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We’re on the user-group trail again – in a virtual sense

November 20, 2020 - by Mark Higgitt

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Last modified on July 30, 2021

It’s never been more important to keep in touch

donorflex Keeping in Touch sessions-2020 logoWhen lockdown turned life upside down, more than a year ago, the first donorflex casualties were our season of Regional User Group roadshows, the big highlight of our year on the road.

As we all sharpened new online skills and turned face-to-face gatherings into virtual meetings, we promised to fill the gap with an alternative tuned to the times – because, after all, your dependence on great data-management has rarely been greater.

So, while RUGs continue to take an enforced rest, we kicked off a season of online Keeping in Touch sessions! And what a success they’ve been. Here’s what we mean…

Every fortnight since December, we’ve been taking to Zoom for a two-hour chin-wag hosted by Jo Davies and Steve Mason, with Patrick O’Donnell and Paul Hilliard in support.

The sessions draw inspiration from that traditional point in a RUG roadshow when we throw the floor open to you. Any topic goes – donorflex, data, general topics of mutual interest, trends, successes, challenges, concerns.

In the first wave of events, every fourth KIT session was dedicated to the donorflex Lottery and Raffle modules, hosted by Patrick and Paul, so that users who have that very focussed relationship with us and the system will have ample opportunity to take part too.

In the additional KIT sessions, which run until the end of July, every third KIT is focused on a specific topic, with the Legacy and JustGiving modules featuring too, as well as our Insight analysis tool.

The evidence of the opening round of KITs is that they’ve been a huge hit with attendees, whether they’re confident enough to play a leading part in each gathering, or keen to absorb the conversation of more experienced users and build confidence of their own.

And the best thing is this – they’re free!

The whole KIT and caboodle

In order to rekindle that essential RUG feel and balance, this is how they’re running….

  • Each KIT session will involve a maximum of 16 delegates, to keep the gallery of on-screen faces to one page and – therefore – to conjure that RUG-like informality
  • To open each KIT date to as many clients as possible, we’ll take bookings from one person per organisation – although, if technical circumstances allow, of course, you could share your screen with colleagues to widen the team audience
  • The sessions will be delivered by Zoom (allowing users to join by phone, if that suits your organisation’s requirements)
  • Delegates will be given the option of sending in their questions ahead of the session, or waiting for the session itself
  • If the need for a module-specific KIT session outside of Lottery and Raffle emerges during a fortnightly session, we can schedule and promote something for that focus
  • We can’t hand you a delegate badge, to tell everyone who you are, so we’ll require each delegate’s Zoom label to carry their name and organisation…
  • And we’ll request that – wherever possible – you activate your video camera, so that we can have a visual cue for those moments when you wish to make a contribution

And they kicked off….

… at 10am on Wednesday, December 2, with the remainder of the schedule from now until the end of July looking like this, including a special session showcasing donorflex Go:

  • Thursday, July 1: Insight analysis took focus (extra date)
  • Thursday, July 8: Lottery / Raffle focus
  • Tuesday, July 13: donorflex Go (extra date)
  • Thursday, July 22: JustGiving module focus

What’s your question?

If you want to flag up the topic that interests you ahead of the KIT session, please include those details in the Notes area of your booking form – and also send consultants an email.

How to book

Talking of the booking form, to reserve a KIT seat, head straight for the donorflex events booking website (up there, on the right-hand side of the main menu) and claim your place.

Important reminder....

Remember, the first part of the booking form requests the details of the person administrating the booking. If you’re both the booker and the delegate, please make sure you repeat your details after clicking the ‘Add delegate’ button. If you don’t, we can’t assume the name of the delegate and you could miss out.

And don’t forget, the bookings site requires the login credentials belonging to your donorflex Liaison Manager (DLM).

Don’t just take our word for it....

Kemp Hospice’s Fundraising Database Officer, Katie Willington, says the first KIT on Wednesday, December 2, "felt like a comfort blanket. Being able to sit down for a coffee with other people, while working from home, was great. It’s even better that each call gives me more confidence when using the database".

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Hospice Lotteries Association
National Lotteries Council