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Data is increasingly crucial to helping charitable organisations achieve their goals while ensuring document control and enabling secure collaboration. These factors are particularly vital to charities with large teams operating across multiple countries and regions.

Charities are progressively turning to digital tools to help employees work from anywhere, better engage with communities, and change the lives of people all over the world. For example, Ideagen Huddle is helping two charities improve their working processes and become more streamlined. As a result, the Charity Sector Procurement Group (CSPG) and Railways Children UK can now help their employees better serve the needs of people worldwide.

Who are CSPG and Railway Children?

CSPG was formed as a “talking group” to raise professional standards in the charity sector, share professional knowledge, and maximise the effectiveness of charity funding. The group has grown and is now affiliated with the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). This allows it to support the charity sector with a forum for developing best practices, as well as providing a networking platform, raising professional standards, promoting development and training, and representing diversity.

Railway Children helps children living on the streets around the world. Based in Cheshire, in north-west England, the charity has a considerable task helping more than 100,000 under-16-year-olds who run away from home in the UK. But it also has operations assisting children on the streets of India, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Its employees work to gain children's trust and find them safe places to stay while working with communities to change perceptions and improve protection. The charity also works with governments to get the issue on the national agenda and change laws and policies to keep all children safe.

Charities’ control and security challenges

CSPG and Railway Children had a shared challenge of providing secure access to employees while making data readily accessible.

CSPG’s members needed a forum to help them share information and a safe environment to discuss procurement issues. Charities often have small procurement teams that have to painstakingly create all contracts and tender documents from scratch. Many charities also relied on spreadsheets to manage members’ contact details and shared sensitive information via email. They had no way of managing data or tracking who had access to their critical information.

Railway Children faced a similar dilemma. Its employees and volunteers around the world access critical documents to complete their time-sensitive work. But the charity didn’t have one central location for documents, which meant it struggled to keep track of data and ended up wasting employees’ valuable time.

Providing a secure single source of truth

Both charities turned to Ideagen Huddle, a cloud-based document management platform, to solve their access and storage requirements.

Huddle enabled CSPG members to upload existing contracts and tenders, providing templates for other members to use and understand examples of what has worked well for their peers. This has been crucial for members with small procurement teams, who no longer have to create documents from scratch. It’s also significantly enhanced the process of producing documents and saved time on procurement opportunities.

But a critical advantage has been Huddle enabling CSPG members to securely access information without concerns about getting locked out due to inadequate technology. Its secure access has been crucial to CSPG meeting its goals to raise professional standards, enhance the profile of procurement, and represent the charity sector externally.

As Claire Smart, a CSPG member, former CSPG Chair, and Group Head of Procurement for Sanctuary Group, explains: “[Huddle has been] integral to all success; it’s our communication engine. I’m not sure how the group could work without Huddle.”

Huddle’s version control enabled Railway Children’s staff to track critical documents and, crucially, compare them with previous versions. This was vital when working with time-sensitive or detailed documents like expenditure returns, partner agreements, and project reports.

All documentation is now stored on one central platform, enabling staff to work more flexibly and securely log in and upload documents anytime and anywhere. The central location also ensures Railway Children has an audit trail of all activity, enabling it to track documents, user access, and understand the context of updates.

Secure collaboration

Both charities have also reaped the benefits of Huddle as a collaboration and communication tool, helping employees and users work on documents more quickly and effectively.

CPSG’s members use Huddle as an online communication tool to collaborate on procurement documents. Documents can easily be shared between members, who can also ask questions and post helpful information and experiences. Furthermore, this crucial data is more readily available and discoverable to users, meaning they no longer have to waste time searching for the information they need.

Huddle enables Railway Children’s global employee base to collaborate online, comment on documents, and work on sensitive documents, like case studies, marketing materials, and reports, at any time.

David Brookes, Finance Director at Railway Children, said: “It’s made things much simpler for us. We can see how our different teams are working and meeting their objectives. Huddle’s easy-to-use interface also caters to the varying levels of IT experience of our staff.”

Embrace digital transformation with Ideagen Huddle

Huddle is instrumental in helping charities improve and modernise their ways of working. It allows organisations to make data readily available and easily sharable between employees while ensuring sensitive information is only accessible to authorised users.

The cloud-based Ideagen Huddle platform provides a single source of truth for employees, users, partners, and stakeholders to collaborate and communicate on documents. This is crucial for companies in highly regulated industries to securely share sensitive data, maintain total control of documents, and meet their project goals.


Enhance collaboration and control

Discover how Ideagen Huddle can help your charity enhance collaboration, enhance document control, and increase security across your teams.

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Written by

Kay Oldham

As product Marketing Manager for Collaboration at Ideagen, Kay specialises in creating insightful and engaging communications to showcase the opportunities for organisations looking to develop their digital transformation journey. Kay’s marketing knowledge and experience spans a variety of industries and her main passions lie with customer experience, creativity and digital strategy.