Ken Ross, Samaritan Implementation Manager, recently took the Immunodeficiency Foundation (IDF) live with their new volunteer management system (VMS). He and the staff at IDF provided the following thoughts about the entire process just completed, from vendor selection to post launch.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), founded in 1980, is a national non-profit patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PI) through advocacy, education and research. There are approximately 250,000 people who are diagnosed with PI in the U.S., and thousands more go undetected. Thousands of individuals and families affected by PI depend on IDF for advocacy, education and empowerment.
Through the IDF Volunteer Network, opportunities are offered nationwide for individuals to give back and make a difference in the PI community. Volunteers contribute to the overall mission of IDF by providing another layer of compassion and skill to the team. The goal of this program is to give volunteers many opportunities to enrich the lives of others by sharing their time and talents. It is because of the passion and dedication of volunteers that IDF is able to assist so many people throughout the country. Volunteers are truly at the heart of what they do.
IDF decided to search for a volunteer management system so that they could take their volunteer administration practices to the next level. They wanted a program that would allow for easier tracking of volunteer service hours, as well as capturing the skills and talents of their volunteers for future needs. Additionally, they wanted the volunteers to play a more active role in their program. By having an online profile their volunteers are able to see their progress and express interest in opportunities they may not have known about before.
As a national non-profit, all of these factors are key to the success of their system. Additionally, IDF wanted to work with a professional vendor with a proven record for providing excellent customer service along with an exceptional product.
IDF initially heard about Samaritan through a Google search and then they followed up by consulting with colleagues in the Volunteer Management community.
Samaritan was selected once IDF was shown the features of the system and they were assured that it would communicate with their current database. Samaritan’s solution had many of the features that they were in need of and even gave them insight into options that they had not considered. They wanted a system that was easy to use and could be customized to meet their unique needs. They also wanted to work with an organization that matched their company culture of teamwork and collaboration to create the best system possible.
The entire process presented IDF with the opportunity to look at their existing volunteer management practices from beginning to end. Although it was time-consuming, it shed new light on their practices and gave them new opportunities to be creative.
The implementation was completed on time. It stayed on schedule, despite the fact there were a few last minute changes that had to be added on before could launch. The Samaritan team was very flexible and helpful in explaining what needed to happen to make our launch successful and it was.