The Grange at Bookham
Eloise Appleby is CEO who kindly gave us her feedback on a recent CITA supported project.
The pandemic in 2020/22 was a helpful catalyst for The Grange to begin a digital transformation programme, which included the creation of a first digital team to provide day to day support for systems and for individual users. However, the initial transformation did not always happen in an ordered or well-managed way: this was in part due to the sudden availability of time-limited grants; the individual interests and experience of a new team, and the amount of cultural change required in the organisation as a whole.
They sought support from one of CITA's volunteers to bring together the thinking and evidence they collected into a concise, engaging and easy to follow digital strategy for the organisation. CITA helped them in building 3 - 5 year strategy for change.
Previous to this CITA supported with two projects with them in 2018– a Review and an Advisory.
Gain an insight into some of the many charities CITA has supported through the work of our team of fantastic volunteers.
AGE UK Berkshire
Age UK Berkshire were looking at a number of initiatives to either improve the efficiency of their services services to their target audiences. Plans included extending the website to support online payment processing for supplied services and supporting the growth of the Befriending service. They were also looking to CITA for advice around their current infrastructure. The CITA Review gave them the opportunity to talk through the issues and future plans with an IT specialist volunteer. Three levels of activity were suggested: ‘quick check’ tasks that should be a simple verification of the current state; ‘critical projects’ to provide reassurance that ‘business as usual services are robust’; and ‘Improvement Projects’ that would deliver tangible benefits with potentially minimal investment.
National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)
The CITA volunteer audited the existing set up before providing a report addressing a range of concerns, including how to ensure PCI compliance, creating a back-up policy, and moving part of the charity’s network functions to the cloud, via Office 365. The volunteer suggested that Raiser’s Edge could also be migrated to Blackbaud’s Cloud version, noting that small steps are needed in a move to Cloud with email being first, then shared data, and finally Raiser’s Edge.
The CITA volunteer worked with Respect to assess their current set up before providing a report highlighting how the charity could plan their next steps. He suggested having a defined road map of where the different strands of business services and technology are ‘as is’, and where the vision or objective is for them ‘to be’. With a migration to Office 365 already in place, the volunteer was confident that Respect would be able to scale up cloud resources as required. He advised that issues with the main office hardware, internet speed and wireless access points could be successfully addressed with a new build. He also suggested a review of existing and new services to enable improved membership drives, and new features such as streamlined bookings, webinars and teleconferences to improve collaborative work practices.
Family Counselling Trust (FCT)
Through the CITA Review, the volunteer identified that the charity needed:
• A securely encrypted email set up to handle confidential personal information between the charity’s users, volunteers and officers.
• With immediate effect, the creation of up to 20 email users/addresses. This will likely increase to perhaps 40 addresses within one year.
• The ability of the staff/trustees/volunteers to open/save information to a common secure database or file storage area.
With changing government legislation and codes of practice it was urgent for the organisation to have more confidential and secure emails in place.
Following the Review, Family Counselling Trust implemented the recommendations which are now compliant with new legislation and codes of practice. They migrated their email system over to 365 and were able to access special charity rates for this. They are now looking to set up a cloud-based database system to allow workers in different geographical areas to access the same information concurrently.