Case Study - Project Scotland

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ProjectScotland is a national charity which helps people aged 18 to 30 to realise their potential through volunteering.

Their volunteering projects change their lives and aspirations, and their youth and energy give an enormous boost to the capacity of the voluntary sector and the communities in which they volunteer. Since launch in May 2005 ProjectScotland has exceeded targets placing over 4,000 young people into structured and rewarding placements with over 300 non-profit organisations across Scotland.

From early on, ProjectScotland recognised the importance of technology, and implemented a (then) leading edge Constituent Relationship Management System (CRM).  This helped manage volunteers, placements, funders partners, reporting etc.  But as the operation scaled and changed, as is inevitable, the system could not easily be tailored to new requirements without significant expense.

Rucelle Soutar, Finance Director of ProjectScotland explains, “Over recent years, our operational model has changed dramatically .  Our relationships with funding and delivery partners have become deeper and more strategic.  Process and reporting requirements could no longer be met by our old IT system and we didn’t have the confidence or expertise to remodel it”.

On a recommendation from SCVO, ProjectScotland engaged Synovations to help find a way forward.  “The whole approach was exactly what we needed”, continues Rucelle.  “By running a few detailed workshops, synovations helped us to take a fresh and insightful look at all our processes, reporting requirements and future vision.  That enabled the clear articulation of requirements and specification for technology”.  

With support from Synovations, ProjectScotland implemented Salesforce CRM, a web based platform that can be readily tailored to a wide variety of business and non-profit scenarios.  The base package was donated by the Saleforce Foundation.

Reflecting on the implementation and benefits, Rucelle concludes “within a remarkably short time, and at very reasonable cost, we have an easy-to-use system that manages every stage of our volunteer engagements.  It helps us plan and control the development and management of placements, relationships and communications with funding and delivery partners etc.  It provides us with very useful snapshot dashboards as well as comprehensive management reports.  Thanks to the empowering approach taken by Synovations we are now well able to manage the system ourselves and make changes when needed as our organisational requirements grow”