A national Australian charity that works with hundreds of grass roots sporting clubs and bodies to deliver unique sport and recreation activities that positively impact Australians.
Its national programs provide sport and recreation opportunities to marginalised and disadvantaged people within the community, including: culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD), people with a disability, individuals with at-risk behaviours (drug and alcohol abuse, gambling etc), homeless, youth offenders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Reclink plays a unique role in community development and health service sectors.
It collaborates with community groups, participant providers, and organisations who can support sport programs. These include representatives from community support groups, police, local council, health providers, alcohol and drug rehabilitation program providers, and youth justice.
In a familiar story to most charities, this one started with good intentions and grew its operations organically.
Now, 31 years later it has grown its number of programs, events and volunteers exponentially in an industry which is bound by obligation and compliance (which varies across each state and territory just to add complexity).
Reclink did not have a central or state-based database of volunteers. This made estimating the number of volunteers challenging – as did the various volunteer life cycles. Some volunteers only participate in larger high-profile events. Others start as participants in youth justice programs, later become volunteers before joining the organisation as employees. Calculating community impact was also an arduous task.
The journey so far
The digital transformation from a traditional method of engaging volunteers was quite a mindset change for the teams. Like any evolution of a volunteer strategy, buy-in from the volunteer mangers was crucial. The Be Collective team adopted a strategy of implementing some quick wins to build confidence:
• Created a nation-wide approach to digital volunteer applications to help the team not only capture the data but also save admin time by including the volunteer waiver sign-off.
• Categorised volunteers to make the most of Smart Lists to easily identify candidates.
• Designed Custom Fields to capture data for program and reporting requirements.
• Demonstrated Be Collective’s full capability and co-designing outputs from the platform to meet the organisation’s human resources, skills development, risk and compliance needs.
• Secured buy-in of senior management translated to momentum. Crucial to success was the CEO’s belief in digital transformation. Once senior leaders saw the value in the data, further direction flowed to the front line employees.
• Provided a framework for the charity’s volunteer program, affording continuity that withstands employee changes.
• Provided senior management, program managers and marketing with communication tools and templates they needed to secure interest and commitment both internally and externally.
On the horizon: The next project phase for this stakeholder focuses on Implementation and Engagement to bring all existing service delivery partners and volunteers on to the platform.
The team at Be Collective is working with Reclink to develop key messaging and communications to ensure buy in across all levels, while supporting the process to developing a rich library of volunteering roles across the country.
Competition for funding and Government grants is pronounced. Organisations need to factually demonstrate not only need within the community but also what they plan to do. Most importantly, organisations must be able to report on outcomes. Reclink is looking forward to how the Be Collective platform enables it to demonstrate impact and why it is worthy of receiving grant money.
Be Collective’s stakeholder networking functionality opens the door to new and innovative volunteer programs that would not be possible if managing volunteers in isolation. It will also allow this organisation to tap into and provide value to new volunteer communities.
"From the outset, it was clear the team at Be Collective understood the challenges and opportunities that often face the community sector. We’ve been able to work in collaboration with them to ensure our transition is a smooth one. We’re already seeing the benefit of more structure to our volunteer programs and events."
Dave Wells, CEO, Reclink.