Q. Why are YouthNet selling Do-it?
A. YouthNet is passing on, not selling the service.
Do-it’s success is something we are extremely proud of and has only been possible with the support of Volunteer Centres, partners and the dedicated team at YouthNet. Do-it has benefited millions of volunteers and the volunteering sector, yet it has grown beyond YouthNet’s mission to support young people. We want to ensure the investment and value of Do-it is retained for the sector, so we are not selling the service and assets. Instead, looked to find an organisation totally committed to volunteering and with the passion and capability to continue to grow and evolve the service.
Young people are facing even more challenging times and need our support more than ever and we must focus solely on their needs.
We have exciting ambitions for TheSite, with plans to launch a new version this year. Our aim is to double the number of young people we support by 2016. Therefore, we believe it is time for YouthNet to hand over the reins of Do-it to an organisation within the third sector which focuses on volunteers of all ages and will continue to evolve the service, ensuring the investment and value is retained for the sector.
Q. What does this mean for the future of Do-it?
A. The aim of the open process was to find a new owner to continue to support the sector and engage individuals to volunteer, as well as lead Do-it to the next phase of its development. Do-it is widely recognised in the sector as the leading online volunteer service and with the new owner it can further develop the opportunities that digital technology, social media and open data create for the sector.
There will be no disruption to the service during the transition and all users will continue to be fully supported.
The ivo.org partnership will share details of their plans at an appropriate opportunity once they have undertaken further technical review and engaged with key partners of Do-it to test out their proposals. It is envisaged that after the transfer, they will have a transition period to develop their new plans, aiming to launch their new range of support and services by Summer 2014.
Q: How were the new owners chosen?
A. The new owners were chosen through an extensive open process that started in April 2013, shortly after YouthNet announced our decision to transfer the service.
We held an initial meeting with representatives from the voluntary sector, as well as experts from a wide range of disciplines, to identify opportunities for innovation in the giving of time, that would influence the key requirements we would assess the new owner against.
In May we published the call for proposals, along with background document with detailed information on the current service. We ran a number of events for interested parties to attend, which included a panel session with representatives from the voluntary sector. For parties intending to bid, we offered further opportunities to have one-to-one discussions with YouthNet and OCS representatives.
Once the bids were received in early July, these were scrutinised against the eight criteria. Those long listed were subject to further scrutiny by independent advisors with particular expertise, including from the voluntary sector, as part of an Expert Advisory Panel. Bidders were also invited to a technical session to better understand their technical competency and proposals going forward.
The shortlisted bidders were invited to a final session with the decision making panel. The decision making panel consisted of three representatives from YouthNet, namely the CEO and two trustees, and three representatives from the Office for Civil Society.
Based on all the evidence presented during the process, the decision making panel made a recommendation on the intended new owner for approval by the YouthNet Board of Trustees and the Minister for Civil Society.
Q. Which organisations form the partnership to take over Do-it?
A. The team from the charity the Red Trust, which runs ivo.org, leads a strong partnership of five committed organisations with backgrounds and experience in the charity and educational sectors. The primary partners are the team from ivo.org, Believe.In, Blue Dot, Prospectus and Vivo. The partnership is further supported by others including Tinder Foundation and their network of UK Online Centres, TimeBank and a Volunteer Centre advisory group.
The team behind ivo.org, led by Jamie Ward-smith will take ownership of Do-it, manage its day-to-day operations and lead the partnership.
ivo is the network for social change connecting people, companies and organisations that want to change their world. Launched in 2012 after an 18 month pilot ivo makes it simple for people to get involved in the community and to connect and share with their peers, which includes the UK’s largest online community of volunteering and social action professionals. ivo was the first social platform for volunteers of all ages and features unique tools including Portfolios where volunteers can showcase their work and have it endorsed by the communities they help.
Under the registered charity Red Trust, ivo will own, lead, manage and develop Do-it, to continue to provide an easy route into volunteering and social action for anyone that wants to get involved in the community, and supporting civil society organisations including Volunteer Centres to recruit and engage volunteers.
Under the registered charity Red Trust, ivo will own, lead, manage and develop Do-it, to continue to provide an easy route into volunteering and social action for anyone that wants to get involved in the community, and supporting civil society organisations to recruit and engage volunteers.
ivo is run by CEO Jamie Ward-Smith and led by a board of trustees that include skills from the charity, social enterprise and commercial sectors.
Believe.in are a creative technology business which develops universal access, powerful connections and free, useful tools that bring together charities and individuals, including a fundraising platform where 100% of donations go to the charity. Believe.in will lead Do-it’s technical development and extend its reach into new corporate markets. www.believe.in
Blue Dot is a social marketing agency which pioneered incentivising doing good through its Blue Dot World platform where members earn rewards in exchange for giving time and money. Blue Dot will lead on securing brand sponsorship and leading high impact profile raising campaigns to position Do-it as a primary UK brand to enable people to change the world. www.bluedotagency.com
Prospectus is a leading recruitment and recruitment advertising agency for the beyond profit sector. With more than 50 years experience Prospectus will enable Do-it to develop links between volunteering and paid employment through a range of new recruitment products. www.prospect-us.co.uk
Vivo specialises in behaviour management, reward and recognition solutions and will be providing a social currency framework for the new Do-it site that will enable members to opt in to earn rewards in exchange for getting involved. Vivo will also extend Do-it’s reach into the education sector – where they are currently in 25% of schools – and into new corporate markets. www.vivomiles.com
Secondary partners include Tinder Foundation and their network of UK Online Centres, TimeBank, and a Volunteer Centre advisory groups comprising of Volunteer Centres in Bexley, Brighton & Hove, Dorset, Enfield, Herts and Southwark.
Q: How will this affect existing partners?
A. Do-it will continue to provide its full service throughout the transition and a key selection criteria was that the new owner ensures the continuation of the service during the interim period, as well as continue to support partners benefitting from Do-it. Therefore you should see no change to the service in the immediate future. YouthNet will support the new owner as we plan for transfer in December.
All partners will receive a transfer notice shortly outlining the process of moving over to the new provider.
Q: How will this affect upgrading to V-Base 3.0?
We will honour any scheduled appointments to migrate to V-Base 3.0 however, due to capacity, we’re not able to undertake any more migrations. At this time, we need to focus our resources on ensuring all Do-it services are successfully transferred.
Q: Are you still accepting V-Base 3.0/Do-it Recruiter/Do-it Syndication/Do-it Uploader membership applications?
We have put any new applications on hold during the final stages of the selection process and during the period of the announcement. This is to allow us to agree an appropriate approach with the new owners given the majority of any new contract or renewal will be delivered by them. The new owners as part of the selection process will honour any existing contracts for their stated duration or until Summer 2014, yet there is a process of transferring these contracts which we will begin shortly. We will accept new applications shortly, with contracts which reflect the transfer of Do-it during the contract period to the new owner.
Should you wish to post volunteering opportunities on Do-it in the meantime please contact your local Volunteer Centre.
Q: Can someone from Do-it attend our next regional meeting?
A: Yes, depending on our availability. Please email details of your meeting and your questions/areas you would like us to cover in advance to: email@example.com
Q: I have further questions who do I contact?
A: Your contacts at YouthNet will remain the same. If you have questions, queries or concerns please do contact Partnerships team.