The title of Volunteer Coordinator could also easily be changed to Keyboard Warrior; it has required our fingers and our keyboard to spend a lot of time together, copying and pasting email templates, responding to individual volunteer enquiries, chasing projects in our 84 work WhatsApp chats, and so on. All in all, it has been a painfully long administrative procedure for each volunteer, and our networking building, project support and other services had to be put on the back burner.
At the beginning, indiGO were coordinating volunteers through the very unsophisticated and inefficient use of an excel spreadsheet. Upon moving to Greece, they upgraded to a free CRM system, but this still had huge limitations.
Then, Help Refugees, who partner with indiGO for volunteer coordination, connected us with Barbara from Salesforce.com, and Tony from Cambridge Techfugees to whom Citrix UK & Ireland had generously donated funds to provide technology to aid refugees. Like angels, it felt as if they appeared from nowhere and had the solutions to so many of our challenges. It seemed too good to be true. They offered to build us a custom-made CRM system that would be specifically designed for our needs to coordinate volunteers for the refugee crisis. And that is what they did.
It is a project that has taken months and months, but was finally implemented in April this year, when Tony & Barbara so kindly came to Greece to train us on the new system. There was a lot of gasping and jaw dropping from the indiGO team as they discovered what this new system would mean in practice. Giving one simple example, our volunteer registration numbers in May were 204 and by June they had gone to 454! We simply would not have been able to be deal with this influx without the new technology that we now have. But this sophisticated system does not just help us to deal with the volume of applications or filter volunteers so we can match them with projects more efficiently. It finally frees our time so we now have the ability to focus on and develop our other services and means we can grow as an organisation.
Many people may be unaware of the behind the scenes work that corporations do to help small grass-roots charities. We want to thank Salesforce & Citrix for providing us with the technology we need to not only continue our work, but putting us in a position where the sky is now the limit! They have put in so much effort and continue to support us. They have persevered and chased us, and it’s through their determination that has meant this project has been completed. So THANK YOU to everyone involved! The impact for us is huge and we are only just beginning 🙂