Reach is developing an online platform to increase the number of its volunteers signed up to its matching scheme, after restructuring its operations to reduce its costs by 40 per cent.
iReach will launch in 2014 and aims to match 10,000 volunteers to charities by the end of its third year. In 2012 just over 1,000 new people registered to volunteer and Reach placed 480 volunteers with charities.
Charities and volunteers will be able to compare each other on the site, and it will also host a number of templates and guides to encourage good practice.
iReach was devised as part of the charity’s drive to cut costs after its funding did not meet the increase in demand for its services. In 2012 it reported a deficit of £68,748 on income of £319,516.
Janet Thorne, chief executive of Reach, said: “Like many charities, we had challenges during 2012 and embarked on a significant restructure which reduced our costs by 40 per cent without affecting our frontline services. We are now a leaner, more focused organisation and are flourishing with robust long-term future funding in place.”
In late 2012 the charity restructured its staffing costs; one person was made redundant and three others voluntarily reduced their working days. The charity also reduced other operating costs by making itself more environmentally friendly and reviewing its suppliers.
Reach was awarded £50,000 from the government’s Innovation in Giving fund to develop iReach and has also received support from IBM and pro bono experts from industry to help develop and test the project. Reach also recruited a specialist IT trustee to its board to help develop the platform.