We spoke to our support partner ABTA LifeLine about how they have found working with Lightning Reach and using the portal.
As a smaller charity established to support people who work or have worked in the travel industry, we heard from their Director Trudie Clements about how they have benefited from being on the portal.
Tell us a little about your charity, who you support and what support you offer?
ABTA LifeLine is ABTA’s (The Travel Association’s) charity for past and present employees of ABTA. The charity provides support for the unexpected moments in life such as redundancy, relationship breakdown, accidents and bereavement, among many other things.
It gives practical, financial and emotional assistance to travel colleagues that are really struggling, throwing them a LifeLine in their time of need.
What was your grant application process like before using Lightning Reach, and what were any challenges you experienced processing applications for support?
Before 2019 LifeLine’s application process was very much paper based. But in 2019, with the collapse of Thomas Cook, we recognised that we had to move quickly to help those desperately in need.
We therefore set up a simple online application form. This worked well for us during the crisis, but it wasn’t sophisticated and lacked any potential to develop further.
How did you find out about Lightning Reach? What parts of Lightning Reach’s portal appealed to you most and got you interested in using the portal and working with us?
We heard about Lightning Reach through the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) and immediately saw how we could develop and digitalise our application process still further. The portal gave us the ability to manage personal data securely as well as do the security checks quicker and more efficiently than we had been doing.
In addition, we recognised that by collaborating with other charities, it also gave us an opportunity to reach more people that might be eligible for our support. Finally, we like the fact that we were going to be part of the development process and that we would have a voice in how the portal could evolve over time.
How did you find the process of working with Lightning Reach and getting you added onto the portal?
The process was very efficient thanks to a great team at Lightning Reach. If you have any questions, they are very good at getting back to you quickly.
What have been the main benefits for you and your organisation of using the portal, and what impacts has it had so far?
The benefits for LifeLine have been that we are better at handling data and sensitive information in a timely manner. We are confident that those applying are doing so in a secure way. The data is held with Lightning Reach, which means there is no need for us to download data sensitive information unless we need to.
We have certainly reached more people as the applications for support have increased. We have also been able to respond quicker than we would have done in the past due to the built-in security checks (such as ID verification).
Finally, it has been really good for us to speak with other charities during the development of the portal to learn from and collaborate with them.
What would you say to organisations who are thinking about using the portal?
I would certainly encourage anyone who is thinking of using the portal to get in touch and have conversations with those that have been using it to fully understand the benefits that we have realised.
Also, don’t let the size of your organisation put you off. LifeLine is a small charity, but we have tailored the portal to support our needs, and the service we receive and the input that we give is no different to any other charity.
If you are interested in discussing how the Lightning Reach portal could support your organisation in streamlining and accelerating the delivery of financial support to your service users, while reaching a wider range of potential clients to access support from your organisation quickly and easily, please get in touch with email@example.com