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Understanding the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the internet for volunteer managers

TeamKinetic believes that the internet has the potential for transformation in our world comparable to the Gutenberg’s printing press , but if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the internet reflects both the very best and very worst of human nature. What do volunteer managers need to know about the internet to keep their volunteers safe?

I’ll provide some useful resources to give some context and understanding of the darker side of the internet and how we have used this to try and inform our policies and procedures as an organisation and what we think you should consider as an organisation as you become more reliant on digital platforms.

The internet provides almost limitless opportunity for grassroots social action, citizen journalism, voluntary engagement and so many other potentially positive outcomes, but we are naive if we do not recognise and consider the risks.

Jon Ronson, journalist and author recently wrote “So you’ve been publicly shamed” on how the networked effect of the internet can lead to individuals being ostracised.  His entertaining and occasionally dark work examined some of the difficult issues around user-generated content and how people’s mistakes are amplified and stored for eternity in the memory of cyber-space. Ronson’s storytelling introduces the reader to the inherent risk for normal people to get caught up in exceptional events and how little control they have over these events once a post goes viral.

Sarah Jeong, now of the New York Times Editorial Board, Vice and The Verge has written extensively on the internet’s inherent problems and her book, “The Internet of Garbage” gives informed insights on the risks and unintended consequences of poor policy and practice and how that can impact organisations and their users.   Jeong discusses at length some of the nuanced problems the modern internet has created for itself and how copyright law is being misused as a method of content suppression and removal, due in part to lack of other recourse to individuals who find themselves at the centre of a viral internet storm.

I mention these two texts as they are accessible and informed, and for those who are looking to understand the internet, they will help non-technology people appreciate the inherent risks of a highly networked world, the very real risks that can affect everyday users and voluntry organisations alike.

TeamKinetic is aware that our volunteer management platform has the potential to recruit volunteers in almost any situation. It is effective and easy to use and can be administered remotely with high efficiency to deploy individuals or teams of volunteers at short notice.  These characteristics are great if you run a charity, an event or a university internship program, but they are equally great if you are recruiting individuals to partake in less positive endeavours.   The creators of any platform which allows users to create content and communicate with each other must be aware of the risks as well as the benefits.

Recent legislation such as GDPR, goes some way to help individuals protect their privacy and increase their control over websites and platforms they engage with. It also gives businesses and organisations the chance to audit exactly what information they collect, why they collect it, and what they are going to do with it. This was a revealing process for us and was very worthwhile. All legislation, however well intentioned, runs the risk of “unintended consequence“. As responsible curators of TeamKinetic we have to embrace some basic values by which to manage our site.

What are our ideals and values?

As an organisation, we have put honesty at the centre of our company values. This is a type of statement that is easy to say, but much harder to live by. We aspire to offer honesty in our pricing, in our customer service and our product.

Our role in supporting the organisations that use TeamKinetic to manage their volunteers goes beyond the provision of software. We want to build a community of volunteers and volunteer managers that can share practice and policy, develop professional connections and work to strengthen the sector as a whole through the development of consistent standards in the wider information technology infrastructure of volunteering.

We want to be able to share expert knowledge and insight based on our user data and experience to help the sector become better at recruiting, deploying and recognising their volunteer’s hard work. We commit to making our data available to researchers, and the resulting insights and findings will be freely available to all who have a valid interest in the voluntary sector.

Finally, we want to create an amazing experience for all our users, that means the best technology, built in a way that is easy to use and importantly every user is protected by good policies and excellent support. Our volunteer-centric approach to development will remain the centre of our business operation.

We hope you will join us on our continued mission to be part of the ‘good’ internet and we look forward to your thoughts on how we can do this.

Why Liverpool FC Foundation are using TeamKinetic volunteer software

We get to understand the Liverpool FC Foundation and what they do for the community and how TeamKinetic Volunteer software is allowing them to make a bigger impact around the city, through our interview with Katie Ellis and Dawn Georgeson

LFC Foundation

LFC Foundation

About the Liverpool FC Foundation

Liverpool Football Club has long served its local community and it has been a part of their history to support the people of Liverpool. More recently, in 2010 this commitment was furthered with the launch of the Liverpool FC Foundation, developed as a financially independent organisation.

The Liverpool FC Foundation’s mission!

“is to bring together the LFC family to create life-changing opportunities for children and young people.”

The Foundation is all about providing opportunities for children and young people. They run a number of projects throughout the week for different groups :

  • Girls and Women.
  • People with disabilities.
  • Disadvantaged communities.
  • Children and families.

It is a goal of the Foundation to provide activities that are fully inclusive. The Liverpool FC Foundation is also in partnership with a number of other organisations, like Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and many others.

They work with partners to raise awareness and to tackle issues around the city. Volunteering for the Foundation allowed me to see first hand how inclusive and welcoming they are, as well as the impact they have had on younger people of Liverpool and beyond.

The Foundation has a strong team of community coaches and project leaders that deliver sessions to young people in the community working directly with schools, sports venues and youth organisations. Their six-step plan shows how they achieve these goals.

The impact Liverpool FC Foundation has made to the community

The foundation has made a significant impact on the community, aiming to offer all young people in Liverpool access to sport. Liverpool FC Foundation run over 100 tournaments each year, working with over 5,000 children. The charity also runs a number of projects such as Kicks, Primary stars, and Open Goals. Open goals is a new project which is aimed at engaging young people and families to take part in the regular physical activity.

Liverpool FC Foundation focuses on more than just sport. The organisation also run an employability program which aims at young people aged between 18-25. The project helps young people with CV building and interview skills to prepare them for the future. The impact of the project has helped people with their confidence, interaction skills, and preparation for work.

Fundraising is another way the foundation has made a difference to the community. Liverpool FC Foundation works to help those in need around the community, including their partnership programmes. The Foundation runs a variety of fundraising events such as:

  • VIP Gala Dinner with Jürgen Klopp.
  • LFC Supporters Club Fundraising Challenge.
  • Newly launched LFC Foundation lottery.

The Foundation looks at improving the life of the community and helping each other. The Foundation engages with over 21,000 people a year, which shows their impact as a foundation.

How Liverpool FC Foundation has benefited from using the TeamKinetic volunteer software

Having spoken to Dawn (Volunteer lead) and Katie (Project lead) it was important to get an understanding of what difficulties they previously had in terms of recruiting volunteers. As the Volunteer lead, Dawn has the responsibility of recruiting volunteers for the opportunities on their volunteer software website which is powered by TeamKinetic.

Katie, Dawn and I discussed how they have adjusted to using the TeamKinetic volunteer management software, and the benefits it has provided them and the Liverpool FC Foundation.

This is what they had to say…

Dawn: “We have gone from using a paper trail to now having something that is digitally quite far ahead of the game. It simplifies everything. From the minute someone registers, I get informed via email and they also get notified with immediate contact. Which I think is really important to volunteers as its making them feel valued”

Katie: ” I think the thing that is good, is when we discussed at the start how we were going to place the website, where people were going to find out about how to volunteer. We were able to share the foundation URL so that it was really easy to find. With a button on the Foundation website were volunteers could find it.”

Dawn: ” I think as well, even for someone who isn’t particularly good at IT, the volunteer software is very simple to follow. The forms are really easy to fill out and are pretty self-explanatory”

Katie: “Volunteers like to feel valued, so the incentive program and how we can track that on the TeamKinetic system is something we will be looking to do next. I think that will be very powerful, especially in a football club. To have incentives that link back to the reasons people volunteer and one of them is for the fans to feel closer to the club”

Dawn: “Yeah, also it isn’t just closed off to fans of the club, its people who just want to help the local community. That is quite clear in the opportunities we provide, showing that it’s not just about the club but the community in general”

Volunteer experience of using TeamKinetic’s volunteer software

I wanted to find out what the volunteers thought of the volunteer system as they are also an integral part of the Foundation’s development. I spoke with Rinchen who had gained a paid role as a digital analyst from his volunteering efforts. This is what he had to say about the volunteer software.

” Using the TeamKinetic volunteer system has been pretty easy. I have signed up to a few opportunities already using the website. It’s user-friendly and you’ve got all the options there. You’ve got all the opportunities allowing you to sign up to what you want and has a lovely map of where it is making it very easy to find. ”

Understanding our customers want and needs are at the heart of TeamKinetic. This allows the team to develop innovative ways to make our customers lives easier.  To find out more about TeamKinetic and our work and how we can help you recruit, deploy and retain more volunteers, please get in touch with our team.


Tickets are still available for our annual volunteer conference. The link for the ticket can be found HERE


Whats the big deal about volunteer management software

Using volunteer management software can simplify the management process and allow volunteers and providers to focus on the bigger picture.

For years volunteers have dedicated their time to help organisations in all areas; youth work, teaching, befriending, sport, you get it, the list goes on!

Volunteers put in tremendous amounts of effort and passion into what they do for the community. Volunteers give up their time for a multitude of reasons like;

  • Change and impact the lives of others in a positive way.
  • Become part of a community with a shared goal.
  • Help those less fortunate than they are.
  • Provide help to a charity that once helped them.

Volunteers in Action

We occasionally forget the generosity of volunteers. The number of hours they dedicate to helping others can sometimes go unnoticed. It is important for us as a community to be aware of peoples achievements. From the world-class events to small community get-togethers. all the inspiring stories can remind us of the real reasons we volunteer, and why it is so rewarding.

Why Do I Need Volunteer Management Software?

Before delving into volunteer management software benefits here are some quick facts and figures:

  1. The proportion of young people volunteering (16-24) have increased, with them being twice as likely to have volunteered for a charity in the last 4 weeks.
  2. An estimated 21 million people in the UK volunteer at least once a year, contributing around £24bn to the economy.
  3. Fundraising charity events have increased by 700% since 2007
  4. Volunteer supported events across the UK are held at over 10,000 venues.

Whilst it is fantastic to see the sector grow rapidly, the resulting demands on volunteer managers becomes greater and will require them to adapt.

Operating a modern volunteer programme manually or using spreadsheets and in-house tools often leads to time being monopolised by administrative work, rather than developing the programme. A manual system cannot support an increase in volunteer sign-ups for opportunities as the process and response become prolonged.

Volunteer managers face the challenge of creating and maintaining a digital volunteer platform and embracing the possibilities that 21 million volunteers offer. This is where a volunteer management system excels, allowing volunteer managers space and time to grow their programme and communities instead of micro-managing the process.

Volunteers want to be connected with what is happening in their community, know what their commitments are, and keep track of their achievements. Volunteers value text and email reminders of their sessions and regular updates about new opportunities. They enjoy connecting with other volunteers and want to be empowered to find and choose their own opportunities.

Volunteer managers want to be able to advertise and promote their programmes. They want to get up to date figures and KPI reports to support their programme and grant applications, communicate effectively with ever increasing numbers of volunteers. As well as, gaining real insight into the effectiveness and impact of their programme.

This is simply not possible with a manual approach. Good volunteer management software should allow the volunteer managers and volunteers access to all of the above at a reasonable cost whilst freeing up the managers to grow and improve their programme.

Why TeamKinetic Volunteer Management Software?

If you decide you do need a volunteer management system there are plenty to choose from so why choose TeamKinetic?

In a nutshell; it’s FREE, it’s powerful, it’s user-friendly, it’s trusted and it works!

The simplicity of the system enables volunteers from 9 to 90 to get on and get volunteering with little or no intervention required from the managers and coordinators. TeamKinetic comes with a variety of user-centric features including;

  • Logging hours and achievements in a downloadable volunteer profile.
  • Searching for opportunities, events and roles in their area or further afield.
  • Direct communication channels to the opportunity providers and other volunteers on the opportunity using Chatter.
  • Following favourite opportunity types and providers to get notified first when new opportunities are added.
  • Daily text and weekly email reminders for sessions.
  • Calendar views
  • CPD and qualification uploads

TeamKinetic empowers the volunteers to choose their own opportunities and commitment level. It keeps the volunteers engaged with regular updates, HourTrade rewards and our Badge levelling system.

We have extensive administration tools for creating and managing opportunities and volunteers. Daily activity summary, TeamLeader functions, profile image and identity badge creation, KPI and custom reports, text messaging, custom registration and profile questions, GDPR compliant and so much more. There is no more need for micro-managing and you can get on with the important development of your programme instead of worrying if you have enough volunteers.

Lastly, did we mention it’s free? Or choose a low monthly cost option so you can see if a volunteer management system is for you with zero or very little financial commitment.

Gain further insight into our volunteer system, by attending our volunteering conference.

For further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team.

TeamKinetic v1.1.0 Release Notes

We are gearing up for our Q2 release of TeamKinetic, our flagship volunteer management software, and it’s quite a biggie for an interim.

  • The addition of regionally located opportunities
  • Opportunities you can do at home
  • A completely revamped weekly email
  • The availability of our companion app on Android and iOS,
  • the new function that allows volunteers to “Follow” the providers they like.

We will be sending a notification to all our customers pointing you to this blog and also to encourage you to logon to the beta site and give some feedback on the new features.


Create a volunteer from the admin menu

Admins can now register volunteers directly from their admin menu by going to VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT > CREATE VOLUNTEER.

Create a volunteer without an email address

The admins ‘Create Volunteer’ registration page differs from the standard registration page as it allows you to create a volunteer without an email address or password. The volunteer cannot log in, so the administrator would be responsible for joining and logging hours for the volunteers account, but this negates the need to make up dummy email addresses and passwords.

If a volunteer does not have an email address, then this is shown on all pages where you can send an email to the volunteer, so you know which volunteers you will need to telephone, rather than email.

Special Requirements Status

Admins and providers can now see very easily if a volunteer requires additional support on an opportunity by the new Special Requirements icons. This helps notify the provider that they need to look at the volunteer’s details and make sure they can accommodate their individual needs.

Custom Volunteer Profile Fields

Are you fed up of using the admin notes section to record information on volunteers? Well, admins can now add custom fields to volunteers that DO NOT appear in the registration page.

This means that you can capture any information on a volunteer including:

  • If they have attended an internal course
  • Any additional information you capture during an induction
  • If they have completed a particular process
  • If they have attended an induction meeting

These custom fields are displayed in the volunteer’s profile, and you can stipulate who can see the information (volunteer, provider or just administrators)

Volunteer photos on Find Volunteers page

You can now see the volunteers photo next to their names by going to VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT > FIND VOLUNTEERS and clicking the SEARCH button.


There is often a trusty volunteer who is on the ground and is in a much better position than the provider to help volunteers and to know which volunteers have turned up. These users can now be marked as “TeamLeaders” giving them the ability to mark whether other volunteers have attended the opportunity, which also logs the provider hours on the opportunity. You can specify the number of TeamLeaders you want per session which is independent of the number you set for volunteers.

TeamLeaders have no effect on Flexible opportunities as the checking in process is not relevant.

TeamLeaders are not currently supported on the iOS and Android apps, if you have TeamLeaders enabled users will not be prompted to try the app till TeamLeaeder functionality is included.

Following and Favourites

We have added the ability for volunteers to follow providers and opportunity categories that they like or are particularly interested in.

Once followed, whenever a new opportunity is added by their favourite providers or in their favourite categories they will receive an email with the details so they can jump in quick.

Weekly Email

The weekly email volunteers receive that summarises what’s going on in the following week has been radically overhauled. It is now far nicer to look at and includes details of any events that are going on that week, any new opportunities that have been added since the last email, and any opportunities that have sessions in the coming week. Additionally, any sessions the volunteer has joined for the upcoming week are listed.

This email goes out every Friday evening at 6:30 pm(GMT) to all those volunteers that have opted in to receiving emails and also to all those volunteers that have sessions in the coming week.

Below is an example from Queen Elizabeth Park, each email will carry the colours and branding of your site and contain your most relevant content.

TeamKinetic - new email format

You can switch the weekly email off from your super admin settings page at SETTINGS > APPLICATION OPTIONS > EVERYTHING ELSE

As always we love your feedback on these types of changes, so let us know what you think by emailing us here

Session Calendar

The session calendar now excludes sessions where the maximum number of volunteers has already been reached. In addition, any sessions in the past, that have not already been joined, do not have an active link.

This gives us a faster calendar and we prioritise sessions that are still available to join leading to a less frustrating experience for the user.

Volunteer Session Display

We’ve added a handy session view to the volunteer details page. Previously you could see the opportunities a volunteer was on and then drill down to the sessions, which was fine for most of our users.

Some users are however much more focused on sessions rather than opportunities and it was a drag having to find the opp and then the sessions. This new view available from the sessions tab on the volunteer info page lists all sessions from 6 months ago (we will be adding new searching and filtering in future releases). Any that are in the past can be quickly checked in and the hours logged. Its a great way to spot sessions where the provider has yet to log the volunteers hours.

Mobile App Prompt

We will now be giving users the chance to download our mobile companion apps from the login screen. If a volunteer accesses the login screen using an iOS or Android device they will be prompted to open the app store and download the app.

Please note that TeamLeaders are not yet supported in the mobile app.

Custom Provider Profile Questions

As for volunteers, you can now also add your own custom questions to a provider profile to store specific information you might require against each provider.

You can add these from the same place as registration custom questions in SETTINGS > CUSTOM QUESTIONS from the super admin menu.

These questions are private and not viewable or editable by the providers.

Email History

Providers can now view their email history from ACCOUNT DETAILS > EMAIL LOG. This includes emails they have sent and those they have received from the system, like opportunity joining notifications.

Admins can also see any providers email log via the providers profile page. The volunteer email log has been available since the last update.



More Opportunity Location Types

When creating opportunities you can now specify if the opportunity ‘covers an area’ (e.g. posting leaflets or visiting the elderly). This shows as a large circle on the map and also allows you to describe the area (e.g. North San Francisco)

You can also mark an opportunity location as ‘volunteer from home’.

Both types of new opportunity locations are available as filters, which brings us to…

New Search Filter

Volunteers can instantly filter their search results in a more user-friendly way with the addition of filters along the left side of the search results. Here you can limit the search to a particular category, opportunity type or tag etc.

Better Search Matching

We have included the ability to search for names and words with apostrophes that will match whether the apostrophe is there or not, so St David’s will match St David’s and St Davids.

Conflict Checking

Volunteers will no longer be able to join sessions that overlap in time. If they try, they will receive an alert letting them know they can’t join the session because it conflicts with an existing one.

Route Calculation

Volunteers can now calculate a route from their home location to the opportunity by car, public transport or cycle. This is accessible from the opportunity details page before they join an opportunity and from the opportunity management page location tab, if they have already joined.

route screen shot

Session Confirmation

Previously we only sent the session confirmation email, which consists of a summary of the sessions joined for the opportunity, the first time a user joins an opportunity per user session. This method was used to reduce the number of emails a volunteer receives immediately after joining multiple sessions. This however proved to confuse the users who were suspicious of what the screen was showing them if they did not receive a confirmation email.

The confirmation email is now sent every time they join a session regardless.  We would be interested to hear your thoughts on how you think this may impact the volunteer and if you have any feedback we would love to hear it.



Day Schedule report

Have you ever come in on a Monday morning and wondered what volunteering activity is happening that week. The latest update includes a report which shows you exactly what opportunity sessions are happening that day, week, or on an opportunity or event.

The new ‘Day Schedule’ report allows you to view a list of all sessions that are taking place on a particular day (or range of days) by going to REPORTING > REPORTS & ANALYSIS then click on the OPPORTUNITIES tab and scroll to the bottom of the page.

These also contain the list of TeamLeaders currently on the session and it also allows you to flip a volunteer from a regular to TeamLeader roles.

Day schedule

Opportunity Tags report

You can now see how many opportunities are tagged with a specific word, and how many hours have been logged against it. To access this report go to: Reporting > Reports & Analysis > Opportunities from side menu then scroll down the page.

Opp Tag report

Orbit Summary Reports

For those of you in an Orbit network, you can now search across the entire Orbit for volunteers, providers and opportunities. You can quickly find out what Orbit member a resource belongs to, and some useful information about each resource.

This is available from its own menu entry ORBIT SUMMARY. This will only be visible for administrators of Orbit systems.


Complete references yourself

If you like all your volunteers to have a reference before they join any opportunities, then this update will certainly be of interest.

Admins can now complete references themselves, or they can manually send a reference form to a referee. This allows you to hold references against volunteers before they have even joined an opportunity.

We have also added the ability to re-submit a reference to the original referee.


This update contains a lot of improvements to TeamKinetic, we encourage you to try out the beta site for yourself.

We welcome your thoughts and your feedback on these changes if you wish to share them with us just drop me a quick email.

We would love to see you all at our conference this year, where we can talk about the future developments in TeamKinetic in much greater detail. If you have not claimed your free ticket yet, then head to your application or call us in the office on 0161 914 5757 and we will get you booked on.



Are you ready for GDPR?

A whitepaper to help you get ready for GDPR and find out what it means for your data.

Whitepaper – Are you ready for GDPR – Download the paper here.

What should you be doing now?

If you haven’t started preparing your organisation for compliance then the next 3 months are crucial. If you have started getting ready for the GDPR deadline,  keep going.

Make sure your board is bought in to the importance of the project. Having the support you need from the top is vital to the GDPR compliance process.


  1. Keep a record of data operations and activities and consider if you have the required data processing agreements in place
  2.  Carry out privacy impact assessments (PIAs) on products and systems
  3.  If applicable to your organisation, designate a data protection officer (DPO)
  4.  Review processes for the collection of personal data
  5.  Be aware of your duty to notify the relevant supervisory authority of a   data breach
  6. Implement “privacy by design” and “privacy by default” in the design   of new products and assess whether existing products meet GDPR standards


What are TeamKinetic doing right now

See what we have already put in place, to be ready for 25th May 2018.

We continue to work with our customers to ensure compliance and understanding.

Are you ready for GDPR?

Deadline – 25th May 2018

Information sourced from UKFast, Berwin,Leighton,Paisner and Onside Law


Let’s refresh

Why has the GDPR come about?

What about Brexit?

What should you be doing now?

Data security is EVERY business’s business

Key changes to consent

Key changes to breach notifications

Are the rules different for electronic communications?

What is TeamKinetic doing right now?

Disclaimer: The information in this whitepaper is for your general guidance only and is not and shall not constitute legal advice. If you need advice on your rights or responsibilities or any legal advice around data protection matters, please obtain specific legal advice and contact an adviser or solicitor.

Let’s refresh…

What is the GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a binding legislative act from the European Union for the protection of personal data. The Regulation tackles the inconsistent data protection laws currently existing throughout the EU’s member states and facilitates the secure, free-flow of data.

Why do you need to know about it?

As of April 2016, businesses have been preparing for the legislation coming into effect on 25th May 2018. Although we are in the process of leaving the EU, working towards GDPR compliance remains crucial.

If you fail to comply with the Regulation you could find yourself being fined up to 4% of your company’s global annual turnover and your reputation damaged beyond repair.

That is 4500% increase on current fines that can be issued by the ICO!!

Now that the deadline is just 3 months away, is your organisation ready?

Why has the GDPR come about?

There is a need in Europe and beyond for a standardised data protection framework that addresses the rapid technological advancements that have taken place in recent years, putting the personal data of the masses at risk.

Where do vulnerabilities lie?

Everywhere. All organisations are at risk of a cyber-attack, despite common misconceptions that some industries are more secure than others.

The results of a survey carried out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of 173 councils at the end of 2016 reveals that more than 15% of councils do not have data protection training for employees processing personal data and a third do not carry out privacy impact assessments (PIAs) as required by the GDPR.

The survey’s release coincided with the news that the ICO had fined Norfolk Council £60,000 for a data breach in which social work files were discovered in a cabinet bought in a second-hand shop by a member of the public.

Capgemini: The Currency of Trust, February 2017

74% of UK SMEs had a security breach in 2016.

While leaving vulnerable information in a cabinet or on a train may seem like a problem from 1997 rather than 2017 – when cloud technology means physical files never need to leave the office – the overarching security challenge remains.

Professionals across the public and private sectors must be aware of the nature of the data they are accessing from their home networks and ensure they are doing so securely.

Computer Weekly: Many Councils Still Unprepared for GDPR, March 2017

What about Brexit?

Despite the vote to leave the EU, UK businesses must continue to work towards GDPR compliance. Not only has the UK government stated that it is good business practice to do so, but the legislation applies to all businesses working within the EU and with EU data. A failure to comply can lead to significant fines and irreparable damage to a company’s reputation.

The latest thinking is that the UK could replace the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA) with legislation that mirrors the GDPR, enabling the UK to achieve free data flow with the EU post-Brexit. The government has warned that it may take two to three years for the European Council (EC) to decide that the UK has an adequate data protection regime.

While the impact of the Investigatory Powers Act on the UK’s GDPR compliance has yet to be fully understood, it is possible that the mass surveillance and data retention practices carried out under the Act could cause issues when the EC comes to decide whether the UK’s practices are adequate. The existence of these two extraordinarily contradictory legislations could result in a UK equivalent of the Privacy Shield agreement held between the US and the EU to facilitate secure transatlantic data flow.

If your business activities are contained within the UK or elsewhere within Europe, you will have to observe the protections afforded by the GDPR for citizens.

What happens if my business is not complaint?

The GDPR introduces a two-tier fine system that emphasises just how small a financial deterrent existed under the Data Protection Act (DPA).

As of the 2018 deadline, any data controller or processor that fails to comply with the Regulation will face the following fines:


Tier 1

If a data breach occurs that puts highly important data at risj, the data controller/processor will be fined upto €20M (£17.25M) or 4% of the previous year’s global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

Tier 2

Any other data breach could lead to fines of up to €10M (£8.6M) or 2% of the previous year’s global annual turnover, whichever is greater.


It is estimated that if breaches remain at the same level as in 2015, the fines given will raise 90 fold from €1.4 billion to €122 billion

Key changes to consent

Do you ask your customers for permission before you use their data? Do you go a step further and tell them what it will be used for? If the answer to either – or both – of these questions is no, you could be in trouble if you don’t start changing your ways before the GDPR deadline.


Why is consent important?

Consent enables your business to lawfully process data.

Organisations applying the GDPR’s standards are giving individuals greater control over their information and, in turn, building trusting relationships that ultimately keep customers coming back for more.

Any business found to be misusing personal data will be fined according to the highest level of the two-tier system and – most poignantly – is at serious risk of damaging its own reputation. When is consent required? You must have the data subject’s consent to lawfully process their data. However, just to confuse things, there are instances that will call for consent to be acquired via alternative methods; we’ll clarify this shortly. Consent is also needed under ePrivacy laws if you’re in the business of tracking communications and installing software and apps on devices.

If you want to use someone’s personal data they must give you explicit consent to do so. This means in practise no pre-ticked boxes, a user must always choose to tick the box.

If you want to use an individual’s personal data for multiple purposes, they must give consent for each purpose, separately


Who might need an alternative method of gaining consent?

Most commonly, data controllers in a position of power such as public authorities and employers who are likely to find getting valid consent challenging and so must consider the alternative options.

For example, if you are a highly successful eCommerce business is bringing on board a new supplier of garden furniture, you will need a contract with them that clarifies the role of each party and enables you to lawfully process their data.

Whether you are the data controller or processor, you must always record how consent was given, who from, when, how, and what the interested parties were told.

You must not bundle your consent request with your standard terms and conditions.


Does your consent process meet GDPR standards?

Carry out a thorough review of existing consent processes and asses whether they meet the Regulation’s requirements. if they do, there is no need to request consent from the subject again.

Key changes to breach notifications

Europe had a phenomenally inconsistent data protection landscape. It meant that when a Switzerland-based business suffered a data breach affecting people in Greece, Italy and Spain, the organisation would need to comply with the breach notification standards of each of the three member states.

This lack of uniformity throughout Europe means that while some member states, such as Spain and Germany, are recognised for their rigorous data breach privacy laws, there are also member states with minimal to no regulations in place.

In this environment, organisations in lax member states have not needed to notify an authority of a breach.

The GDPR smooths all this out with the introduction of a single breach notification requirement.


What is a personal data breach?

A personal data breach is not simply the loss of data but a breach of security, resulting in the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of or access to personal data.

When must the relevant supervisory authority be notified?

The relevant supervisory authority must be informed of any data breach that puts an individual’s rights and freedoms at risk. This includes a loss of confidentiality and financial loss.

Data controllers must inform the supervisory authority without undue delay and within 72 hours of learning of a personal data breach. They must state:

  1. Its nature
  2. The approximate number of people affected
  3. The contact information for the organisation’s DPO (if one has been appointed)

The controller must also pin-point the likely consequences of the breach and the measures taken to reduce further risk to those affected.

Data processors must tell the data controller about a data breach without undue delay after having become aware of it.

If a breach is significant enough that it is in the public interest, those responsible – be that the controller or processor – must do so without undue delay.

The impact of data breaches If we hark back to our real world TalkTalk and Yahoo examples, we can see that the severe consequences each company experienced following their respective breaches were related to how they handled the aftermath of the breach and not simply because the breach happened in the first place.

What should you be doing now?

A personal data breach is not just the loss of that data but a breach of security, resulting in the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of or access to personal data.

  • Educate your employees about    personal data breaches and how to   spot when one has occurred.
  • Set-up an internal process for reporting   a personal data breach.
  • Make sure you have the internal resources and processes in place to   detect and investigate breaches. Speak to any third-party data processers if they are storing your data.
  • Put an incident response plan in place.

Are the rules different for electronic communications?

No, not really. The EU has introduced a complementary legal framework to the GDPR to clarify exactly what data controllers and processors must be doing to protect individuals’ communications; electronic or otherwise.

  1. New cookies responsibilities   for browser providers Users must be given the choice to consent to cookies as part of the browser software set-up. This should reduce or eliminate cookie banners on websites entirely.
  2. Extra-territoriality and 4% fines The Regulation no longer applies solely to the EU. It applies to anyone in the world that provides publicly-available “electronic communications services” to acquire data from the devices of EU citizens. Any organisation that breaches the Regulation will be subject to the GDPR’s two-tier fine system. That means you should be paying attention even if your business is contained within the UK.
  3. The Regulation application is expanded Unlike its predecessor, the ePrivacy Directive, the ePrivacy Regulation goes beyond the traditional telecommunications organisations and internet service providers. It incorporates messaging apps like WhatsApp, and email providers, amongst other communications suppliers such as Facebook and Snapchat.
  4. New rules for processing communications data The Regulation introduces new rules for handling: what was said, who said it, where and when. This data is confidential; interfering with it could result in a Tier 1 fine.
  5. Exemption analytics cookies Businesses are exempt from the cookie consent requirement when using firstparty analytics. However, using third-party analytics platforms such as Google Analytics requires user consent.

For the non-techy amongst you, ‘party’ refers to the website that places the cookie. So when you visit, and you find the domain of the cookie placed on your computer is, this is a first-party cookie. If you visit www.ukfast. and a cookie by a suspiciously dissimilar name appears, this cookie has been placed by a third party.

Like the GDPR, the ePrivacy Regulation will come in to effect on the 25th May 2018.


Introducing ‘Focus’, TeamKinetic’s design principle for better volunteer management

TeamKinetic is now a mature and fully featured volunteer management solution. As it has matured we have been able to more rigorously enforce a design principle for better impact across all user interfaces that we call Focus.

Focus is a collection of typography, grids, spacing, colour, layout and sizing rules that aim to achieve consistency of design, fluid layout for smaller screens and help to retain user focus on important tasks.

Volunteers, providers and administrators are presented with large amounts of information and we have been working hard to make this volume of information easy to digest in our Volunteer management application so the individual user focus is on the most pertinent information.

The biggest layout difference you will see is the support for a two-pane design with navigation elements in the left pane and the action area in the right pane. This layout also encourages the collection of tasks into one area, either functionally similar tasks or tasks commonly undertaken at the same time.

ocus-two column or two pane layout

A two pane layout with a navigation bar on the left and the action panes on the right

Colours are restricted to a limited palette so that actionable areas like buttons, menus and links, are obvious and easy to find.

Font sizes are consistent and changes in font size are restricted to key text and headings.

Animation are used to indicated areas of focus when information is updated or the user enters a new area.

Panels are elevated when active using an animated shadow effect

Message and information areas are distinguished by a thick left border, the colour is contextual and can refer to the category, message type or other information.

Thick left borders indicated messages or important content areas

Where possible we want to avoid page refresh as this slows the users experience and can break their focus on the task at hand.  Volunteers, Providers and Admin users all want to be able to undertake tasks with the need for a screen refresh.  Extended use of AJAX , a method of performing user interactions immediately without reloading a new page, enables us to keep the user focused on their task without the interruption of a page refresh and the subsequent visual scan of the page to locate the last point of focus.

AJAX methods are employed extensively across the admin area, especially when editing opportunities or volunteer profiles.

Grids and spacing automatically adjust to screen size and allow navigation areas to collapse to icon only links and wide content to collapse into vertical stacks keeping readability high.

Collapsible elements retain readability and usability for small screens

We just wanted to let you know what’s behind some of the design decisions in the brand new TeamKinetic v1 release and our design intent going forward.

Please add any comments you have below, thanks, The Team.

TeamKinetic: How to recognise and appreciate Volunteers

Spending time to appreciate and recognise your volunteers plays a crucial role in volunteer management, helping you to retain or recruit volunteers. To achieve the systematic involvement of volunteers, they need to be recognised and appreciated on a regular basis. It is challenging to retain your valued volunteers for a long time. If you are feeling frustrated and you run out of ideas, TeamKinetic is here to help and provide you with some creative and smart ideas.

TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software provides various benefits for potential and existing volunteers, which they help you to show appreciation to your volunteers and also to keep them satisfied. First, you can send personalised emails or text messages to each of the volunteers to say ‘thank you’. Volunteers also have the opportunity to earn achievement badges when they complete a number of logged hours of work.


And most importantly, volunteers can have the opportunity to turn logged hours into vouchers defined by the organisation.

hour trade

Additional Ideas:

Give appreciation certificates/awards: Certificates/Awards are the formalised form of appreciation for the volunteers. In this way, volunteers receive an official certificate of their effort and job for the company.

Handwritten note: A handwritten note is characterised as a greatly efficient way of appreciation. This form describes why you recognise your volunteers and it should be confidential to them. Through this process, you show that they are valuable members of the organisation.

Publish Volunteer Stories on Your Blog/Website: A personal conversation with the volunteers helps them to be adapted easier and feel closer to you. You can arrange 15’ minute’s interview to ask them about their experiences and get to meet them personally. Then from these interviews, you can create wonderful stories and blogs of your volunteers and also it would be a valuable way to emphasise the importance of their work.

Gift ideas: You could offer some special low-cost gifts including candles, chocolates or inspirational small cards in order to create a more friendly and comfortable environment for the volunteers.

Letter of reference: Offer a letter of reference is a greatly beneficial aspect for the volunteers. It is an advantageous form which helps them in their future jobs.

Volunteers are a fundamental aspect of an organisation because they demonstrate the sensitive part of companies. Moreover, when an organisation or charity works with various volunteers, it shows that they want to give more opportunities to people in order to work hard and be involved in a business environment.

Thus, TeamKinetic has developed contemporary software to show appreciation for the volunteers and award them in different ways, including opportunities to earn achievement badges, personalised texts to say ‘thank you’ to the volunteers are some of the benefits that TeamKinetic provides to the potential customers/volunteers. Through this way, TeamKinetic shows that volunteers are valuable assets of organisations and you need to find different ways to keep them satisfied.

And do not forget….

“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others”

Make sure you follow TeamKinetic to access exclusive updates on our volunteer management software and access to more ideas that will benefit your volunteers make sure you follow our social channels:

YouTube   |     Facebook   | Twitter

Introducing TeamKinetic: Chris Martin – What has Volunteering ever done for me?

Volunteer Managers have reason to celebrate this week with International Volunteer Managers Day on the 5th November and TeamKinetic released their latest updates on VolunteerKinetic 7.3!

We decided to take this opportunity to introduce or remind our beloved Volunteer Managers of who TeamKinetic are. Throughout the week we will be releasing a series of Blogs on each of our team members, with their story in volunteering and TeamKinetic.

To kick things off, I thought I would write my blog first. My topic of choice:

What has Volunteering ever done for me?

As I start to write this blog, I’m reminded of the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where John Cleese as the Head of the Judean Peoples Front asks what have the “Romans ever done for us?”, if you have never seen this before, please take two minutes to enjoy this clip.

It is often hard to see the impact of volunteering has whilst actively participating in it. At the time when I undertook my voluntary roles, it was to fulfil a specific need that was being neglected or because someone close to me would ask if I could help.

Only upon reflection can a true appreciation of volunteering and its impact be noticed. In both my personal and professional life, volunteering has built longstanding relationships, that I still value today.

As a younger man, I remember wondering how I would continue some form of swimming once I had completed my lessons. I wanted to keep the competitive aspect that I enjoyed but did not want to continue into highly regimented adult swimming club that was on offer. My options presented themselves as either hanging up my goggles for good or travelling excessively to join another more sociable club. Neither one did I find particularly attractive.

Instead, I wanted something at my local pool, where I could continue developing my ability, maintaining enjoyment and friendly competition.

It was then, I saw a need for a local water polo club!

My friend and I decided that we could run this together. So we planned a pitch for the pool manager and after successfully convincing him of the potential our idea, he agreed to give us a slot.

The catch, however, was that the only available slot was 18:00 -19:30… on a Friday!

At the age of 18, this would break into essential socialising time and we wondered if we could get the attendance we desired. Disregarding this constraint, we decided to go for it and accepted the time slot!

By no means was it an easy ride from there, as the club required a big commitment for two teenage lads, demanding time spent planning, coaching and running the club as a whole.

Of course, we enjoyed doing it, but I would be lying if I said it was always easy going, as sometimes it really could be a pain in the backside!

At times it took some real perseverance to push the club through but the next two years saw us build our club to the level we desired! Eventually, my time to leave for University came, but we had built a club that had gone strength to strength, continuing in existence today (twenty years later!).

With the benefit of hindsight, I can look at that experience differently now. I developed planning skills, interpersonal skills, worked out how to get things done within a public-sector environment, I developed relationships that I still use professionally and friendships I still value today.

Many of the benefits of volunteering cannot be effectively measured, certainly when I started my volunteering journey neither had I considered too.

But now, I think differently. These experiences helped me identify elements of social capital that before I had never considered, and now would never underestimate or value.

I went on to become a qualified Physical Education teacher and set up a business around sports coaching, this journey started at that water polo club, not through any specific long-term plan but to some extent, due to the direction of travel that was started with this experience.

For the last eight years, I have worked in the sector and have grown to appreciate how complex peoples’ motivations to volunteer can be. Often it is beyond the simple reason of being ‘fun’ that we give our time but in the knowledge that we are helping to make a difference.

Since founding TeamKinetic, these beliefs and experiences have driven me daily. We have made it easier to find and be involved in Volunteer opportunities, whilst making it easier to recognise hard work and commitment in a way that is engaging and simpler for organisations that depend on their amazing volunteers.

I hope you will join us on our mission to build stronger more engaged communities, and if you find yourself asking the question, what has volunteering ever done for me, you too, can tell your story about how it has changed your life for the better.

If you fancy having a talk please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you,


Sales Director

How you can turn every week into international volunteer week, and why you should!

While there are many types of volunteer opportunities, they all share something in common: the people donating their time want to be acknowledged for their hard work. Showing your appreciation to every volunteer can be difficult, especially across a large organisation. How do you acknowledge the varying contributions they make? How do you even know?

To start, your organisation needs to create a plan for thanking volunteers — no matter how many hours they contribute to your cause.

Think about it: when an organisation hosts a crowdfunding campaign, they create a strategy for how they’re going to acknowledge donors. From sending out thank-you letters via email to showing their appreciation on social media, there are multiple ways organisations thank donors. And the same techniques can be used to show volunteers you care.

Through the support of volunteer management tools, you’ll have a record of supportes who have volunteered. Use that knowledge to send out thank-you letters soon after a volunteer has donated their time.

Moreover, if you recently held a fundraising event with help of your volunteer workforce, you should show your gratitude publically by posting a thank you on social media.

Additionally, your organisation must look at how you are recognising volunteers within your senior management team and resource volunteering within your operational teams. Do you have a person or persons with a responsibility for volunteering within your organisation at each level of management?

It starts from the top. Is there an acknowledgement at board level as to the importance of valuing volunteers? Bearing in mind you’re a voluntary organisation! That would be a great place to start. We know that when volunteering is valued within an organisation’s culture, you are much more likely to see amazing results.

Once you have some sort of volunteer management in place, you need to consider how you identify and recognise those people who are the “diamonds” for your organisation. These are the future volunteer leaders, those volunteers that operate over a wide range and number of volunteers and that inspire and mentor other volunteers.

To spot these volunteer leader candidates, develop a role in your organisation that examines your volunteer workforce. This role identifies the data and information you need to capture, and understands what motivates your volunteers and then uses that knowledge to facilitate and enable volunteer experiences that are fulfilling and rewarding. Read about our experiences in data insight and what we consider to be the most valuable data or take a look at the work of Join In.

Once you’ve identified volunteers that could potentially become leaders, it’s important to keep them engaged in your nonprofit. That way, your organisation can cultivate them into leaders who can manage and motivate others.

DonationForce has a guide on donor engagement to help you keep donors and volunteers involved in our organisation through incentives and competitions.

Keep in mind: it is easy for organisations to fall into the trap of offering great rewards and incentives, but the key is to invest in the right people rather than spreading it too thinly across too many individuals. Incentivisation is part of a successful volunteer team, but you need to know what your return on investment is going to be. Who are you spending on? What do you expect in return? Are you investing wisely? Having data on volunteer retention, cost per conversion, being able to map an individual’s pathway from starting out as a helper through to running a county executive or becoming a head coach. This data ensures that you remain focused on finding those “diamonds”.

Finally and we think most importantly you need to look at how you grow from a centrally administered and controlled volunteer programme, to one that is owned by the volunteers, clubs, and participants themselves. Any expanding and successful volunteer programme is partly the result of a groundswell of people from the bottom, not diktats from the top, you need to build volunteer leader infrastructure (by that I mean find great, motivated people and provide them with support, training and resources) that facilitates and enables your existing volunteers to help to offer more amazing, exciting opportunities to the next wave of volunteers. This is the virtuous circle of volunteer investment.

So to recap we think the most important things you can do to help your volunteer programme grow all year round is to;

  • Achieve an appreciation and acceptance at the very top of your organisation that values the investment volunteers make in your organisation. Value your volunteers.
  • Develop specific roles within your organisation whose job is to collate your volunteer data and gain insight which can be used to improve your programme. Do not just collect key performance indicators.
  • Incentivise and reward volunteers all year round. Be smart, target rewards for best returns.
  • Identify, support and develop potential volunteer leaders. Leverage their experience and enthusiasm to spread your volunteer values.

Sport is known to be poor at retaining its volunteers, it’s time to move on from yearly gestures to look at understanding your rank and file stakeholders (not just members but mums and dads, siblings, and long-standing supporters), what they want and how you can deliver to keep them engaged. We work with organisations to make valuing volunteers an important part of their culture and offer solutions that help with those issues outlined and encourage retention and development of volunteers. Our cloud applications, including VolunteerKinetic, provide an easy- to-implement infrastructure that makes embedding good volunteer practice across your organisation simple.

I hope next International Volunteer Week I can write a blog where I talk about how we have moved into a world where your volunteer is understood and is looked after as well as your CEO.


Volunteer clinic provides care, supplies to Special Olympics athletes – LA Times

The Special Olympics is truly a bona-fide international event but it’s athletes often require a little more care and attention.  This article gives a great example of how professional services for events of this nature can be safely provided by the voluntary sector.

If you have a story about Volunteers providing a service in exceptional circumstances we would love to hear.  Get in touch at

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