8 Signs It’s Time To Break Up With Your Giving and Volunteering Vendor

August 24, 2015

breakups


Congratulations!  You’ve resolved to start fresh with your employee volunteer management system and work on strengthening your shaky marriage.


But just because you’ve got new resolve doesn’t mean that the old problems which battered your relationship have gone away.


For example, here’s one I hear about all the time:


Your vendor stopped getting back to you the day they cashed your check.  Your calls are clearly a nuisance to them because they only respond to troubleshooting.  Clearly, your vendor doesn’t consider themselves a partner but a customer service hotline (or worse, message board) to answer your questions and fix bugs.  As such, they’ll always be reactive to your issues rather than proactive around your untapped potential.


Wouldn’t it be nice to have a vendor that anticipates your challenges and actively helps create new opportunities that you never even considered?


Or does this one sound familiar?


Your vendor’s platform makes employees do all the work of finding volunteer opportunities.  They simply match your employees with non-profits and then put the employee in charge of making arrangements on his own.  You’ve heard the grumbling internally so you know what this has yielded: a negative user experience that has increased employee disengagement with the system, which makes your company look bad.


Wouldn’t it be nice if your vendor worked with you to generate customized volunteer engagement opportunities, to the point that you could hook employees through inspiring events that resonated with your corporate mission and ethos?


So yeah, you know your relationship with your volunteer management system is on the rocks. But how do you know when it’s time to move on?


Here, my friends, are eight signs that it’s time to contact the divorce attorney:



  1. The company has been acquired.  If you think that their priorities won’t shift, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Ask yourself: as the company reevaluates its whole model and negotiates a new relationship with its parent company, does it have the funding or interest to put money behind continued development of the service?  Is the acquirer in the same space as the acquired?  Acquisition is usually about reevaluation of priorities and cost savings, not pouring more fuel on the fire.
  2. You haven’t received an update to your platform in over a month.  (Or has it been a year?)  This often happens because many vendors are not maintaining a true SaaS platform, they are maintaining dozens of individual customized instances – one, or sometimes more – for each client.  Here’s the tipoff.  If your vendor has about as many developers as clients, they are actually an agency, not a scalable SaaS solution.
  3. Your vendor calls themselves a ‘software company’.  While the best software is absolutely critical, the company should be providing an extremely high level of service.  Calling yourself a software company implies you will provide support, but not necessarily service.


  • You are spending hours and hours consolidating reports from different offices. Honestly, you’ve got better things to do with your time.


  1. You have no communications tools built in.  Communicating a program, from a social media standpoint to impact tracking and automated continual reporting, is key to a modern system.
  2. Your staff is active, social, and mobile.  And you want to attract the employees who are, grow the leaders who are, and retain the future leaders who are.  Your platform, on the other hand, is none of these.
  3. You’ve got a great story to tell about employee engagement.  But your volunteer platform just isn’t scoring the same level of engagement. So your story isn’t really being told, internally or externally, because no one is using the tools you’re using to capture and convey this story.

The year is still young.  And last year didn’t exceed your expectations.  ‘Nuff said.

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