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Using ICT Volunteers

Presentation by John Davies to the West London Network Conference 2007.

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Using ICT Volunteers

  1. 1. Using ICT Volunteers Working strategically with ICT professionals volunteering in the community and voluntary sector West London Network Conference 9 July 2007 John Davies
  2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>John Davies </li></ul><ul><li>iT4Communities </li></ul><ul><li>ICT Hub </li></ul><ul><li>Participants – volunteers, managers? What would you like to get from this short session? </li></ul>
  3. 3. iT4Communities <ul><li>Employ IT professionals who have worked in VCS to help ‘define projects’ </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage IT professionals to volunteer in the VCS & only work with skilled IT workers </li></ul><ul><li>Have delivered £2m in value of volunteering projects since 2002 across 1,000s of projects </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 20 volunteer projects per month start </li></ul><ul><li>Provide advice and information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.it4communities.org.uk </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. ICT issues in the VCS (& Volunteers) <ul><li>Money/funding  </li></ul><ul><li>Need for impartial advice  </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered at real low cost  </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic projects and expenditure  </li></ul><ul><li>Management and user level involvement  </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the issues  </li></ul><ul><li>Training & support  </li></ul>
  5. 5. What do you need help with – what can volunteers do? <ul><li>Volunteers work best for you if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A project has a clear aim and clear end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are experienced and bring well developed skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can give the time they need to ask questions and ensure they understand the aims of the organisation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. VCS and Volunteers <ul><li>Have good policies and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of experience of working with volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>So why are ICT volunteers different? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they different? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Minimising risk What tends to go wrong? <ul><li>Volunteers enthusiastic but unskilled </li></ul><ul><li>A friend of a friend </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitments of Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuitable solution </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Culture/communication complications </li></ul><ul><li>They leave and the knowledge leaves </li></ul>
  8. 8. Costs associated with ICT Volunteers and ICT Projects <ul><li>Staff Time </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Associated costs (e.g. hardware & web hosting) </li></ul>
  9. 9. How to be Successful <ul><li>Choose the right project & define it </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the right volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Plan & place strategically </li></ul><ul><li>Set your goal </li></ul><ul><li>Use other support </li></ul><ul><li>Use iT4C and others... </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Right Project <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support of the organisation’s board/other staff </li></ul><ul><li>Well planned – know your aims </li></ul><ul><li>Well managed </li></ul><ul><li>Well supported </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some example ICT Volunteer Opportunities
  12. 12. A Quick Website <ul><li>“ We need a simple website explaining the services that we will be offering, which needs to be ready for our project launch next month.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. New Network, new staff <ul><li>“ I am responsible for the IT in our 10 person organisation. At present we have a mix of stand alone and peer to peer machines. We have just had a new server donated and I was about to install a network, but I have been offered another job and I’m moving on. We really do need the upgrade to a server-client network – it’s a fairly simple job and as my post won’t be filled for several months I’d like a volunteer to do the installation.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Advice & Guidance <ul><li>“ We have just raised some funding for a systems upgrade. We need someone to help us with the tendering process, and the selection of a supplier.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Added Volunteer Value <ul><li>Can you use your Volunteer creatively </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use a project manager volunteer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get a volunteer to write a website brief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual Volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Work strategically alongside other forms of ICT support </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sources of help <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ICT Hub knowledgebase </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer England (general volunteer info) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iT4C Website </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iT4Communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Centres </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media Trust </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pro Help </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Universities and local companies </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Any Questions? <ul><ul><ul><li>John Davies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.it4communities.org.uk </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>t: 020 7796 2144 / 07736 798802 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e: john@wcit.org.uk </li></ul></ul></ul>