You are here

Changes to accessing contact data on the Portal - Email to group volunteers - 21 November 2023

We’re beginning to make changes to our systems ahead of next year, when we’ll be transforming our IT systems and processes to make them simpler for volunteers and staff to use. The first volunteering system to be updated will be the Portal.

In the short term, this update will mean that, while you’ll still be able to upload services and events to the Portal, you’ll no longer be able to download contact data for your group. We’ll be developing a new and improved way for you to do this.

While this change will help us to prepare for next year’s system improvements, we’re having to act quickly because the content management system the Portal is built on has become end of life. This means the company that owns this system will no longer be providing security upgrades.

Due to the large amount of personal data that’s held on the Portal, it’s crucial that we make changes to the system to keep this information safe. 

Process for Wednesday 22 November to early December

If you need to download contact data for mailouts, you’ll need to email [email protected]. The team will get this back to you within 48 hours with a password protected Excel spreadsheet of contact data.

If you request labels, these will be sent to you in A4 format with 21 labels per sheet (Avery product number L7160). If you need another format, you can do this through mail merge. You can find instructions for doing that here.

Accessing contact data from early December

We’re currently testing a new process which will restore volunteers’ direct access to up-to-date contact data. We’ll email you about this new process in the next two weeks. Until this is in place, please contact the Volunteer Support Team by email on [email protected] for access to contact data.

The importance of keeping data safe

It’s important that the most recent contact data is used to ensure we’re only contacting those who have opted in to hear from us. This means not using old data, and only requesting data when you know that you need to send communications out. Once you’ve received the data from the Volunteer Support Team, you should send your communication out within 24 hours to ensure the data remains accurate. Keeping data safe also means that if you’re sending contact details to others in your group, it must be in a password-protected format.

We apologise for any inconvenience that the short notice of this change causes. Thank you for bearing with us whilst we get the new process set up.

David Light
Head of Volunteering and Community Networks