Reap the rewards of a well-designed and effective charity intranet

Interact has launched a fantastic global competition where it is giving away a free charity intranet to a lucky charity or not-for-profit organisation.

As well as the core intranet software, the winner will also get a dedicated project manager and one years full support and software package and the competition is open to any registered charity world-wide!

The competition will be running until the January 31st 2012 and there is a just a simple question to answer in order to be in with a chance to win.

We thought we’d share some fantastic ways a well designed intranet has been helping processes in charities:We thought we’d share some fantastic ways a well designed intranet has been helping processes in charities

NCB – The National Children’s Bureau is the leading national charity which supports children, young people and families and those who work with them. Their intranet has helped establish the organisations re-brand following its considerable growth, having developed more strategic partnerships and expanded the remit of its work. To coincide with the rebrand they re-launched their intranet.

The new intranet logo adopted a circular design, which draws on the ‘wheel’ concept of the organisation with NCB at the centre surrounded by the specialist departments, which are in turn surrounded by its networks, councils, forums and partnership programmes.

NCB intranet - The Wheel

To create a more engaging look for staff, who would be using the intranet both for directly work-related tasks and communications as well as ‘softer’ uses such as for networking with colleagues on a more social level, the NCB chose to use a Ferris wheel as the main header image for the intranet. This theme was carried through into widgets, adding some fairground bunting to the header.

The success of the brand is proven in that the intranet is never referred to as the intranet now, only as ‘The Wheel’, by all staff, including senior management.

WRVS is an age positive national charity founded over 70 years ago. They believe that every older person should have the opportunity and choice to get more out of life.

Before 2009, most of the staff at WRVS had never even heard of an intranet before. However, today all central staff in the main office and hundreds of those outside of the main office are engaged users of the intranet.

The WRVS intranet has seen a massive increase in the number of people using the intranet system – going from just 363 hits a month to a whopping 6510 hits, which is an increase of 1,793%!  Browsing time on their intranet has also increased fivefold since the start of the year, going from an average visiting time of 4 hours per visitor to 20 hours. Alongside this surge in hits and breakthrough in browsing time, WRVS has managed to connect nearly 100 staff across the country in the space of three months who had limited IT access and had to go out of their way to apply for use of their charity intranet system.

A once traditional organisation who preferred pen and paper to a screen and the click of a mouse, now know the importance their intranet has become in changing the way they communicate.

WRVS intranet regional page

Epilepsy Action is the largest member-led epilepsy organisation in Britain, acting as the voice for the UK’s estimated 600,000 people with epilepsy, as well as their friends, families, carers, health professionals and the many other people on whose lives the condition has an impact.

To ensure their new intranet was adopted by all staff – they decided to launch a competition to name their intranet.

Mark Morton, Digital Media Manager at Epilepsy Action said:

“I made a posting on the new homepage and asked people to suggest names by leaving a comment, therefore showing them the new commenting functionality.   As an extra incentive, the person who suggested the winning name was going to win a £10 Amazon voucher.

Staff were then asked to vote for their favourite name which was Wiggipedia. The result was announced and a logo was created that resembled the Wikipedia logo. Since then, on special occasions, new versions of the logo are created and upload for a period to illustrate an event or special day.  These have included Easter, the World Cup, Remembrance day, National Epilepsy Week, the general election and St Patrick’s Day.”

St Patricks Day seasonal design

The competition was really successful in raising awareness and interest in the new intranet software among all staff. Feedback has shown that the special event logos are appreciated and enjoyed by staff who like the small touches that help make Wiggipedia a friendly and welcoming resource.

Mosscare Housing is a charitable, not-for-profit housing association who has benefited from the many advantages of successful charity intranet.

Waseem Tahir, Continuous Improvement Officer at Mosscare tells us just how beneficial an effective charity intranet is to internal processes, even in tough financial times:

“At Mosscare Housing, like many other not-for-profit organisations, investing in products has been harder to justify in today’s economic climate with budgets being reduced across the organisation. We don’t have a full or part time Intranet Manager and we don’t have a large pot of money for intranet development or for prize giving, and we don’t always have the time to spend on intranet development.

However we have recognised that reduced investment doesn’t lessen the need for good internal communication, it increases it.  What we do we have at Mosscare is a desire to improve the way we work, and the way we communicate. We have a small dedicated team of people who have adopted the management of the intranet and formed an Intranet Working Party to drive development further.”

Mosscare Housing home page

Mosscare Housing Group also deliver a number of in-house courses with training material on their intranet including a clear English online training page. They have ported links to their website, housing management page database, business reporting software and text messaging software on the homepage. These relatively simple additions have helped the intranet gain traction and become the communications hub for the organisation, requiring users to visit the intranet to gain access to other tools.

Their intranet has improved communication and information dissemination as users have quick access to key performance indicators and management reports and can link directly to other internal systems. Double booking of resources has been eliminated, saving time and frustration and meeting rooms and resources can be booked in a single transaction.

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT champions have seen huge staff engagement from their well-designed not-for-profit intranet, called Green Room.

Christine Mayes is the Policy Process Manager, she says:

“The structure of our intranet reflects our company structure, with each department having its own page.  Each department area is looked after by its own Green Room Champion who has responsibility for the content, layout and feel, whilst adhering to our brand and tone of voice guidelines.

At BCS we are proud of our intranet. It opens up automatically on all our computers on start up, it is the default page on our browsers and it informs, educates and empowers our staff.  It improves efficiency, saves times and evolves to suit our business needs.  It enables our staff to interact.”

Statistics have shown that the Green Room had 876367 hits in the last 30 days, averaging 498 per day.  With around 250 staff, the average monthly hit per member of staff is 3505 – that’s over 100 per day.

BCS intranet structure

Accessibility is at the heart of Interact Charity Edition. It is the only truly ‘AA’ compliant intranet out of the box, having been designed from the ground up, to fulfil all of the Disability Discrimination  Act’s recommendations whilst also being endorsed by independent experts. Interact Intranet can be used, edited and administered by staff with even the most basic IT knowledge – simple editors, helpful tooltips and an intuitive interface combine to make Interact Intranet the simplest to use intranet software in the market.

See how Interact Intranet can help reduce your charity admin costs >>