I am often asked how VolunteerKinetic began, so I thought it was time I shared this thrilling story of necessity and innovation. The story begins on a dark and stormy night (which is normal weather for Manchester), Back in the year 2008 when Manchester Sports Development team (who are part of Manchester City Council) would normally be faced with the annual ritual of producing and distributing their volunteering brochure to local sports clubs and leisure facilities.
The process used to be extremely time consuming and costly, and was often out of date before it reached the recipients. Government spending cutbacks meant they had to abandon the brochures and forced a rethink on how they communicated with the public. They were left with a conundrum; how to sustain thier volunteer management programme and communicate with the public, with a smaller budget.
A review revealed what was needed was a One-Stop-Shop for sports volunteering, which not only connected volunteers with providers, but also allowed them to measure the success of the volunteer programme. After an extensive search they realised that the solution was not being offered by any existing software, so they contacted Smarter In Design and the development of an internet based system that had multi level functionality was born in the form of VolunteerKinetic.
VolunteerKenetic was officially launched 2009 with 100 volunteers taken from their original spreadsheets with the aim of reaching 500 volunteers within two years. Existing volunteers and sports clubs were informed of the new system via mail shots, phone calls and word of mouth.
VolunteerKinetic enabled them to reach 500 sport volunteers in less than six months, and 4,000 active volunteers registered on the system within the first 3 years.
Due to the efficiency of the system the administrator only spends 1.5 days per week managing the volunteers, allowing them more time to get out of the office and promote their programme.
As a result of this success the VolunteerKinetic system will now be utilised by Community and Cultural Services and Manchester City Council plan to roll it out across all types of volunteering within Manchester
Craig Abel, Volunteer Development Officer – Manchester Sport Development
“The one stop shop approach has made my life much easier, its a more efficient service for volunteers and people who need volunteers. It gives me the ability to reach more people and get out of the office to promote volunteering rather then being bogged down with the logistics of running a volunteer programme.
We are very happy with the system, and the fact that it is now being rolled out across the community and cultural services highlights its success, and has allowed us to extend the approach from sports volunteering to all types of volunteering within Manchester.”
Graham Hurstel, Neighborhood Development Manager – Manchester Sport Development
“Volunteer Kinetic has revolutionised volunteering for us. It’s a more effective service for volunteers and providers and it allows us to reach far more people. The management features allow me to utilise my resources more efficiently which means great value for money.”
“The Social media (Facebook, Twitter and WordPress) functionality within the system is an effective marketing tool that allows for volunteer led promotion, access to a much richer data-set, a wider range of KPI reports and an understanding of the geographical spread of volunteers. The soon to be released Smartphone app will only accelerate the growth of an already successful volunteer programme for us.”