Cabinet Office initiated the Do-it transformation project in 2013. Government were looking for partners to not only re-launch the tired existing Do-it.org digital platform but also to begin a process of transformation across the industry. SOON_ partnered with the organisation that became the Do-it Trust to deliver the transformation program in collaboration.
The approach had a number of goals - to create a self-service marketplace that could open up volunteering to small local schemes as well as national charities, to shift focus of intermediaries on to volunteering promotion rather than administration and to help engage a wider group of UK citizens in volunteering.
Through an exhaustive initial consultation process we arrived at a transformation roadmap - which included technical development, a brand relaunch, a national Do-it roadshow to engage volunteering providers and an open web-based business system that could power both sides of the marketplace experience as well as supporting intermediaries.
Through our market fit process, we identified that the Do-it platform needed to initially focus on gaining quality data. Our first release consisted of industry-facing tools to port, cleanse and enhance the volunteering opportunity data - ensuring that we could later improve quality of applicant and surface a higher quality of opportunity. This was also the time to open up the platform. Rather than relying on national charities alone, part of our remit was to create self-service systems that could easily allow non-technical organisers to create a profile for their local community offering, create engaging opportunities and start to recruit, track and manage local volunteers.
Once the volunteering sector had been addressed and were on-boarding, we were able to focus on creating a next-generation volunteer experience.
Our focus here was to move away from the search-heavy interface of the previous version and to deliver a volunteering dashboard to users that with a few small interactions would start to push tailored, personalised content to them like a social media feed. Not only did this increase visibility of opportunities, but helped grow the platform by accessing volunteers with different motivations like improving their skills as a pathway in to work.
A final part of the transformation was the underlying B2B technology that opened up the platform to commercial opportunities and monetisation, which could sustain the Do-it Trust and mitigate operating costs. Built on top of our RESTful API, the Do-it web service allows customers to use integrated Do-it features in to their existing systems. Only a month after launch we were already powering volunteer search for Marie Curie, youth volunteering site vinspired.com and LinkedIn. The platforms were also white-labelled for the Mayor of London and Westminster Council.
- 40,000 organisation and growing
- 1500+ new opportunities a week
- 650K volunteers
“It seems incredible that the new Do-it was just a concept on paper a year ago…But what you have achieved is incredible.”
“I am pretty blown away by what you’ve all achieved and am extremely grateful for giving us such a great new platform; it’s going to have a huge impact - so thank you very, very much.”