We spoke to our support partner Racing Welfare about how they have found working with Lightning Reach and using the portal.
Racing Welfare provide support to the workforce of the British horseracing industry and have several of their grants available for people to apply for on the Lightning Reach portal.
We heard from Regional Welfare Manager Brian Watson about how they have benefited from being on the portal.
Briefly tell us a little about your charity. Who do you support and how do you support them?
Racing Welfare is a registered charity supporting the workforce of British horseracing. We offer professional guidance and practical help to the stud, stable and support staff whose dedication is vital for the well-being of horse racing. Our work aims to help people, from recruitment to retirement, to thrive in day-to-day life and through a range of challenges specific to a career in racing.
What was your grant application like before using Lightning reach? (what were the main challenges and how much time did it take to process an application?)
Before partnering with Lightning Reach our grant process was very time consuming. Every applicant would have numerous appointments with a welfare officer to gather the correct information, it was only then that a welfare officer could begin to put the grant application together. We had copious amounts of paperwork, from ID documents to bank statements. Our grant process used to take 6 -8 weeks, now that we have Lightning Reach we can process grants in 2 – 4 weeks.
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?
We came across the Lightning Reach portal during an ACO workshop when a partner from another charity had discussed their involvement and early success with the website.
After some research we reached out to the team at Lightning Reach, and they could not have been more helpful. What we liked was that the portal did everything we already did, but it did it so much quicker and accurately, this we have seen as a good thing as it gave our beneficiaries more ownership of the grants that they were applying for. It freed up our welfare officers to spend more time working on complex cases and importantly all the information including ID checks and bank statements were held safe and secure on the portal.
How have you found the process of working with Lightning Reach and getting onboarded onto the portal?
It has been a very easy process to get up and running. We trialled a demo platform before we signed up and rolled out the real thing which was helpful. The team at Lightning Reach have been great, they are very prompt to answer any questions and support is offered quickly by email or zoom call. The team at Lightning Reach have also delivered two sessions of training on the portal to our entire welfare team which was very helpful.
What have been the main benefits for you and your organisation of using the Lightning Reach portal and what impact has it had so far? (please include if possible any ways of quantifying any impact e.g. estimated time savings for your organisation, if you are reaching a higher number of people/more diverse range of applicants)
Using the portal for our grants applications has allowed us to save time for both beneficiaries and our team. The time we have saved completing the necessary paperwork (about 44% of a welfare officer's time) is now spent on more complex issues and working with people face to face. Thanks to Lightning Reach we have also been able to roll out our targeted grants programme, again saving huge amounts of time for the team, the grant application arrives complete, with all checks done ready for our team to process. We have had positive feedback from our beneficiaries that the portal is easy and quick to use. Applying for a second or third grant for them is also much easier because Lightning saves their information and with only a few clicks it can be updated and re-submitted.
What would you say to organisations who are thinking about potentially joining/using the portal?
We would say do it. Lightning Reach has totally transformed the way we work, it gives beneficiaries ownership of their own grants and information and allows our team to spend more time out and about and working on more complex cases.
The team at Lightning Reach have been fantastic, nothing is ever too much for them, they are helpful, understanding and very friendly.
A revolutionary portal that has made grant giving for us much safer, quicker and modern.
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