The New Do-it - Frequently asked questions

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By ivo on
Do-it, ivo and recruitment 13738 views 0 likes 6 comments

In December 2013, ivo took ownership of Do-it, the UK’s largest website for volunteering.  Since then we have been working on a brand new version of the website, which will go live in November 2014. We’re working with a number of partners to realise our vision; namely Prospectus, Vivo, Believe.In and Blue Dot.

What will be changing?

The new site, which will continue to be called Do-it, will have a completely new look and feel, and a lot of extra new functionality to help volunteers search for opportunities.  There will be new facilities for charity recruiters to make their opportunities more visual and we’ll make greater use of interactivity and social media tools  - allowing individuals to promote opportunities to their friends.

We will have a far easier mechanism for volunteer recruiters to post volunteer opportunities onto the site and receive applications directly.  Volunteers Centres, who will continue to play a key role in the delivery of Do-it, will be able to focus more of their resources on supporting local groups to create exciting opportunities that match the changing needs and motivations of volunteers, and less on processing data.

We’ll offer a feedback method for individuals to report on their volunteering experience, which will enable organisations to validate an individual’s involvement and publicly thank them for their time. Plus we’ll be experimenting with a project that will enable volunteers to gain rewards for the time they give.

We know that fundraising and volunteering are often intertwined, so we will be adding facilities for charities to easily promote their donations pages on Do-it and in the longer term we will add new options for volunteers to run fundraising campaigns.

Alongside volunteer opportunities, we’ll start adding paid work roles to our site, allowing not-for-profit organisations (charities, social enterprises, local authorities, housing associations etc) to post paid roles.  These paid roles, that we’ll charge for, will provide an affordable and effective recruitment service for local not for profits and will also help the 250,000 people that use Do-it each month to develop their careers in the not-for-profit sectors. Listing jobs will help to make our service financially sustainable, so we can continue to provide our main volunteer recruitment service for free to individuals and charities.

How will you be promoting the new site?

We’ll be developing some exciting ways to promote the new site once it’s live, both online and through other media channels.  We’re keen to work with a wide variety of media and commercial partners to help promote volunteering. We’ve already got agreements to promote our opportunities through The Guardian, Third Sector and the annual ITV Text Santa appeal.

What will this mean for existing charities who use Do-it Recruiter?

Charities that currently have a Do-it Recruiter account will continue to be able to use the new Do-it service in broadly the same way.  When we make the switch to the new system, all of your live opportunities will be transferred to the new system, and we will require you to update them to ensure they best match the new search criteria.

You will then have the ability to access applications made by volunteers.  Please note we will not transfer historical data, including expired or inactive opportunities or applications that have been made on the old system. We will allow existing Do-it Recruiter partners to access the legacy platform for a short while after the transfer to ensure that they have time to obtain the details of all applications made under the legacy platform.

What will this mean for charities that currently post through a Volunteer Centre?

For charities that currently post their opportunities onto Do-it via a Volunteer Centre, there will be a new way of adding opportunities that the Volunteer Centre will make available to you if you want it.  This involves a self-serve facility meaning that you will be able to manage your profile and post your opportunities directly onto Do-it. You will also receive all the applications made to your opportunities.  All live opportunities that have been posted via your Volunteer Centre will be available for you to use when you get access to the new service.

Some Volunteer Centres may continue to support charities by posting opportunities to Do-it on their behalf so if you don’t want to self serve you may not have to. The decision as to which charities they will support, and if and how much the Volunteer Centre will charge will be dependent on the individual Volunteer Centre - contact them to find out more.

What will this mean for Volunteer Centres that use Do-it?

We have spent a considerable amount of time working with Volunteer Centres throughout the country to explain the changes and what impact this will have.

Volunteer Centres will continue to have a core role in supporting Do-it, but we want to reduce the amount of administration that Do-it currently requires you to do. The 'self service' changes we are introducing will help you focus your resources on those individuals and charities that need your help and reduce the time processing data for other charities who could do this themselves. We hope this will to free up more time to focus on supporting your organisations to develop new volunteering opportunities and ensuring quality through good practice.

Whilst there are many benefits to the new self-service facility,  you will still retain the ability to create and maintain accounts, opportunities and volunteer applications on behalf of local organisations as you do currently, which we know is important for small organisations that may not have the capacity to manage this themselves. You will also have access to data and statistics about all the activity that happens in your area, regardless of whether or not you directly manage the process. This means that even if all of your members self-serve you will still retain the knowledge of all of the Do-it activity on your patch - so you can still report to funders as required.

The other big change for Volunteer Centres is that the new set up will be 100% cloud based. This means you will not need to use V-Base to upload opportunities, but will be able to access everything using a standard web browser from any PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet with an internet connection.

As with currently, use of Do-it by Volunteer Centres is not dependent on any form of accreditation.

What will this mean for charities that don’t currently use Do-it?

Once the site is live, new charity and other not for profit recruiters will be able to sign up direct to Do-it or go via your Volunteer Centre or CVS if you prefer - depending what service your one nearest offers.

What does this mean for organisations that make use of our syndication service?

Existing users of the syndication service have already been contacted about the changes. Essentially, you will be able to continue to make use of the syndication service, but there will be changes that require technical work on your side.  This work will be necessary to continue to use the service after the new service goes live, as we will not support the legacy syndication service.

The syndication service will be a much richer offer built around a comprehensive API data set - more information about this will be available soon.

What do I need to do now to prepare?

You can help us by ensuring that all your opportunities are up-to-date, removing any opportunities that you are no longer recruiting for.  V-Base 2 and 3 users should make sure they have uploaded recently, and continue to upload regularly during the next few months to ensure we have the most up-to-date snapshot of their opportunities.

To reflect the increase in use of tablets and smartphones, the new service will increasingly make use of the opportunity title alone to list the opportunity.  Therefore we would encourage you to ensure that the opportunity title probably reflects and promotes the role, and you make use of the 70 characters available.  ‘Admin volunteer’ is not a suitable title, ‘Help us create and prepare packs for our members conference’ is. There's some useful advice on writing good opportunities on the Do-it website.

Volunteer Centres should decide what their policy is around organisations that they currently support moving to being a self-serve organisation.  We would strongly recommend you encourage as many organisations to become self-service as possible, as this will reduce your requirement to continue to maintain their opportunities.  You will need to communicate this out to organisations that you currently work with.

Existing volunteer records, for those that that have applied to recruiters and Volunteer Centres via Do-it, will be transferred across to the new platform. This will only apply to ‘live’ volunteer records, ie where a volunteer has logged in during the past 2 years. Volunteer records that have been added locally via V-Base will not be transferred over. If Volunteer Centres wish to move volunteer records from V-Base onto the new platform they will have to do this manually and will need to obtain the volunteer’s permission beforehand.

Will there be a charge for using the service?

The service will be free for volunteers, charities (and similar organisations) and Volunteer Centres.  We will not charge to post volunteer opportunities on to Do-it but we will make a small charge to list paid job vacancies.

Do I need any special equipment to use the new Do-it?

No.  You will need internet access on an up-to-date browser (check What Browser? or Browser Happy to make sure your browser is up-to-date). Beyond that, we'll make sure that you can use Do-it on a computer, on a tablet or a smartphone, although some administrative functionality won't be available on small screens.

Will there be any downtime?

We are not envisaging any downtime for the entire site, however there may be limited windows of time where individual organisations cannot access their account during the migration.

How are you consulting on the changes?

ivo is clear that Do-it can only work with the support of the sector, so we need to make sure that what we are planning is in line with the needs of charities and volunteers.

We have undertaken a number of roadshow events across the country, talking to Volunteer Centres and charities. We’ve also attended a number of regional events and talked to organisations.

We have a Volunteer Centre Advisory Group who meet regularly and discuss our plans and how they affect Volunteer Centres. The members are:

  • Aimee Packwood - VC Leicestershire
  • Dave Adams - VC Brighton & Hove
  • Dave Beard - VC Dacorum
  • Dave Forrest - VC Bradford
  • Helen Price - VC Enfield
  • Judith Holmshaw - VC Cumbria
  • Karen Jones - VC Dorset
  • Kim Kirton - VC Lambeth
  • Lynne Regan - VC Bexley
  • Paul Harvey - VC Sheffield
  • Paul Tolley - VC Warwickshire
  • Rachel Spencer - VC Reading
  • Simon Hancox - VC Derby

Where can I get more information?

You can watch our recent webinars, primarily aimed at Volunteer Centres, that explain the changes to Do-it in more detail: 

We also have a number of discussion groups on ivo dedicated to providing information to Volunteer Centres and charity partners. You should have received an invite to these groups, if not please contact info@do-it.org.uk.

What does this mean for the ivo.org platform?

We will be changing the focus of ivo.org to become a social network supporting those whose role involves managing volunteers or social action projects. Existing recruiters and volunteers will be encouraged to move over to the new Do-it site and all existing volunteer opportunities and job listings will be removed from ivo by November 2014.  The new ivo.org will be available in beta during the summer of 2014.

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Top answer

I've just tried to show the new site to a colleague and we couldn't get the location setter to change to within any kind of distance so results kept showing up as all opps everywhere for that interest; we then couldn't find anywhere on the new site to ask for technical help! Could you please dm me on how to resolve this. Cheers!

ivo

Hi there, the location setter works fine - if your net access is a tad slow it may take a while to show the drop down list from which you select location; so when you start to type in a postcode or two, it should show you a list from which to select - like it does on Google maps which is what we use. Hope that helps - you can always click on the 'Problems with the Service' link or go to support.do-it.org.uk

How do we go about applying to put the volunteer roles onto the website ourselves? Do we need to go through our local volunteer center first? cant find any info and the adverts say you will be live in December 2014

Jamie Ward-Smith

The site is live now www.do-it.org

If you relied on a volunteer centre to post to the old site on your behalf you can ask them to give you access to your profile on the new site so you can post direct; if you had an account on old Do-it that you posted to directly, you can sign up with the same email and access your opportunities.

If you did neither of these you can sign up as a new user and just start posting opportunities right away.

Some exciting developments ahead I see. We do promote use of the the ivo platform in Wales, and presumably the new social network to support volunteer managers will be relevant to those in Wales as much to those in England.
The Do-it site however, is England focussed, and in Wales we have www.volunteering-wales.net which serves an equivalent purpose.
Can I ask that, as the new ivo site develops, there might be an awareness of a multi-national audience and that if reference is made to England only resources/websites, this is made explicit. Otherwise, it does sometimes cause confusions this side of the border.