How do CSR practitioners choose the online platform that will best manage their employee volunteering and workplace giving programs?
By Heidi Massey
Selecting technology tools does not tend to be an area of expertise for most CSR practitioners. And because these tools are all relatively new, the practitioner may not have access to helpful resources. So how can companies navigate the selection process or even understand what it is that these online platforms can do?
How to Select a Management Tool
The Realized Worth team has been working with employee volunteering and workplace giving management tools in many different capacities. Based on our experiences, here are our recommendations for selecting the best online platform.
1. Determine What You Need
Before looking at specific platforms, it is important to determine the needs of your program. Be clear about which features are non-negotiable and which features would be nice to have but are not required.
Consider what you would want the platform to be able to provide, not only in the present, but in the future as well. It is far better to have a tool that will be able to grow with your program’s needs than to be stuck with a tool that is obsolete soon after implementation.
2. Create an RFP
Develop a list of platforms that match the company’s needs. For assistance in this process, see our blog post A Comparison Of Workplace Giving Tools; it has a chart that compares the features of a number of platforms.
Create an RFP (request for proposal) and send it to your selected list of vendors. Be sure to solicit input from internal stakeholders and include a description of the required features. Your company may have RFP templates (ideally from a technology project) that you can use as a starting point.
As a part of your RFP process, you can incorporate demonstrations from each of the vendors. This allows you to see the tools first hand and to ask specific questions about what you see.
3. Select A Vendor
Review all vendor materials and select a vendor. It is unlikely that any vendor will be a perfect match so you will have to determine which factors should carry the most weight in your decision.
Once a vendor is selected, you will enter a process of contract negotiation where you will determine the final package and cost. It is important to ask about recurring costs as well as initial start up costs.
Be sure to build in sufficient time for each step. For many companies, even six months would be considered an aggressive timeline. Your procurement department may be able to provide some insight.
Realized Worth Can Help
Our primary focus is helping companies design and implement transformative employee volunteer and workplace giving programs. An important component for a successful program is having the right management tool. But the selection process can overwhelm even the most capable CSR professionals. That is why Realized Worth has been working with our clients to help them navigate that process, from defining the company’s functionality requirements to developing the written RFP to managing vendor relationships. And we can help you and your company select the best tool for your needs, as well.*
Because of our position in the space, we have a unique understanding of employee volunteering, workplace giving, and online management tools. With that integrated knowledge and familiarity, we know what questions are important for your company to ask.
In fact, when we are working with clients on tool selection and program design and implementation, we are able to help our clients choose the platform that serves our process best and then help the platform set up to accommodate our process. Additionally, we have experience with challenges such as incorporating multiple internal stakeholders’ requirements into the RFP, understanding what the needs of a program are, determining which tools should be considered, and managing the logistics and flow of the RFP process.
To learn more about how Realized Worth can help your company select an online employee volunteering and workplace giving tool, just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org – or you can even contact me, Heidi Massey, directly at Heidi@realizedworth.com. We look forward to speaking with you!
*If your company has been using a tool and is ready to explore different options, we can help with that also.