Abortion Support Network

Abortion Support Network was founded in 2009 and is a very small, almost entirely volunteer run charity. In both Ireland and Northern Ireland abortion is functionally illegal and inaccessible. The Isle of Man has no provision for abortion. ASN offers financial assistance, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information to women forced to travel from these locations to pay privately for abortions in England.

ASN signed up for a Tech Surgery with one of CITA’s Tech Surgery volunteers. Their size had started to exceed their infrastructure and they needed advice on how to start the process of upgrading their systems. They needed to find a telephony solution which would enable more than one volunteer at a time to staff their helpline. ASN needed to upgrade their Excel database in order to handle their growing donor list whilst they also required shared storage to streamline their documents and resources.

Mara Clarke, Founder of ASN reported: “The benefits to our organisation have been incredible. Our helpline team, who had been straining to cover calls with one person at a time on shift, is now more able to respond to client queries with two people on shift at a time. And our entire organisation, which has more than 60 people remotely based, are more efficient and effective as we can all access the same versions of documents without having to wait for the document owner to check email and forward something along. It’s been a game changer!”

The volunteer from CITA, Steve Smith, listened to the needs of ASN, asking questions to help them to formulate what resources were actually necessary. He helped them assess different VoIP solutions, CRM software and shared storage options using his knowledge of the technology and industry to help identify which products best met resolved ASN’s problems whilst helping to minimise the cost.

Since ASN’s Tech Surgery, they have implemented a new shared drive and telephony system, and they have invested in a new CRM which will be up and running by September.

“The CRM, once it’s up and running, will enable us to be smarter and more targeted in our fundraising efforts. The ability to talk directly to an expert and receive relevant advice rather than having to muddle through on our own was invaluable. We heartily recommend CITA to absolutely any charity that requires technical assistance.”