TeamKinetic

Build better volunteer communities with FREE volunteer management software

Category: News & Views (Page 2 of 11)

TeamKinetic and GLL explore the Volunteering within Leisure

Manchester based TeamKinetic has been working alongside some of sport and leisure’s biggest names. As part of a larger consortium, led by Sport and Recreation Alliance, TeamKinetic, Volunteering Matters, Jump and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) have grouped together to explore how volunteering can be grown within communities and enable people to live healthier and happier lives.  Katie Ellis, GLL’s National Community Engagement Manager, explains the shared vested interest:

 “Volunteering is relevant to all spheres of life and volunteers are making a positive impact on economic, social, cultural and environmental issues. Volunteering can empower people and communities to fulfil their potential and contribute to social change. It can also engender a greater sense of ownership of ‘bettering’ their community. Volunteering supports the delivery of council outcomes, local well-being, public health, social cohesion and economic growth”

Many Local Authorities have identified a need to support and manage volunteers as part of their community work, but realise that the lack of internal resource and support to be able to do this. This has resulted in many local leisure contracts now including volunteer management as a requirement and it is expected future tender documents will also have KPI’s related to volunteer recruitment and management. TeamKinetic has already been successful in providing volunteer management software to many of these bids, including Glasgow Life, Cardiff County Council and Manchester Council.

As part of their work, TeamKinetic and GLL have decided to explore the role leisure can play in achieving this goal. TeamKinetic is one of the leading providers of volunteer management software and believes teaming up with GLL, who already run community engagement projects supported by local authorities and sport clubs, will create the perfect opportunity to do this.

The two organisations are planning to launch a pilot programme that will tap into the unused volunteering opportunities within leisure, from those that are involved with the facility, to the potential use of community space that leisure centres could offer, thereby embedding volunteers within the community. As the leading leisure operator in the UK, GLL is capable of extending the piloted programme across the nation.

This project will produce the findings used to evaluate and showcase how the investment of time and resource in developing volunteers within the leisure sector can provide a big return on investment, which will be produced in collaboration with Join In and Sport England.

The project which is proposed to kick off early in the New Year will see one local authority pilot the project before being scaled up across the GLL estate.

Steve Hall, one of the Directors at TeamKinetic: “To play a fundamental part in research that showcases the value of volunteers is something that excites TeamKinetic greatly. It is something we have always believed; we hope the evidence will reflect it”

For further information on TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software please explore our website or email james@teamkinetic.co.uk or call 0161 914 5757.

5 Reasons your organization does NOT need a Volunteer Management Software System

The modern volunteer coordinator is facing their latest industry challenge. Triggered by a political interest in big society, social action and volunteering, the third sector is finding a growing inclusion of volunteer management software and volunteer KPIs in tenders, bids and strategies.

This is causing a stir within the third sector as many volunteer coordinators are using the same methods as their predecessor, using extensive filing systems, paperwork and only a telegram or notice board to communicate with volunteers.

Without understanding or knowing the benefits of a management system, it is understandable that some still believe the following five reasons as to why their organisation does not need a volunteer management software system:

  1. Volunteer management software is too expensive

The cost of any new system is often expected to come with a hefty price tag. But volunteer management software is designed for the third sector in mind, with the vendor understanding the limited resources available in the third sector. Thankfully, free versions of volunteer management software are available, with higher functionality available at a paid premium.

  1. [insert basic database or spreadsheet software] is “fit for purpose”

Many organisations believe that the current piece of software used in their organisation, such as Microsoft Excel or Access, is perfectly capable of managing volunteers.

Just as an organisation avoids using Excel for its accounts, instead of using specialist software, the same should be done for volunteer management. Using the wrong software can unknowingly be very limiting and time-consuming.

Using volunteer management software, not only reduces the workload for the volunteer coordinator and spreads the workload across all users, it improves communication, creates easier reports and provides more opportunities to recognise volunteers’ efforts.

  1. My organisation would not benefit from learning more about its volunteers

Using volunteer management software can provide a much more detailed understanding of the volunteers interacting with an organisation. From identifying simple data such as which volunteers are most active, the opportunities most participated in through to more complex insight such as common search terminology, conversion rates and geographical reports.

  1. If a Volunteer is looking for an opportunity they will get in touch

There are some organisations that believe if volunteers want to find an opportunity they will take the initiative themselves to contact the organisation and find out about the opportunities available. Without a central coordinating destination, the effort involved to discover who to contact and how to contact them can easily dissuade volunteers from bothering. The use of an online solution provides a crucial channel of communication between the volunteer and opportunities provider. It enables opportunities to be posted, accessed and registered anywhere with internet access via volunteers email and social media which can be shared automatically, thereby attracting more individuals to support the cause.

  1. My organisation does not see the benefit of recognising and rewarding volunteers

It can prove challenging when managing a large workforce to make sure each volunteer receives a personal ‘thank you’. Volunteer management software enables the organisation to do this through email, text and social media platforms. The use of HourTrade vouchers, an exchange of volunteered hours for a coaching badge, for example, is one method of rewarding a volunteer. It further enhances the recognition of volunteers by setting up achievement badges, which the provider can allocate to reflect the number of hours volunteered. These small gestures are just the start of how volunteer management software is capable of helping to recognise, reward and motivate volunteers, which is crucial in developing a strong workforce.

For many organisations, the idea of introducing a new system seems a strange concept, especially when the method they are using is coping or the above reasons have been expressed. Hopefully, this article will have challenged some of those beliefs and encouraged some further exploration into the use of Volunteer Management Software.

If that is the case, then please feel free to speak with TeamKinetic, an experienced provider in this field.  In the past eight years, we have transformed the management of volunteers in Hospital Trusts, Sports Organisations, Local Authorities and Universities by providing our volunteer management software.

If you would be interested in discussing how TeamKinetic can help your organisation please call 0161 914 5757 or email james@teamkinetic.co.uk or to book a free demonstration of the software visit: teamkinetic.co.uk

Spreading some warmth at Christmas

My wife is a vet and has been organising donation stations at her practices for dog food, blankets, toys, and jackets that we hope to distribute to homeless charities and volunteer organisations over Christmas and New Year. For people sleeping rough their dog is more than a pet and is often their source of heat, love and protection and they form incredibly strong bonds.

We sorted and delivered our first drop today to a great charity in Manchester, LifeShare. They provide a safe space for the homeless of Manchester, providing hot food, clothing, hygiene products and most importantly a warm place to talk and get together. They had plenty of space and other charities will be able to access the dog supplies throughout the Christmas period.

If you have ever wondered what 100kg of dry dog food, 200 tins, 16 jumpers, 40 jackets and 35 blankets looks like;

Thank you LifeShare and all your volunteers for your hard work throughout the year and thank you to all the customers and staff of Wright and Morten vets for their generosity.

If you think you might be able to give some of your time to help the homeless of Manchester please do get in touch with LifeShare via their website. Hopefully they’ll be getting so many volunteers in 2018 that they will need to use our free volunteer management software =).

TeamKinetic: A Reflection of the Year

By Chris Martin, Founding Director

As the festive celebrations are in full swing, it seems fitting to take a moment to reflect on the last year and consider what the next twelve months might hold.

With political affairs, scandals and a host of natural disasters, 2017 will certainly be one for the history books. On a personal level I will remember the year for quite different reasons and as one of the most challenging and rewarding years, I wanted to self-indulgently share my experience of the year.

I kicked the year of with a New Year’s Day swim in the Irish Sea, supporting the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. I was rather excited to be taking part in it all, but it did include some slight moments of embarrassment, as I was in a wetsuit and the 88-year-old lady next to me was only sporting a bikini!  This really struck me in a metaphorical sense; the year ahead may be hard and challenging, but it was important to just go for it and get it done.

We settled into new offices early in 2017, located in Manchester and it was around this time Sport England announced their first allocated funding for volunteering. This was an exciting proposition for the sector, finally, the hard work and development had become recognised at a national level.

For me, the start of the year had a different kind of excitement and anticipation. My second child, George was born on the 6th of February and as much a bundle of happiness he is, I have not managed a solid 8 hours sleep since. The following months seemed to flash by and before I realised, we were in May.

TeamKinetic joined Altius Sports and British Cycling in launching the HSBC City Ride, a fantastic series of participation events. The same month also saw our first major update to TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software which introduced a host of new features and updates.

This all happened just in time for our annual Volunteering Conference which TeamKinetic runs in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University. Amongst the guests, we welcomed industry leaders, our beloved clients and our first international delegates from Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.

With Yvonne Harrison, CEO of Greater Sport, as compère the stage first welcomed Carwyn Young of Sport Wales, Jenny Betteridge of Sport England and Emma Boggis from the Sport Recreational Alliance. Discussing the differences between borders, acknowledging the similarities and noting the importance of a national volunteer strategy created an insightful talk. Chris Jones, CEO of England Athletics closed the event in the most entertaining fashion, sharing his family’s experience volunteering, and how that has influenced his perspective and the strategic direction of England Athletics.

The event was a big success and was a brilliant platform to share how organisations are developing volunteering. This video by Sport Wales is a brilliant example of how to motivate volunteers.

A week after the conference was my wedding – I clearly forgot to check my diary when planning both events. June became an extremely busy and stressful month, but my fiance was not accepting my excuse of being too busy to get my suit fitted. Thankfully both events went without a hitch and I didn’t look too shabby on the big day.

More good news arrived in the form of a pilot project with England Athletics, naming us as its selected partner to better manage officials, events and volunteers. We will be sharing more on this in the New Year.

TeamKinetic went international in 2017. Our first overseas customer was Africa Pearl, who we collaborated with to deliver a fantastic project in the Gauteng Province. This ambitious project took mentors into schools, with the aim of addressing the behavioural and social drivers of HIV/AIDS and TB. The programme is designed to constructively engage out-of-school youth in supporting learners in schools and consequently offering these young people a living and long-term future. The programme will also up skill and provide practical experience resulting in a recognised qualification, thereby empowering all those involved.

Our second international customer was from the USA. Humanity Road use innovative technology and social listening platforms to connect people, animals and emergency officials with help and resources when disaster strikes. It provides impacted areas, often overwhelmed in confusion, with a lifeline to services that otherwise can be impossible to access. Using TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software, Humanity Road manages a voluntary workforce that supports the work of local officials and emergency response teams.

Closer to home TeamKinetic welcomed many new organisations that were keen to manage volunteers in a better way. TeamKinetic began working alongside Energize CSP, Cannock Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, Monmouthshire County Council and an expanded the work at Glasglow Life to include all aspects of their work

We continue our mission to be the best volunteer management software and community platform in the world, resulting in some big developments this year. This included the iOS and Android Apps for the mobiles; a newly developed interface to Salesforce; Integration into Do-it.org; and a new functional API allowing our customers to access their data and integrate with their existing software.

What I have learnt from 2017 is that even in a world challenged by austerity, Brexit and Trump (to name a few), there is still a huge amount of positivity, created by the good will and positive nature of us all. This is evident in the time, effort and support individuals continue to provide to the causes they care for.

As I look towards 2018, I feel energised knowing that we can continue to make a difference in our communities and in the causes we care. We need to continue reminding ourselves and others of the importance to help others and realise the larger social responsibility we each have.

The next year already has promised to bring just as much excitement and nervousness as the last. TeamKinetic has some big projects already planned, that we look forward to officially announcing in the New Year. On a personal level, I am not planning as many life milestones but hope to enjoy those days of significance with my family, with a few Birthdays and my first anniversary to add to the list.

The political climate might look to be more challenging than last year, which I did not think possible, but I believe the balance will return. I am regularly reassured by the regular act of selflessness that I am frequently reminded of through my work.

On that note, I would like to thank you for joining TeamKinetic through 2017 and the team here would like to extended a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Warm Regards,

Chris

 

International Volunteer Day: My experience delivering social action

Today is International VolunteersDay, aptly falling between November’s #IWill campaign and December’s celebration of the Sport Personality Awards, including the Unsung Hero Award.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my personal experience in volunteering and social action.

‘My social action started in my school days, raising money for various causes and through coaching at my Boxing Club. Today, I continue to do coach at the Boxing Club I founded at my University and regularly find opportunities to take part in volunteering and social action. This activity has helped me develop as an individual and is an important part of my life’

I wanted to begin by considering the impact of the Step Up To Serve and the #IWill campaigns These initiative has contributed towards increasing meaningful social youth action involving 42% of the youth population. The campaign’s purpose is to develop the skills, character and life opportunities for those aged between ten and twenty, whilst also providing benefits to communities, causes and social issues. This to me is essentially what all volunteering achieves, but it’s the focus on young people that resonates with me.

I hope that sharing my story can help others to relate and feel inspired to begin or get back into volunteering.

The first time I was involved in delivering social action was seven years ago when I was a disproportionally lanky thirteen-year-old.  I decided to run a fundraiser to support the Stroke Association, a charity that had recently become close my heart.  As it was to be run at our school I needed something that would capture students’ attention, open their wallets and encourage them to donate to charity instead of their grumbling stomachs at lunchtime.

I decided the best way was to fulfil both of their needs was by running a charity cake store at lunchtime. I visited a local cafe which was renowned for their tasty cookies and sweet treats. I successfully managed to secure several trays of freshly baked cookies to be collected on the morning of the event.

The day of the event and my team kitted out with tops sent by the charity and branded balloons, stood by our stall ready for the lunchtime bell. Needless to say, the cookies sold out, within just ten minutes! We had made around £50 to donate to the charity. Even though it was only a small amount I remember feeling proud when I sent the money to them. I knew it would contribute towards the larger impact the Stroke Association were making in helping people, like me, whose lives had been affected by a stroke.

It was at this time that I began coaching at my local boxing club. I had been training there for a little while, mainly because my older brother used to go.  I had several amateur fights lined up when I was forced to stop, indefinitely, by the doctor. I decided not to give up on the sport but to carry on my development in a new direction. I began coaching others, both older and younger. From teaching simple footwork, to taking pads and setting up drills, I began coaching twice every week and went on to gain my coaching badge qualification.

Coaching provided a new channel to focus my energy. It helped develop my character and confidence tremendously; I learnt the importance of communication, how to earn respect and how to motivate others. For the club it helped to have an extra pair of hands, allowing the trainers to spend more time focusing on individual boxers. It really was a win-win as it kept me involved and engaged in the club and a sport that I loved.

When I returned to contact sport eighteen months later, and throughout the rest of my teenage years, I continued to be involved in various forms of social action -mainly through fundraising and coaching.

In college, I found that students’ wallets were still only accessible through their stomachs. Thankfully, running Krispy Kreme’s ‘Raising Dough’ was the perfect way to convince them otherwise and to support charity.

At university I found many opportunities and causes I felt urged to support. The first was for Toby’s Gift, a charity set up following the passing of Toby Hart who donated his organs to save four other lives.  As part of a team, we ran a pub quiz off the beaten track in Dyffryn, North Wales.  The event was a hit as we raised £450.  Everyone there was so generous and supportive of our cause, which only helped to enhance the sense of fulfilment that we had from running the event.

Unfortunately, not everything was so smooth in my first year at university.   As the hopes of joining a largely integrated boxing club within the university fell short as there wasn’t one! There were no coaches, no equipment and no facilities for even those who had an interest in joining a boxing club.

I set about the next year convincing the Student Union to invest in equipment, allocate facilities, and promote the club ready for the next academic year and to find a coach.

Sadly, trying to find a coach to commit to the time slot we had available was challenging. I decided to step up and take charge of coaching the club myself. A club that had no members, an empty studio room and 25 pairs of new gloves with 5 sets of pads. Knowing the challenge at hand, I infiltrated as many student social hotspots to create awareness and interest for the new club.

Over the next few weeks the attendance grew to a consistent 30 members a week We would frequently exceed the capacity of the room as we welcomed new members to try it out.  I coached the club each week, drilling them on technique, fitness and skill. This was helping them to lead a better life and for some was the only form of physical activity they participated in during the week. The club is now in its second year and has grown to have two sessions a week, one of which I continue to coach.

The club also created a social platform for students to meet like-minded individuals, make friends and have a sense of belonging. Together we created a community that shares their experiences, interests and passions. On a personal level, I enjoyed every moment of the 270 hours I spent in the first year volunteering and developing the club. My experience and passion for volunteering was a key speaking point at interviews for a placements and helped me secure employment.

These experiences have been invaluable to me. They built my confidence, taught me how to communicate, work with a team and helped me to develop leadership, planning and organisational skills.  At the time I never fully appreciated the benefits of my experiences. Now, on reflection, I realise just how much they have helped to shape me into the confident individuals I am today.

As I now fall into the top bracket of youth social action and am on placement working fulltime, I am considering how I am can continue to support various causes and increase my impact on the world.

I hope to keep pursuing exciting fundraising opportunities and to amplify the impact my coaching has on the lives of others.  I also want to explore new opportunities and to consider how I can use my skills to benefit others when I return to university, after my placement, and in the long term.

I invite you to join me and make a commitment to challenge yourself and help others through social action. You could start your own Krispy Kreme ‘Raising Dough’ or find out how you can help my favourite charities Stroke Association and Toby’s Gift

I thank you all for reading and welcome any feedback or comments, and  invite you to share some of your own stories and experiences.

James Carr

Plugin with Do-It and TeamKinetic

Here at TeamKinetic we’re excited to tell Volunteer Managers about the launch of our new Do-It plugin. We believe we are the first volunteer management application that offers a direct method for leveraging the power and reach of Do-It’s opportunities finder right there on your dashboard.

Do-it.org is the UK’s largest database for posting volunteer opportunities, with an established presence and heritage since 2000. Since then it has connected millions of volunteers to opportunities available throughout the UK. The database hosts more than 50,000 volunteer opportunities which appear in the top results of Google organic searches for volunteering in the UK. As a result, Do-it.org is a great platform to promote volunteering opportunities to a wide audience of potential volunteers and is frequently the first port of call for first-time volunteers.

TeamKinetic understands that it is great to be able to post opportunities nationally, but organisations also need to be able to track the attendance of their volunteers, receive feedback and produce data driven reports. Since its conception, these functionalities have been core to the TeamKinetic software service.

For the last eight years, TeamKinetic has been improving volunteer manager’s ability to manage their workforce through the intelligent volunteer management software. It has been used by Local Authorities, Universities, National Governing Bodies and a host of other third sector organisations. Collectively their volunteers are quickly approaching the one million hours logged and tracked through TeamKinetic software.

We believe that by combining the use of Do-It.org with TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software, third sector organisations will be able to harness the full potential of both systems. Do-it.org is a great place to advertise opportunities and TeamKinetic is ideal for managing the volunteers to fill those opportunities. Our new plug in will let you do just that.

When creating new opportunities, simply enable the “share nationally” option and that’s all there is to it. In the background, the plugin creates the opportunity and uploads the provider details. The opportunity is searchable on Do-it.org and Google almost instantly.

After a prospective volunteer finds the opportunity they will be directed back to your opportunities page, where they can then sign up and join in. You’ll get the benefits of TeamKinetic’s management tools plus the advantage of being listed on Do-it.org, the UK’s largest volunteer website. Win-win!

GreaterSport Awards

The 17th annual Greater Manchester Sports Award was held last Friday at the Emirates Lancashire Cricket Ground and TeamKinetic were lucky enough to have been invited.

Dressed to impress, we attended one of the most enjoyable events of the year. Not just because of the tasty three-course dinner or the chance to see a handful of famous individuals, including this year’s keynote speaker Gary Neville, but for what the event celebrates in its purest form: a sense community, belonging and achievement.

Each year the event brings together individuals from all walks of life in Greater Manchester to share their achievements in Sport and Physical Activity. Throughout the evening a total of eight categories were celebrated, with each of the ten Greater Manchester Districts nominating an individual from their local area. Each of the nominees and category winners had inspirational stories that made you feel proud to live in such a proactive area.

The evening focused on recognising the sporting achievement of many, but TeamKinetic took special note of three specific categories: the Volunteer of the year, Coach of the year and Unsung Hero of the year. For these were the categories we supported most. As CEO of GreaterSport Yvonne Harris stated: without these amazing volunteers the majority of sporting achievements would never have been possible. It is the time, effort and willingness of each volunteer that helps make so many achievements possible.

For those in sport they often started for the enjoyment of the game, or to be a part of a team or just to be fitter. In doing so they became part of a team, learning how to play with one another, growing together and sharing their successes and failures.  They soon become part of the larger community within the club, built through a common purpose that demands cooperation, team work and communication.

This community provides a sense of belonging, one that innately encourages it members to give back and helps others receive the same experience they had. This often starts as a supportive role for their club, which leads to a larger responsibility through a coaching or an administrative capacity.  This reoccurring cycle of players turning into sport coaches keeps sport running at a grassroots level, ingraining it within our communities and as part of our culture.

The roles of these individuals are crucial in the running and development of the sport. Thankfully, events such as the GreaterSport Awards celebrate them, with an uncontainable passion. It is the recognising of their hard efforts and time invested into their sport that makes the event so special.

It is this passion that drives so many players to become volunteer as coaches, reefers and the key workforce.

For many organisations that rely on volunteers, they can learn a lot from sport and the devotion its volunteers have. The emphasis on community created within a club, can be powerful if understood. The motivation and inspiration a coach can give to those they work with can result in an unprecedented commitment. The community a club provides offers support, a sense of belonging and a membership for something greater than just a game. All of these factors can help build better communities for a  volunteer workforce.

Introducing TeamKinetic: Rolf Herbert -The man behind the application

I’m one of the founders of TeamKinetic and have been responsible for developing and maintaining our technical assets for the last decade. Wow that’s a weighty word….a decade.

As anyone that has been involved in a startup or building up their own business will know, you have to be adaptable and willing to learn….alot. It means I’ve developed a pretty wide skill set. I can provision a server, write a dynamic pivot query or build an Android app, but I’m always aware of how much more there is to learn. Whenever I read about real, focused experts explaining how to provide high availability multi node SQL servers, or build a super efficient sorting algorithm, I’m in awe of the depth of knowledge and experience they have.

Luckily for me there are plenty of excellent communities full of geniuses willing to share knowledge and ideas. They don’t get paid, they just love sharing the cool stuff and volunteer their knowledge and time to anyone that asks. I couldn’t do the wide range of tasks that are required without their help.

I don’t know how many of our volunteers are geniuses, but from the data I collate its clear that they invest a huge amount of time and effort in helping their communities. There are individuals that have logged hundreds of hours, supporting their neighbours and cities.

My own volunteering efforts are small by comparision but I do regular volunteer for charities and organisations that resonate with me. At present I’m driving for Age Concern, dropping people off at tea parties on the weekends. I’ve also volunteered with Silverline who match you with a retired person that you call every week at a set time and have a natter.

I watched my own grandad become more and more isolated once my grandma died. He lived in Tenby which was a 2 hour drive from where the rest of the family lived and he refused to move or enter a retirement home so we couldn’t be there every day. There always seemed to be an internal struggle for him; in admitting he was lonely or needing help, that admission would make his age and growing infirmity real and his independence became his most treasured faculty.

So my history tugs me towards those organisations that help keep isolated people connected. But volunteering can lead you in unexpected directions.

My wife and I were donating at a charity shop and did some hours helping out at a Barnardos shop. We read some literature about fostering, looked into it, and made a few calls.

We ended up doing short term respite breaks for full time foster families, despite not ever considering having our own children. We looked after three different young people over the next five years. I always felt a bit of a fraud as it was no trouble and mostly good fun! After a few years completing the training and course work I obtained a professional qualification in foster care.

Once you open a door there are always plenty more behind it. Keep volunteering, people need you and appreciate it, sometimes even more than you realise.

Rolf Herbert

Software Engineer

rolf@teamkinetic.c.o.uk

Introducing TeamKinetic: Steve Hall – Stepping into the Unknown

TeamKinetic …what fun we’ve had!

Tasked with introducing myself through a blog, I thought how I could best describe myself and the journey I have had so far with TeamKinetic.

There was a time when TeamKinetic was just a topic of conversation at the dinner table as Chris, my brother in law, would tell me how he and Rolf had been developing a piece of software for volunteer management. I remember Chris telling me how they ran the company out of the spare area in his dad’s office, which was often filled with construction workers and their muddy boots.

This was quite the contrast to my corporate job! I had spent seven years working for an American pharmaceutical company as IT Project Manager. I had initially enjoyed the job for its methodical approach required, with clear outcomes and a process to achieving them being visible. The job required me to travel hospital to hospital working up to three projects at a time. I was a testament to Lenny Henry and his #goodnightguarentee!

For sure I took advantage of all the free shampoo I could, my bathroom was full of them! But after that the benefits wore thin. Living out of a suitcase had become tiresome and I started considering what I could do instead; I wanted something that actually had an impact, a place where I could build something and see the results.

I decided I was in a strong enough financial position to hand my notice in and begin my journey into the unknown. I had several solo contracts that were going well and I decided that I would continue working for myself and would build my own company.

It was during one of my contracts in Birmingham, that I received a call from Chris asking for some help on the implementation of volunteer management website. Our chats continued and soon progressed into a proposition. I decided I would finish my current contract and then join TeamKinetic as a partner.

Eight years on I have never looked back. As the company has grown, our systems improved and our client base ever expanding, I have found gratification and enjoyment in my role! Each time we develop a new function, release an update or meet a new client I get excited that we are genuinely helping others.

As I am the ‘Implementer’ (cue mischievous face for comical value) I spend most of my time speaking and visiting our amazing clients. The interpersonal aspect of a job is something I value highly, wanting to work with people who are happy and also wanting to make a difference is very rewarding.

Each day brings a new task and challenges, every time a new one pops up I write it on a yellow post-it-note and put on my monitor, then upon completing them, I get to scrunch it up and throw it away, with deep satisfaction. My life a much happier nowadays, I spend more time with my family, I have a job that I wake up happy to go to, and I feel like I am making the better impact in the world.

Steve

Implementation Consultant

steve@teamkinetic.co.uk

If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to contact me.

Introducing TeamKinetic: James Carr – Could I be d’Artagnan?

Continuing our celebrations of #IVMD17 and the latest update to VolunteerKinetic 7.3, we’d like to introduce our newest addition to the team, James Carr.

Much like d’Artagnan, my journey began by setting out in search of a new beginning.

I was ready for a challenge, using my skills and knowledge to prove myself as capable.

My studies in Sport Management had equipped me with the theoretical knowledge needed and a handful of short-term internships had given me the practical opportunity to apply it. I enjoyed the dynamic nature of marketing, from understanding the needs of the target audience to creating strategise and analysing results. I also realised how important it was for me to believe in the company, its purpose and values.

When I was invited to an interview at a small business office in Manchester for the role of Marketing Coordinator, I knew such an opportunity had arrived.

Despite all my preparation, on the morning of the interview, my apprehension began to build. With clammy hands, a dry mouth and my collar feeling like it had shrunk an inch since setting off that morning; I eventually arrived at the entrance.

The moment I met the three men who greeted me I relaxed. Perhaps it was their warm welcomes, the light-hearted small talk or just the overall friendliness of these guys that made me so at ease. As we spoke I realised that their work was more than just a job. Collectively they were driven by the goal of delivering a product focused on: building better communities through volunteering.

Of course, those “three men” were TeamKinetic – Chris, Rolf and Steve!

Thankfully, our introductions skipped any duels! In a short space of time, I gained a real understanding of their camaraderie, the crucial role each played and the extensive knowledge that each possessed in understanding their client’s needs.

In the interview, I shared my vision for a  Boxing Club at the University and the story of how I turnt it into a reality.

I coached my club each week, drilling them on technique, fitness and skill. My success measured by the numbering regulars and increasing new members who turned up. I learnt the importance of organisation, communication and leadership.  My experience volunteering equipped me with skills I had never considered before, which I now hold to be invaluable.

Like me, TeamKinetic had their own vision. They wanted to enhance the ability of volunteers managers with a system that engaged volunteers, made their management simpler and more intelligent. Although they had already been working hard to make this possible, they needed someone to help market their brilliant product.

This was certainly something I could do. Thankfully, they thought so too!

Since settling into the team I have learnt so much more about those who make TeamKinetic possible. I have also had the opportunity to speak to some of their clients, who expressed how much they like working with TeamKinetic and their application.

Now my role is to support the company through marketing the great
service they deliver for the likes of Manchester City Council Council, Glasglow Volunteer Centre and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

With a real love of sport, volunteering and marketing, I am excited to begin this opportunity alongside everyone at TeamKinetic.

“All for one; one for all.”

James Carr

Marketing Coordinator

If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to contact me at:

james@teamkinetic.co.uk

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