those delivering the service and working with clients on a day to day basis the history screen is unmatched in its usefulness as a tool to get a view of a client's interactions with the service at your fingertips."
Kevin Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer
The Pear Tree Fund
“From the management perspective, reporting is essential so the KPI Report Designer is great at providing high level information quickly ahead of, or instead of, exporting to Excel for complex data drilldowns."
Kevin Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer
The Pear Tree Fund
After deciding to implement Charitylog, The Pear Tree Fund team realised additional benefits. One of the key skills of all of the Charitylog Implementation Consultants is being able translate the practical needs of the organisation into processes in Charitylog. In practice, this meant that alongside learning the new software, the Pear Tree Fund team developed new working habits and modified procedures to facilitate the transition to their new service model.
So, one of the key successes was utilising the Charitylog implementation days as opportunities to train the team and to customise Charitylog to support their developing needs and thereby to build the knowledge in the team responsible for managing day-to-day operations and use of the system.
It’s a process Kevin describes as "more than staff training, it was a chance to organically build" the system. Some of this included the addition of bespoke data fields to capture annual leave information to support their HR team, tracking activity to facilitate the effective management of care delivered to service users by private care agencies, as well as an addition to enable the team to support palliative end of life care.
Impacts on Service Delivery
Charitylog has helped The Pear Tree Fund to improve their workflows and processes, which has the effect of enhancing specific areas of service delivery. Like many charities, they need to be able to reliably report on outcomes such as the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and Star Outcomes™ which they accomplish using Charitylog Ladder Outcomes Reports.
The flexibility for Charitylog to be further developed by The Pear Tree Fund team themselves as their organisation grows was essential as they recognise their needs will change as they grow. Expanding the use of the software is within their control which often helps to avoid additional development costs. They are supported in this by the Charitylog telephone helpline.
With a vast array of groups and appointments, being able to track and manage group membership, and promote attendance has been helpful, aided by the implementation of SMS messaging which improves communications with clients via text.
Charitylog has had a positive impact on the quality of service delivery by enabling every person supporting a client to access that client's most up to date information with ease. In counselling, regardless of who saw the client previously this translates into a more holistic understanding of each client which means a counsellor can more quickly build the therapeutic relationship and be more targeted in their approach, resulting in the delivery of a seamless service and pathway.
Favourite Features and Functions
When asked what his favourite aspects of Charitylog were, Kevin replied: "It's a really versatile, organic and a cost effective solution. During the implementation period there's plenty of opportunity to shape how Charitylog can support the organisation and how, if used creatively, it can help solve problems above and beyond what might normally be expected.
“It's not a complex system to use and that was part of why we chose Charitylog. For those delivering the service and working with clients on a day to day basis the history screen is unmatched in its usefulness as a tool to get a view of a client's interactions with the service at your fingertips.
“From the management perspective, reporting is essential so the KPI Report Designer is great at providing high level information quickly ahead of, or instead of, exporting to Excel for complex data drilldowns. The Action List is another favourite as it helps them manage performance and capacity, especially when working with geographically dispersed teams.”
As The Pear Tree Fund continues to develop and grow, being able to use the data from Charitylog to evidence an increased need for their services helped secure an additional £20,000 in funding for a financial wellbeing project and will continue to support securing further funding opportunities.
Having identified a need for a change of CRM The Pear Tree Fund team has done more than implement Charitylog as their choice of CRM. The management and team have used the features of the system to open up ways of working and efficiencies they previously couldn’t have considered.
With a clear understanding of Charitylog’s functionality and capability, they are confident in the knowledge that as the organisation and work they do continues to change and evolve, they have a CRM that will be able to grow, expand and adapt with them.