ADD345 Team London Speed-Volunteering mobile app

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD345
Date signed: 
26 August 2015
Decision by: 
Natalie Cramp, Programme Director, Team London

Executive summary

To fund the technological development of the Micro Volunteering and Work Platform, DD1132 authorised the virement of £125,000 of TSB funding from the Environment team to Team London. DD1183 approved the entry into a funding agreement between Red Trust (charity number1117891) and Team London to develop the platform up to a maximum of £125,000. With the additional funding, Red Trust is now able to build new functionality for the Do-it national volunteering platform and integrate with the Team London website. The new functionality will enable Londoners to take part in Micro or Speed Volunteering and Work opportunities. DD1123 also approved £65,000 of expenditure of TSB funding for a marketing campaign to raise awareness of speed-volunteering.

Following the successful launch of Team London’s speed-volunteering website, Team London is seeking to develop a mobile phone app to further increase the access to volunteering opportunities for Londoners and further breakdown the traditional barriers to volunteering by making it even easier to search and apply for volunteering opportunities. One of the main aims of speed-volunteering is to help engage more people with their first taste of volunteering, particularly those who may not have the time. It will also give committed volunteers additional ways that they can get involved with local projects with minimal long term commitment.  Team London therefore intends to engage a supplier to assist with the design and development of a mobile phone app to complement the website and encourage more existing and new volunteers to take up speed-volunteering opportunities.

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £40,000 to procure and enter into a contract with a supplier, after a competitive tendering process, to support the design and build of the speed-volunteering mobile phone app.  

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA was awarded £3m from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) towards a Smart Cities Demonstrator Programme (MD1247), which includes the development and delivery of a Micro-Work and Volunteering platform. The online portal supports the Mayor’s Volunteering Strategy and his vision for a Smart London ; one that puts technological innovation at the heart of efforts to address challenges that global cities face. There are two strands to the online platform: the first is to give Londoners the flexibility to volunteer in ways that fit their busy lifestyles. The second is to connect young people to work experience – be it through volunteering or paid work.

1.2    Team London launched its Speed-Volunteering website in February 2015. After grant funding 20 organisations £10,000 each in 2014-15 to fund projects that would supply the initial stream of speed-volunteering opportunities for the website, there are now over 9,000 opportunities available and over 100 organisations registered on the speed-volunteering website.

1.3    Team London will also be grant funding up to 30 organisations a maximum of £5,000 each in the 2015-16 business year to support projects that will push a large number of additional speed-volunteering opportunities to the website to capitalise on the initial successful website launch.

1.4    Team London therefore proposes to design and launch a speed-volunteering mobile phone app to further support and drive the number of people taking up speed-volunteering opportunities and to make it even easier for Londoners to volunteer.

1.5    Team London has invited quotes from five mobile phone app developers as evidence of competition for this contract, in accordance with the GLA’s contracts and funding code.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The primary objective is to bring together those seeking short or flexible volunteering opportunities with charities that will benefit from engaging with additional volunteers. The volunteering experience will pull through onto a volunteers ‘Volunteering CV’ so for those who are looking for work they can use their volunteering to demonstrate their experience utilising a wide range of skills. Some other key objectives include the following: 

•    Provide more local volunteering opportunities for the wider community to get involved in.
•    Create satisfying and rewarding experiences for volunteers.
•    Raising the profile of speed-volunteering and making access to local volunteering opportunities even easier for Londoners.
•    Deliver more volunteering in the areas of highest social need for London.
•    More charities recruiting volunteers through Team London 
•    Less volunteer drop-off between volunteer application and them starting their volunteering. 
•    Increase volunteer satisfaction rates.

2.2    It is expected that the development and launch of this mobile app, would add further value to the 
website as from conducting research, Team London conducted research that found that the 18-24 year old age group would be much more likely to engage, and therefore volunteer, with an app rather than a website. It is expected that the development of this app would therefore increase the access to and take up of speed-volunteering.

2.3    The overall Key Performance Indicator that was set for the website and speed-volunteering take is to engage 10,000 volunteers in speed-volunteering, with 2,500 of this target having been met already. Team London expects that the development of this app would add an additional circa 3,000 users to this target initially, with further volumes expected once any marketing and promotional campaigns have been completed.

2.4    Team London will release the app through the apple store initially to support devices using the ios operating system by October 15th 2015.

2.5    Team expects an initial 200 downloads of the app within the first 3 months of release. In the year following the Speed Volunteering's apps release, Team London expect that a minimum of 2000 people will download the app.

2.6    Team London will retain all the intellectual property rights relating to the app.

Equality comments

3.1    The new speed-volunteering mobile app will further enhance the speed-volunteering website whilst also making it even easier for people who work full time to be able to engage with volunteering around their busy work lives.

3.2    It will help empower young unemployed people by helping to improve their employability through gaining additional skills and experience through volunteering. 

Other considerations

4.1    Volunteering is one of the greatest legacies of the London 2012 Olympics. Team London has successfully maintained the volunteering legacy since, engaging thousands of Londoners in volunteering and offering a multitude of ways to get involved across a diverse range of projects. The
launch of this new mobile app will add further value to the recently launched speed-volunteering website and increase make volunteering even easier to take up.

4.2    Team London invited quotes from 4 different suppliers, sending out the same specification for the development of the app to each supplier, and a successful supplier has now been selected.

Financial comments

5.1    The estimated cost of this project is up to £40,000 and will be funded from the 2015-16 Team London Programme budget, specifically the Micro-Volunteering & Work Platform element of the budget (via the Technology Strategy Board Fund). Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.2    The Team London Unit within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this project and ensuring that all expenditure complies with the Authority’s Financial Regulations, Contracts & Funding Code and Expenses & Benefits Framework. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Between July 10 – August 10

Initial meetings with developers

August 12

Design and build phase of mobile app

15 August – 15 September

Testing of mobile app

15 September – 4 October

Mobile app design and build complete

4 October

Release of mobile phone app

16 October