Do you want improve your volunteer training satisfaction by 20% or more?
How about increasing your volunteer training participation rate by 17%?
A few years ago, with limited staff, limited budget, and limited physical space, CASA of Montgomery County turned to Train by Cell’s mobile technology to train their staff, board members, and 350 volunteers.
Watch the webinar or take a look at the presentation slides to see examples of this CASA’s mobile training portal, text message “drip” learning campaigns, and mobile training pages.
Here are the highlights:
Goals for Training Volunteers
My goal in improving training was to build community--to help our volunteers to know each other and to feel part of the organization. We needed the ability to do just-in-time training. We needed something that addressed our space constraints. I really wanted to be able to expose our learners to content experts. We wanted a format that worked, no matter your age, it had to work for everybody. It needed to be convenient and everybody needed to like it. Train by Cell really met those requirements. - Ann Marie Ronsman
Valuable Tool for Crisis Communication
We had not envisioned using this technology as a valuable crisis communications tool. We had no idea that how valuable this was going to be to us. Especially during the early days of COVID, we had policies that were coming down from CPS and agencies were changing what the court system was looking like. We were getting so much information. We almost put out daily updates with any changes in policies. This platform erases the needs for recipients to have internet connection to receive those messages. - Alli Stevens
ROI and Outcomes
We collected data for both pre implementation and post implementation.This is what we asked: How satisfied are you with your continuing education training offered at CASA in the last 12 months? Pre implementation was 69% post implementation was 91%. The biggest thing we changed was the introduction of this technology. How well has the training schedule met your expectations in the last 12 months again, 67% pre and 82% post? This technology has a lot to do with that. Then 92% of our volunteers reported using the drip learning. Getting 92% of any population group to do anything is great. We have over a 75% open rate for our text messages, which is much better than If I had sent out a training email. - Ann Marie Ronsman
Volunteers Feel Connected
Train by Cell is applicable in so many different settings (1) the ability to train a little bit at a time, just in time and (2) for our crisis communications it has been key. I don't know how we would have made it through COVID without it. The interesting thing is our volunteers feel more connected to our organization. They feel more connected to each other because they're having this collective experience of reading an article. So it just has a lot of benefits, more than we ever would have predicted. - Ann Marie Ronsman
Good Fit for a Small Training Staff
This is a great platform that can be utilized with limited staff and limited resources. We are a one-person training department. Don't think this is something that you can't do. I'm not IT trained. You don't have to be super tech savvy or have an IT department to be able to pull this off. I understand one of the most valuable resources is time. This is not something that's going to take a ton of time and it's really easy to use. - Alli Stevens
Advantages of Drip Learning
We added this drip learning tool for our volunteer continuing education requirement. It's small increments of learning, frequently. Because everybody's attention span has gotten so small, our drip learning content can be read or completed in three to five minutes. So when your learner clicks on that link, they know exactly how much time they're investing. We send out on average or two drips per week, and we give our volunteers five minutes of continuing education per drip. That adds up to about eight and a half hours per year of our 12-hour requirement. - Ann Marie Ronsman
Training Board Members
Board members want to be the smartest person in the room. They want to understand your cause. They want to be able to advocate and speak to your needs to the best of their abilities. In order to do that they need training. But of course, those individuals are especially busy and have a very limited amount of time. And even pre-COVID, getting all of them in a room together was very challenging. This technology works great for executives who are busy and have varied work schedules. - Ann Marie Ronsman
When we got the approval, our executive director gave us two months to get it implemented. We very quickly connected with Train by Cell and started working with them. The content we use for our training is about 90% publicly sourced, so videos off of YouTube or articles off of the web, and about 10% things that we create for our organization’s needs. Then we built the navigation page and portal and got that up and going. - Ann Marie Ronson
Train by Cell Customer Support.
We did an orientation with Train by Cell and I have to say, this was really helpful to us. I was really concerned about kind of having to train myself on how to do this. We had great support for training that really walked us through it. Then, all the way along, I would just send an email with questions and they always got right back to me. - Ann Marie Ronson
When we sent our first texts out, I thought that I was going to get angry emails saying, “why are you spamming me” and that just was not the case. Actually, people said, “This is great. This is so cool. How did you come up with this?” - Ann Marie Ronson
Segmenting Text Message Communication
You can segment and send different messages to various groups. So maybe you have a building safety issue, or there's a hurricane or there's pipes bursting and you need to send a message out to your staff. Your board is not going to get that message or your volunteers wouldn't get that message. So it's nice that you're able to segment and send different messages to different groups. - Alli Stevens
Training Anytime, Anywhere
Some of our volunteers will save up all their drip learnings and then when they're sitting at their kid’s soccer game, they'll watch them, or when they're sitting in the doctor's office, they'll watch them then. They can do it at a time that's convenient for them. So that's been really positively received. - Alli Stevens
Text Message Sequencing
We've used text message sequencing for our advocates. We actually have a series of content that will go out to them for the weeks before the trial. Once that content is built, you can send that sequencing out to different groups. We have also talked about doing it as we onboard new volunteers, at certain points after their training, they would get a kind of reminder content. - Ann Marie Ronsman
Volunteers Now Request Drip Learning
Sometimes when we upload new lists there's a little glitch on our end when somebody's phone number gets mis-entered into our database. So they fall off the list. They will actually reach out to us and say, “Hey, I haven't gotten any drip learnings in a few weeks and I just want to make sure that I'm still on the list.” I can tell you with regular continuing education, nobody calls me up and says, “Hey, when's the next next in office continuing education?” - Ann Marie Ronsman