HelpUnited and Future Watchdog Agency
HelpUnited is a project that we plan to roll out in a few years. Our goal is to be a watchdog service for the hotline industry, and a resource for all hotline volunteers to collaborate and to exercise their clout by joining, to make recommendations about hotline best practices. Whatever the reasons may be, we see hundreds of millions of dollars being donated and granted to nonprofits, who repeatedly recreate the same wheel, as a misuse of funds which should be designated to direct services. We all know that nonprofits that provide identical services could easily merge, with the goal of reducing executives' pay, rent, equipment and countless other things. We also all know that nonprofits are not likely going to reduce their flow of inbound cash, to benefit a common good.
HelpUnited was built to help the hotline industry to develop self oversight. We are inviting past and and present hotline volunteers to join HelpUnited to collaborate in the creation of best practices, that can be recommended to hotline executives. Focusing on hotline budgets by working on not recreating the wheel as new and existing hotlines expand their technologies is critical.
HelpUnited is the outreach arm of #4Help, through initiatives such as National Hotline Volunteers Month, we make people aware of #4Help services, while creating opportunities to honor the work of hotline volunteers.
Help United is an opportunity for hotline volunteers to connect. Given that there are thousands of hotlines and helplines that rely on volunteer staff, there should be an organization to combine the voices of every volunteer productively, so that the safety, interests and goals of volunteers are understood and respected by the agencies to whom we donate our time. There are more individuals in need of hotline services than ever. Creating a unified block of volunteers, is one way to meet that rising demand.
We are concerned that some agencies in the hotline industry are overly concerned with protecting their brand and to generating leads (more leads than some can handle) to the detriment of people in need and to new agencies trying to work their way into this super-competitive industry. Whether by design or not, new agencies are discouraged, or their entry is slowed down by massive PPC advertising and investments in powerful SEO.
If the hotline industry is so overburdened that it must route callers to smaller agencies to cover, then we have to explore who protecting industry share actually benefits. Does this practice do a disservice to the people we serve and to the volunteers who are often stretched too thin?
We believe the hotline industry is incumbent on the hotline industry, since it is made up of well-meaning nonprofit and governmental agencies to collaborate. Why should a new agency have to recreate the wheel when they set up their new hotline or helpline?
One area that volunteers can help with is by joining the Help United Setup Team. This team can assist existing hotlines and new hotlines with a host of services that will make recreation of the wheel a thing of the past. We can deliver:
— implementation of all required hotline systems,
— programs for best practices and training
— updating agency basic operational systems
— providing access to the latest virtual PBX technology
Since volunteers work in all facets of hotline work, we can help to set up turn key services with ease.
Because we volunteer for hotline services, we're well positioned to volunteer to help improve the
services that individuals receive in all hotlines. For example, HelpUnited could build a pre-made virtual phone system that would cost less than usual and help reduce the time to answer calls, while saving hotlines a lot of money.
HelpUnited, with unified volunteers can dig deep into the hotline industry to save money and improve services, a few examples are:
— unified training,
— group insurance coverage,
— better protections for volunteers health and safety,
— programs to help reduce executive and middle management by unifying projects
There is strength in numbers, and genuine change comes by organizing those numbers and reminding them of the clout they carry. HelpUnited has its work cut out for them. Change is hard. Please consider helping us.
Visit helpunited.org, celebrate National Hotline Volunteers Month with us and select your nomination for hotline volunteer of the year, along with any stories that we can share with the public during NHVM.