For charities and not-for-profit organisations, resource management is everything. Time, effort and money that goes into administrative costs and tasks are all resources that are being diverted from a charity’s core goal – such as raising vital funds for cancer research, patient support, cancer prevention and advocacy.
Reshaping an administrative approach
Cancer Council Victoria’s flagship fundraiser, Daffodil Day, involved a gargantuan effort featuring 1,800 volunteers across 250 sites. The event is a fixture in Australia’s charitable calendar – but national campaigns manager Jacinta Webster says the fundraiser was being hamstrung by outdated processes and draining resources.
“Essentially the problem we ran into with Daffodil Day is how complex rostering an event of that scale is – we’ve got to coordinate and roster 1,800 volunteers on a single day. When I first started [in 2016] it was managed via a manual spreadsheet, which was a complete nightmare,” she says.
While CCV’s internal development team put together a system to manage the processes in an attempt at modernisation, it was with the implementation of Rosterfy across Daffodil Day 2018 that led to record fundraising efforts.
“Rosterfy has changed the face of how we run Daffodil Day. It enables us to manages the volunteers en-mass in a way that keeps them engaged and keeps them feeling loved. Managing 1,600 to 1,800 people on spreadsheets didn’t give our volunteer team any capacity to look at the volunteering experience – it was all focused on the act of rostering,” says Webster.
The importance of efficiency
CCV also provided specialised training guides, communications, a 24-hour portal and an automated messaging system through Rosterfy. Following the success of Daffodil Day, CCV has rolled Rosterfy out at its inaugural night-time half-marathon, Walking Stars, and Webster says the 2019 Daffodil Day will feature innovative new features thanks to the time and resources freed up by the platform.
“Rosterfy frees us up to not be focused on the grind of the roster. With that process automated we can now focus on the experience of the volunteer, and we know there’s a direct correlation between volunteer experience and fundraising effectiveness. If our volunteers feel engaged and well-supported then they’ll come back and they’ll help us raise more funds,” she says.
Charities are often on a never-ending quest in finding efficiencies. Staff work harder for a good cause and volunteers double down on how much time they put in because they can make a real difference. More than anything else, Webster says this is where the impact of Rosterfy has been most pronounced.
“When I first started there was a team of six delivering Daffodil Day. We’ve able to reduce that footprint to four, plus myself in a less hands-on role. So Rosterfy has essentially cut out one-and-a-half full-time resources on the campaign,” she says.
“It’s given us the chance to focus resources on our events and fundraising. We can reallocate our staff to specific needs and creating the experience rather than having to divert resources towards acquisition and new volunteers.”
Webster also expects the improved training and engagement through Rosterfy will see more volunteers return year-on-year and recruit friends and family for Daffodil Day.
“We can retain our volunteer database year-on-year because we’ve improved the technology, their experiences and their training – it’s made our lives so much easier,” she says.