Voluntary Action Kirklees has developed a tailored texting system to advertise volunteering opportunities and make volunteer brokering more efficient.
Volunteer centres sometimes struggle to follow-up with all of the enquiries they get each year. Noticing that potential volunteers were being lost by the current volunteering brokering system, the centre saw an opportunity to make this process more efficient.
The solution? A new texting tool which both effectively ‘captures’ the initial enquiry and continues to suggest opportunities. It aimed to: increase the number of new volunteers, improve the conversion rate from enquiry to volunteer and increase the number and range of opportunities advertised by volunteer centres.
- The organisation has found texting to be an effective tool for increasing volunteering, with nearly 70% of advertised opportunities being filled immediately.
- As of March 2014, 56 organisations have benefited from the service, and the response rate to texts so far is 97%.
- The centre has developed a viable product, being used by other volunteer centres, with significant interest from other potential customers.
- The feedback from potential volunteers using the system (via online surveys and focus groups) shows that the tool can act as an effective reminder, for example, by prompting people to go online and look at other opportunities. People reported that the texts ‘kept them in touch’ and ‘made them more likely to volunteer’. Many said they forwarded the texts to other people.
Voluntary Action Kirklees was awarded £50,000 through the Volunteer Centre Programme to develop the texting tool to make the volunteer brokering system more efficient and convert more enquiries into volunteering.
Val Johnson, director