Ways you can help your community

Week notes 7 May 2020

Posted on 7 May, 2020

This week... 

  • Update in numbers  

  • Brand direction update - key insights from the research 

  • Volunteer verification journey 

  • Natalies highlights  

  • Council insights on supporting communities  

  • Fundraising tips for small charities and groups  

  • Co-operate service design blog  

Our vision 

For people that care about their community 

Who want to join forces to get things done  

Co-operate is a national community centre for co-operation  

That connects people in and across communities with one another to make things happen 

Unlike a physical community centre restricted by geography and funding, or a community digital platform distracted by monetisation  

Our product is created with communities, for communities, and is owned by communities 

The lockdown may mean communities cannot come together in person, but our mission - to help people make good things happen in communities - has never been more crucial.  

We want to start a new cooperation movement across each community in the UK. 

Read more on our updated About page. 

Update in numbers  

A relatively quiet week on the site last week as there were no major communications bringing traffic to the site:    Pageviews 7,405 down by 1,276  

Unique pageviews 5,982 down by 814 

99 offers of support up by (27) due to Parkrun comms that went out on Wednesday 

2 requests for support down by 19 from last week (this is good news)  

The most popular How to guides are still ‘How to volunteer safely’ to ‘How to learn new skills’. Second and third were ‘How to find activities for over 50s’ and ‘How to look after your mental wellbeing’ which is interesting this is starting to become more engaged with given the continued lock down.  

Number of activities added this week 14, that’s 343 in total 

Design Direction Work 

We tested two new designs on UserZoom recently with event organisers and attendees. We wanted to observe: 

  • how people perceived the designs. 

  • whether the designs evoked the Co-op brand and Co-operate values.

    We gathered very positive qualitative feedback on both designs. Users particularly enjoyed: 

  • bright colours in the designs that evoked a warm, welcoming and happy feel. 

  • the simplicity of the design, as it meant that the community is front and centre. 

  • that the design didn’t feel corporate, it felt accessible and fun. 

  • the photographs that created a feeling of inclusivity and togetherness. 

Additionally, we gathered quantitative feedback with 50 participants. We asked users which design felt the most:  

  • simple 

  • upbeat 

  • modest 

  • bold 

  • welcoming 

  • down to earth

    As you can see from the above graph, it was very evenly split! 

With both designs performing so well, going forward we will take the best from both designs and merge them together. Look out for the new designs soon.  

On boarding volunteers  

What we’ve done: 

👍Integrated customer login so that we can effectively tracking a user throughout the journey which will enable us to match them to volunteer missions in future. This has also unlocked the door the future of login for Co-operate and what could include: profiles, preferences and records 

👍Integrated, Yoti, a third-party tool that verifies your identity. For us to match volunteers to a vulnerable person we want to add a level of safeguarding to protect the business and those in the community.  

👍Created a training guide for volunteers to learn how to deliver food to a vulnerable person, ensuring they’re properly onboarded, knowledgeable and empowered to fulfil the task before signing up. 

We’ll be sending the new form out to our +4,000 volunteers who have told us their interested in helping deliver food so that we can get them properly onboarded and delivering food safety. 

The Co-operate and Identity team have delivered this piece of work in an astonishing 10 working days! Which is such an achievement (thankfully we’ve had the 3 day weekend to recover) but this will enable Co-op get food to those who need across the country even quicker. 

Of course, delivering it so quickly means we’ve accrued a lot of technical debt which we’ll be fixing this next week.  

Natalie Highlights 

Council Insights 

It has been interesting to start looking at ways in which Councils across the UK have started to bring communities together during the crisis, to see if there is scope for Co-operate to work with them. 

  • Volunteering 

With Co-operate launching its volunteering service the question that has been in my mind is what about those that are wanting to volunteer, but are isolating or are part of a shielded group? Salford Council has thought about this and has launched its 'Hero From Home' Campaign which is a home-based volunteer role, sharing key COVID-19 responses online via social media networks including #StayHomeSaveLives guidance, how to get help through Spirit of Salford Network helpline and other services and promoting the Salford4Good fundraiser and donations to foodbanks. 

  • Stronger Communities 

Southend-On-Sea Council have devised a '99 by 19' programme alongside young residents, which proposes 99 bucket list activities for young people to complete by the age of 19. These activities are all designed to change and shape participants future in being an active participant in making Southend a better place to live, work, study and play. This is a fantastic alignment with Co-operates aim of making more things happen in communities. 

Digital Fundraising 

I attended an interesting webinar on Digital Fundraising (in a hurry) hosted by Matt Haworth of Reason Digital a social enterprise digital agency which works with the third sector to support them with using digital. 

With charities being set to lose more than £4bn in just three months as a result of COVID-19, digital fundraising has hastily climbed its way to the top of the priority list, with groups looking for wider audiences to interact with to support their fundraising strategies and this is something that Co-operate could really capitalise on. 

  • Online activities 

It was great to hear the encouragement throughout the webinar not to cancel events, but to take the audience that these groups had and move them online and have a way for people to donate while the event is taking place. This is something that Co-operate should consider with the activities listing and group pages- having the link to any fundraising page that groups have set up, as it would fit in well with the vision of ‘the one place to go’ and be another way that groups can reach a wider audience with their campaigns. 

Matt also suggested platforms that groups could use to run their online activities, and brought up Twitch which I had never heard of. Twitch is a web-based platform used by 15 million people daily and is focused on watching or streaming live or pre-recorded game play. You can find an abundance of streams and videos on different topics, from cooking to music and it allows users to financially support their favourite streamers via subscriptions and donations. Over £79 million has been raised through the platform since 2014 and it is used be Macmillan to run the 'Game Heroes' initiative. 

  • Peer Support 

One of the main tips that Matt kept giving was around peer support and learning what has worked for others with similar goals- something that Co-operate has continually heard throughout our research with communities. It was suggested that people link in with a Facebook group that had been set up for furloughed volunteers: ’Skill swap group for charity staff on furlough’  who are unable to work for their own charity but are offering their skills to other charities in need. 

Service design blog 

Co-operate have also shared a blog write up on Why an up-to-date service map is essential when teams change direction. Claudia and Leila shared their thoughts on the value of service mapping when moving at pace.

Take a look if you want to find out more  

Hope you have lovely extended weekend break everyone. 

The Co-operate team  

Posted by Rachael on 7 May, 2020