HelpOUT is a volunteer recruitment, coordination and management service that has been developed and piloted by Volunteering Victoria to support communities before, during and after emergencies. The service has two key elements:
- Coordinate and train managers of spontaneous emergency volunteers who can improve government’s capacity to deliver services during an emergency through the coordination of volunteers and volunteer requests. This initiative is referred to as MSEV (Managers of Spontaneous Emergency Volunteers) program; and
- Enable individual volunteers to register their support, interest, availability, location and skills via a website or over the phone, which are then matched with the needs of registered organisations working in affected communities. This initiative uses a Salesforce technology platform and is referred to as the HelpOUT project.
Cube Group was engaged by Volunteering Victoria to conduct a review of the comprehensive HelpOUT service which incorporates MSEV and the HelpOUT project up until 30 June 2016. The review includes the first year of the development of the HelpOUT project which was initiated in July 2015 and went live in February 2016 (which equated to five months of the review period) and two years of the MSEV program which received funding one year in advance of the HelpOUT project.
The review focussed on four key outcome areas:
- More aware, engaged and supported volunteers
- Better use of volunteers
- Enhanced knowledge of spontaneous volunteering
- Improved preparedness to respond
Following the review Volunteering Victoria is actively focussing on the following areas identified for future focus:
- Increase awareness of the services provided,
- Increase spontaneous emergency volunteer registrations,
- Improve effectiveness of the service,
- Continue to enhance collaboration,
- Secure ongoing and sustainable funding, and
- Maximise benefits.
Read the full review.