From inefficient email to easy file sharing – lessons from The Charity Commission
Learn how Objective Connect improved secure record sharing with trustees
“Easy, reliable and secure.” - These were the three words that Sonia Taylor, Head of Knowledge and Information Management and Departmental Records Officer at The Charity Commission for England and Wales used to describe Objective Connect at Collaborate 2020.
Sharing the Commission’s story to the wider Objective community, Sonia discussed how processes have changed for the better during a seven-year product journey.
Life before a secure and single source of truth
The Commission regulates registered charities in England and Wales and maintains the Central Register of Charities. A key part of the department’s remit is to liaise with the trustees of those charities, offering advice and guidance to ensure effective management and compliance. Sonia holds responsibility for ensuring all records within the Commission are sent to the National Archive, given they are public records.
Commenting on life before Objective Connect, Sonia noted: “We were using email an awful lot, trying to collect information this way. There were also a lot of face-to-face visits whereby our case officers would travel out to charities and trustees, collecting a lot of evidence and bringing back volumes of paper that then needed to be scanned into our Objective ECM system.”
Both resource and time-intensive, this previous method wasn’t sustainable for such a sizeable paper trail. As Sonia added: “The use of Connect has really helped here – I can’t begin to tell you how much information and paper was in our offices at that time”. There were also other considerations: “I saw the benefits of being able to use Objective Connect, especially knowing that GDPR was on its way into the UK”.
Internal and external value during COVID-19
Like many organisations, Sonia acknowledged the importance of Objective Connect given the sudden move to remote working and virtual interaction as national lockdowns came into force.
“We have seen a massive increase in the use of Objective Connect during COVID. We’ve been able to use Connect to share information and provide trustees with guidance and documents quite easily and securely,” Sonia said. “Previously, our staff would do the face-to-face visits and take the documents with them… We’ve found using Connect has been a really good way of getting that information out swiftly.”
We have seen a massive increase in the use of Objective Connect during COVID. We’ve been able to use Connect to share information and provide trustees with guidance and documents quite easily and securely
Head of Knowledge and Information Management & Departmental Records Officer - The Charity Commission for England and Wales
Product value doesn’t end with trustee exchanges either. “Internally, because of the fact we’re not having those face-to-face meetings anymore where people would be able to sit around a laptop or in a meeting room, we’ve used workspaces for collaborating internally to make sure that staff are able to see and liaise on documents, and have one place to go to find that information.”
To hear Sonia’s full story, including how she got Objective Connect up and running with a pilot working group and her insights and tips into supporting external collaboration, watch the Collaborate 2020 Customer Panel recording: