Thinking back, Brenda states that, "The best thing about VIdegree are its tagging and memo features." Previously, constituent names and information were organized using Excel. At the time, in order to categorize volunteers into groups, we had to repeatedly copy and paste every any new pieces of information into multiple lists of names. It was a pain to manage. Furthermore, adjusting fields was always a complex task due to often having to record information that doesn’t fit easily into any specific field. Now, using the tagging feature, we are able to quickly perform multidimensional grouping. For example, using, "area supported" in addition to "18 school zones" can be used to categorize or group supporting volunteers. This allows the organization to not only easily gather the necessary manpower for events, but can also be used to match volunteer's from different disciplines to students with specific interests. Proudly, Brenda exclaims that, "Establishing an extensive and efficient volunteer database, is crucial to allowing us to effectively provide students with the 'living book' experience. It is also one of the reasons why so many schools have been happy to cooperate with us!"

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For public interest groups, the most commonly shared problem is not only the lack of resources and but also the inability to efficiently utilize the organization's existing resources. Through the ingenious use of cloud services, the Baton Project organization which seeks to discover and nurture the talent and potential of high school and vocational school students, managed to increase the efficiency of their internal operations and data analysis capabilities.

"Dare I dream? What kind of person will I be in the future?" These are questions every high school or vocational school student has asked themselves before as they meander through life searching for identity within the confines of a learning not thinking based education system. Finding themselves adrift in an education system which emphasizes test taking ability over all else, students often spend countless hours fruitlessly attending classes which provide little interest. Without someone to guide them, to help them find their passion, a countless number of hopes and dreams never have the chance to see the light.

To help these youth, a group of volunteers established The Baton Project.

In regards to the dozens of events hosted over the past two years, including workshops, meets, camps and etc., Secretary-General of the Baton Project, Cai Wan-Ling (Brenda) explains that the purpose of them were to help high school students explore "personal dreams in connection to the diversity of job options available." Under the "Living Books" concept, the events introduced students to different fields through the real life stories and experiences of professionals in various fields. Each event was able to successfully attract a large number of professionals and college students from different fields to volunteer as speakers. Several individual parties or organizations have also come forward to support and help these high school students. In the process arose the need to record a large amount of information. Brenda believes that, "The enthusiasm of our supporters is an extremely important asset to our organization. The question of how to effectively maintain close relationships with our supporters is an important management issue."

Having previously worked as a Project Manager for a large internationally known company, Brenda places a considerable amount of weight on organizational management and is herself familiar with and recognizes the importance of utilizing cloud management tools. When another member of the organization introduced everyone to GSS's "VIdegree Customer Management Service," it immediately received the approval of the team, and the decision was made shortly after to implement the service. Brenda emphasizes that, "In discussing CRM, the C stands for Customer, but in managing a non-profit organization, the emphasis is instead on our supporters, or our relationship with these 'Constituents.' In recent years, CRM has become an increasingly important area of consideration."

Thinking back, Brenda states that, "The best thing about VIdegree are its tagging and memo features." Previously, constituent names and information were organized using Excel. At the time, in order to categorize volunteers into groups, we had to repeatedly copy and paste every any new pieces of information into multiple lists of names. It was a pain to manage. Furthermore, adjusting fields was always a complex task due to often having to record information that doesn’t fit easily into any specific field.  Now, using the tagging feature, we are able to quickly perform multidimensional grouping. For example, using, "area supported" in addition to "18 school zones" can be used to categorize or group supporting volunteers. This allows the organization to not only easily gather the necessary manpower for events, but can also be used to match volunteer's from different disciplines to students with specific interests. Proudly, Brenda exclaims that, "Establishing an extensive and efficient volunteer database, is crucial to allowing us to effectively provide students with the 'living book' experience. It is also one of the reasons why so many schools have been happy to cooperate with us!"

Aside from being designed to allow users to move fields freely, VIdegree's "memo" function can also be used to directly input information not belonging to any specific field. For example, any special skills or experience a volunteer might have, or key points from correspondence. The user interface is also as simple to use as Facebook. Sharing her own experience with VIdegree, Brenda tells us about how previously, after coming into contact with an entrepreneur, she was able to simply use her phone to take a picture of his business card, and have the VIdegree application automatically create a new contact file. Once the file was created, she was able to keep memos on what was discussed or cooperation opportunities, or tag the new contact. Information such as this contact is qualified to be a speaker, or is a photographer, can be integrated into the organization's database to be shared with the entire team. According to Brenda, "later, when another member of our team invited the entrepreneur to attend one of our events as a volunteer, they were able to 'remember' the background of the individual they'd never met before. This sort of familiarity made a great impression on the volunteer, and demonstrates the strength of VIdegree's cloud CRM service!"

Furthermore, a critical part of maintaining relations with supporters is to keep them updated on what the organization is up to. Therefore, distribution of our electronic newsletter has been an important task. Although there are several free distribution tools available online, the ways each online service manages their mailing list varies, which often results in synchronization issues. Using VIdegree is much more convenient, proper utilization of the tagging feature allows for automatic updating and management of the mailing list. According to Brenda, "Once a picture for the newsletter would not display correctly, so we sent an email to GSS's support team. GSS's support team responded to our email that night with the solution. This kind of support is godsend for small non-profit organizations such as us!"

The Baton Project has currently only used VIdegree for less than half a year, but the increased effectiveness and ease of constituent management has already begun to help us as an organization better translate the altruistic enthusiasm of constituents into positive energy for the students. But Brenda understands that the benefit of effective CRM doesn't end here, "We still aren't fully utilizing the service, in the future, we want to use the data analysis capability of the CRM system to the fullest. We plan to create records of constituent event participation and their contributions through the purchase of product in support of the students. This data can be used as a basis for future marketing purposes, while also helping us decide where or how to increase or distribute manpower in the maintaining relations with core constituents." Brenda spends a good deal of her personal time interacting with constituents of The Baton Project without receiving any compensation for it. She believes that her devotion to the cause serves not only as a driving force for the organization to continue moving forward in helping others, but is also representative of the goodwill of Taiwan's society. "If we can more effectively utilize the goodwill of our constituents, then we can better bring change to education in Taiwan for the better. This is our philosophy!"

thebatonproject group

接棒啟蒙計畫 http://thebatonproject.org/
粉絲頁 http://www.facebook.com/BatonEnlightenmentProject


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