Designate roles and responsibilities. Make sure you have people in the right roles for their skills and that everyone understands the objectives you are trying to deliver.
Find relevant themes for each session. Gather information through polls to gauge interest on what the volunteers want. There are a number of different channels charities can use to create polls, such as Twitter or SurveyMonkey. Charities can also carry out polls through their website or direct mail to a CRM list.
2. Decide on a platform
Decide which platform you will use to deliver your sessions (such as Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams).
You can do this by assessing the needs and habits of your service users. For example, if your service users already use one platform, you should go with that one. Or if they have special requirements (such as the need for closed captioning) then you will need to identify a platform within your budget that can support this.
3. Build the formula
Decide on a basic formula that you can use across all your sessions. This should be based on the needs of your users and the nature of the support you are delivering.
Practice sessions with speakers in order to help you refine this and make sure that they are familiar with your session structure.
4. Deliver the service
Once your volunteers are set up with Zoom, you can begin delivering remote meetings. Set up a link and make sure that your service users have access to it.
You can also establish rules for your meeting, to deter ‘Zoom bombers’. These might include password protection, restrictions on screen-sharing, automatic muting of participants, and other measures.
While sessions are running, make sure there is someone manning the chatbox to answer questions and point people to information/links. At the end of the session, review the chatbox and cover any questions that haven't been answered.
5. Keep in touch
Plan how you will engage people on an ongoing basis. How will you keep the momentum going?
Ensure you keep a level of interest going through regular communications.
Before each session, send a 'save the date' email with theme, date, and registration as well as sign up for breakout rooms.
Send a 'thank you for attending' email afterwards with a summary of what was covered and any links that were shared. Invite people to share this with other members.
6. Assess and improve
Refine and optimise your service based on learnings gleaned from data analysis. You can send out a short survey after the meeting to solicit feedback, and/or schedule regular sessions to discuss what is working and what could be improved with your users.
You can also examine data on uptake. Are user numbers growing or shrinking? This should give you valuable insight into how well your service delivery is working.
Many thanks to The British Lung Foundation 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 The British Lung Foundation and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.
Do you have thoughts on this recipe? We would love to hear from you.