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For over a decade, UpRising has supported more than 4,000 young people aged 18–25 to develop leadership and employability skills through intensive six-to-nine-month programmes.

In Summer 2020, UpRising began the work of translating each programme to run in a “digital first” format. The charity needed to give successful applicants all the information and resources they needed to start work online at 9am on the first day of the programme.

Recipe status

This recipe has been in use since December 2020.

We are not sharing this recipe as the perfect solution to a problem, but we believe UpRising’s learnings could be very useful to other organisations.

Users and needs served

  • As a member of staff, I need to continue onboarding users remotely to our programmes
  • As a service user, I need to continue accessing programmes virtually

Software and tools used


Notion enables companies to create a hub for everything a team is working on. It works as a place to merge shared documents, a web-publisher, and a hub of databases.

UpRising used it as a basic web-page publishing tool to create the landing page, which used no code. It was also used for project management among the team.


The personal version of Notion is free. Paid options have more functionality.


Notion allows you to create a landing page with minimal tech skills required.

Notion allows you to create effective databases without being an expert.

Notion is designed to be inclusive. The available tools are all accessible.

Notion allows you to embed all your tasks in one place, and to sync them with a calendar.


Loom is an easy-to-use and high-quality screen recording app.


The free version allows users to create five minutes of video content. Charities and educational settings may also be able to get a free plan. Paid plans offer greater functionality.


Loom operates in browser-based and app-based formats, so you don’t have to download anything onto your computer.

It is worth ensuring that there is some coaching and guidance given on how to actually make a video through Loom to understand best practices.

Consider safeguarding when recording your screen as you don’t want something confidential on view.

Loom is very practical and user-friendly, as it is an easy format for users to watch.


Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. By connecting apps, Zapier can help to automate repetitive tasks.


There is a free plan that allows five Zaps. You can choose to upgrade to different plans with varying prices.


Zapier reduces admin tasks such as mass emailing.

Recipe steps

1. Map out the user journey

Establish what the user needs to know when they are starting their programme on the first day.

Consider what tools they’ll need to have access to, in order to take part in the online programme.

Use research from your previous work on what people struggle with to inform your user experience (UX) design.

Once you have mapped out what needs to be done, you can look at some of those stages and see if something more efficient can replace this step.

2. Allocate roles and responsibilities to your team

You need to consider how many of your team will be involved in the project, as well as how much time it will take.

Hold stand-ups to get clarity on who is doing what and the ways that different people work.

Systemise how you organise your tasks.

Train any staff who are using a new tool to ensure they feel confident using it.

Consider using a digital agency to help move your project online.

3. Create material for your users

Use Loom or another video software to create simple videos for your users to access before their first day.

If using Loom, ensure that you brief those who will be creating the content on best practice.

Think about every digital tool the user will need to take part in the programme, and create videos for each, such as how to set up a Zoom account.

4. Create a living handbook

Through Notion, you can ensure that everything is in one place for users.

Create a single space for users to learn about the different sections of the course, such as who is teaching and what is involved.

Include embedded Zoom links for users to easily access sessions.


Work in an agile way and communicate with your digital agency if you feel that they do not understand the way you work as a non-profit organisation.

Ensure your team is willing to question the usual ways of doing things. Using a digital agency can help, as they provide a different perspective on what the process could look like.

Understand that your onboarding process needs to reflect the digital programme you now provide, not the face-to-face one.

Ask yourself what your digital learning approach looks like.

Ensure you are user-centric throughout each design sprint and involve your beneficiaries.


Your team may feel apprehensive about having to use new digital tools. However, by opting for no-code tools and platforms, you can empower your team to continue trying out new pieces of software.

Points of contact

For further information about this recipe, you can contact:

Marc Whitmore


Many thanks to UpRising for contributing this recipe.


This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and UpRising and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on April 26th, 2021. Last updated August 6th, 2021