The District Vocational Service team is involved with Swinburne University in a win-win collaboration. We approached Swinburne University where final year students are given the option to tackle real business problems as a final year subject. And we had such a problem - finding a low cost sustainable information management system to support our Skillsbank project.
Skillsbank is a response to the oft repeated call that we should share our ideas and resources more, that Rotary has a wealth of talent and professional skills that we don't fully deploy. A start was made at the Hobart Conference with a spreadsheet of volunteers which still exists but has proved hard to maintain so the search began for an easy to use IT platform that volunteers or programs can work with 24/7. It became clear adopting an established well supported platform was smarter than building a one off system. The Swinburne team scanned the market and recommended "BeCollective" a social enterprise sponsored by the Wise Foundation as the best of the offerings.
Be Collective is a lot more than a communications application. It matches volunteers with service project opportunities based on their skills and interests thus supporting our community service, engaging members who are seeking to get involved in applying their skills. It facilitates sharing volunteering across multiple Rotary Clubs and partnering with non-Rotarians who share our service commitment. Be Collective also provides for recording volunteer hours as requested by World President Ian Riseley. Trials are under-way with three clubs and a second Swinburne student team is developing recommendations on how best to implement the system more broadly. Both Swinburne teams have thorough-ly enjoyed working with Rotary and got a lot out of the experience, and they learned something about us.
This is an exciting venture that has significant potential to enhance the way we apply our unique skills to meet community needs, a core value of Vocational Service. If you or our club would like to take a look at Be Collective and discuss how it might help your club’s service delivery and member engagement, email Alan Seale on firstname.lastname@example.org.