Many thanks to Jamie at Do-it fo rquickly providing us with the information belwo to allwo us to better understand the changes at Do-it and what it means to us.
1) The new social enterprise model is a bit confusing. Will we have a clear statement of who is managing and governing the new Do-It so that we can make an assessment about the organisation going forward?
Yes; as you can appreciate we are still in the process of finalising a number of aspects of the new company, including the Board composition and the articles that will define its mission and purpose as a social enterprise. This is due to be completed by September 2017, but in the meantime we can confirm the following.
Vivo is responsible for the delivery of the Do-it.org service and the Do-it staff team and the Do-it Trust will monitor and exercise control over the service. Vivo’s commitments include:
- Provision of a free service as per the existing service level for all users;
- Maintaining key service standards for site up-time and support;
- Developing the service to improve the customer experience and to extend its scale and reach;
The Do-it Trust has the right to take back the service in the event that these commitments are not met, or in the event that Vivo is unable to continue running Do-it.org. Vivo is obliged to report to the Do-it Trust on a regular basis and this will enable the charity to ensure that the Do-it.org service is meeting its objectives.
V-Base Cloud will continue to be managed and delivered by Veda and overseen by the Do-it Trust.
2) Can you assure me that the priority in the future isn’t making a profit, rather than providing a service to benefit the public?
Our aim in establishing Vivo Life has been that it will have a social purpose with a strong focus on delivery and quality of service as its priority. Like all social enterprises, it will need to generate sufficient revenue to invest in its future. Vivo are looking to register the company with Social Enterprise UK and/or B Corps, to ensure that its social purpose is externally accredited. As you know profit cannot be the primary purpose in such an accredited entity and Do-it Trust has the ability to control any variation in that social enterprise objective.
3) For those that are making investment decisions about which platform/software to use in the future, what can you tell us about your sustainability? In the absence of government funding, what will make the new Do-it more sustainable than operating on the previous charity model?
Do-it Trust already had some strong business development ideas but couldn’t grow its revenue quickly enough to cover the increasing cost of on-going tech development.
Vivo has been trading successfully as a social tech business for 9 years, providing services to schools - where they engage over 1m students - and companies, and the aim is to build on this success through the Vivo Life social enterprise with Do-it Trust. Vivo's tech and capacity enables them to support the Do-it.org service in a more efficient and cost effective way, providing access to superior tech (which Vivo has already made a significant investment in) and capacity that will enable Do-it to remain as a free service whilst also expanding its reach and ultimately bringing in more volunteers and skills for the charity/VCSE sectors.
4) Do-it is changing its technology. To help users make their own plans, do you expect that organisations will need to plan in time or expenditure to operate with the new system?
We recognise that periods of transition can be a challenge, particularly for recruiters. Vivo’s tech infrastructure and expertise are world class so we do not anticipate any of the compatibility/transition issues experienced during the Do-it transition last time. The smooth transition is a priority for Vivo Life and we certainly do not expect Do-it.org recruiters to have to re-enter data.
V-Base Cloud users will not have to make any changes to their data - Vivo will work closely with Veda to ensure that there is a seamless switchover to integrate with the new platform. We will continue to run the old Do-it API alongside the new one, allowing API users to update it when they are able to.
We intend to run the new platform alongside the old one for a period of time to enable both volunteers and recruiters to have time to try it out and familiarise themselves with how it works. We will also conduct feedback / user testing sessions with a representative selection of recruiters to ensure any changes / new developments meet their needs.
The Vivo powered Do-it platform will bring new features and enhanced performance that we are confident will provide an improved experience for all users.