[Presenter Name] [Job Title] Who are we and what do we do?
How free is free support? – the cost of volunteers <ul><li>Volunteer support isn’t sustainable – they come, they go – avai...
Best practice for working with IT volunteers  <ul><li>Management buy in </li></ul><ul><li>Project responsibility lies with...
Working with a volunteer: <ul><ul><li>know what you want first  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think about risks and risk mini...
How can we best prepare an organisation to work with an IT volunteer?   <ul><ul><li>Help them define their need  </li></ul...
When can/should IT support be free?  <ul><li>The $100 question! </li></ul><ul><li>When it has to be? </li></ul><ul><li>Who...
<ul><li>What IT support should not be free? </li></ul>
Is there a right answer? <ul><li>There is a lot of choices of approach/software/hardware </li></ul><ul><li>The environment...
The best projects for volunteers: <ul><ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible but clearly defined...
The best volunteer projects for organisations: <ul><ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not urgent </li...
Minimising risks – for organisations: <ul><li>Seek advice </li></ul><ul><li>Seek independent advice </li></ul><ul><li>Trus...
Minimising risks – for volunteers: <ul><li>Be clear what your aims are and communicate these </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear b...
What are the pros and cons of pro bono work from both points of view?  <ul><li>VCS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheaper </li></ul...
Why it Works So Well <ul><li>Benefits to Charities </li></ul><ul><li>Better end-IT resource thanks to help from an IT Prof...
Making it Work for You <ul><li>Don’t forget there are costs involved with using IT Volunteers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff...
<ul><li>Learning Through Action </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Through Action is a charity addressing personal issues with chi...
<ul><li>Depression Alliance London </li></ul><ul><li>DA is the UK’s lead depression information & support charity </li></u...
Anne Stafford www.it4communities.org.uk [email_address] 020 7796 2144
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

How free is free? Best practice for working with IT volunteers

420 views

Published on

Anne Stafford, iT4Communities @ 2009 Lasa Circuit Rider Conference
--
How can we best prepare an organisation to work with an IT volunteer? When can/should IT support be free? What preparation is vital and how can risks be minimised? What are the pros and cons of pro bono work from both points of view? A workshop of answers as well as questions! Tools and experiences shared.

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
420
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How free is free? Best practice for working with IT volunteers

  1. 1. [Presenter Name] [Job Title] Who are we and what do we do?
  2. 2. How free is free support? – the cost of volunteers <ul><li>Volunteer support isn’t sustainable – they come, they go – availability/flexibility is an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers need to be managed and need a named contact </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers can’t solve problems without internal support </li></ul><ul><li>You need to work with them to define what needs to be done </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Best practice for working with IT volunteers <ul><li>Management buy in </li></ul><ul><li>Project responsibility lies with charity not volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>No brief = scope creep and project hiatus </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate effectively and timely </li></ul><ul><li>Treat volunteers professionally and be aware that they might not understand VCS culture </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver what you agree when you’ve agreed it </li></ul><ul><li>All volunteers need to be managed (=staff time) </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes it’s quicker to pay someone to come in and do it than find a volunteer and brief them </li></ul>
  4. 4. Working with a volunteer: <ul><ul><li>know what you want first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think about risks and risk minimisation - ensure that the project is suitable/ ensure that a volunteer is a suitable solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A broker or ICT development worker may be able to help with the above </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be prepared – have questions to ask/ resources ready </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be prepared to interview and select set aside plenty of time to monitor project and support volunteer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iT4C has online resources to assist with checklists and can mediate </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. How can we best prepare an organisation to work with an IT volunteer? <ul><ul><li>Help them define their need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think about risks and risk minimisation - ensure that the project is suitable/ ensure that a volunteer is a suitable solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get them prepared – a confident named contact and resources ready </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mediation? – it has worked but largely I say try not to </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. When can/should IT support be free? <ul><li>The $100 question! </li></ul><ul><li>When it has to be? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do you trust to ask? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>What IT support should not be free? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Is there a right answer? <ul><li>There is a lot of choices of approach/software/hardware </li></ul><ul><li>The environment moves quickly </li></ul><ul><li>How does a VCS manage this? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The best projects for volunteers: <ul><ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible but clearly defined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valuable with strong charity buy-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulating but not stressful </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The best volunteer projects for organisations: <ul><ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not urgent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>clearly defined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valuable and strategic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Minimising risks – for organisations: <ul><li>Seek advice </li></ul><ul><li>Seek independent advice </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Own the project </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the risks & monitor them </li></ul><ul><li>Project management – from the initial brief, sign off </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul>
  12. 12. Minimising risks – for volunteers: <ul><li>Be clear what your aims are and communicate these </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear boundaries, know your own availability </li></ul><ul><li>Consider using a broker who may be able to help provide support/netowrks & mediate/find replacement etc later </li></ul><ul><li>Ask any important questions first – eg about expenses </li></ul><ul><li>Be understanding about the circumstances under which many VCS work – part time staff, volunteer run, IT not their primary concern etc etc </li></ul>
  13. 13. What are the pros and cons of pro bono work from both points of view? <ul><li>VCS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheaper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trusted advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match funding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Volunteer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole project view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving real value – a big donation to a cause they support </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Why it Works So Well <ul><li>Benefits to Charities </li></ul><ul><li>Better end-IT resource thanks to help from an IT Professional </li></ul><ul><li>More time & money to dedicate to front line support </li></ul><ul><li>iT4C removes the scary ‘techie’ barrier </li></ul><ul><li>No worries as iT4C team are always on hand for support & guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits to Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Feel good factor from making a difference </li></ul><ul><li>Increased business & communications skills for CV </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced future job prospects </li></ul>
  15. 15. Making it Work for You <ul><li>Don’t forget there are costs involved with using IT Volunteers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs of IT equipment, web hosting etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The BEST projects are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well planned and managed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have the support of the Board/staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well communicated from the start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not urgent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Learning Through Action </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Through Action is a charity addressing personal issues with children & young people </li></ul><ul><li>They came to iT4C as they needed a new, engaging and fully accessible website </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Ian Cooper enjoyed working with LTA so much that he became their long-term webmaster </li></ul><ul><li>Website launched in just 5 months </li></ul><ul><li>Ian now volunteers as a Director-Trustee and continues to add new features to the website </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Depression Alliance London </li></ul><ul><li>DA is the UK’s lead depression information & support charity </li></ul><ul><li>They were in a funding predicament and came to iT4C to help get them back on their feet through training in Fundraising software </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Ian Rumford completed a full IT audit and trained staff in the new software </li></ul><ul><li>Both the charity and its server are back from the brink of collapse </li></ul><ul><li>Ian continues to act as the DA’s IT Support when needed </li></ul>
  18. 18. Anne Stafford www.it4communities.org.uk [email_address] 020 7796 2144

×