Rolf and Chris first started building community driven apps in 2007 for Manchester City Council. Chris already delivered sports coaching for MCC and had a good understanding of the importance of volunteering, but also the problems with traditional volunteer management.
Manchester Volunteer Sports Bureau (VSB) was the first incarnation of what was to become VolunteerKinetic and went live in 2007 in support of the Youth Sports Trust Young Event Volunteer Project. Launched with little fanfare, the service was originally designed to recruit 300 volunteers over a three year period. After three months VSB had recruited 2000 Volunteers in the Greater Manchester area.
From inception, we held some core principals about how we wanted our website to work.
In 2008 Rolf and Chris founded SmarterInDesign Ltd. and our first product was VolunteerKinetic, developed from the engine powering ManchesterVSB. During VolunteerKinetic's first year we had success with Cardiff City Council, several London Boroughs, Anglesey and some as far afield as Dubai!
We worked hard during this period to create a stable and flexible application that could be rapidly and readily customised for the specific needs of each new customer. We are still doing that today. Our customer base expanded and we started to see the first realised potential of sharing information, opportunities and volunteers across different organisations. Volunteers get a wider choice and organisations get a wider impact.
Shortly after, in early 2009 Steve joined the team, bringing his much needed product testing and project management skills and we were able to expand again.
From early 2015 we started to integrate our stand alone ClubKinetic application into our core application, so managers could access and manage their regions clubs from the same interface. Volunteers were now able to see clubs in their area that might also need help and non-volunteers could search and find clubs offering activities they are interested in.
In 2016 we also integrated a new module called AccessKinetic that provides badge printing and access control for events powered by volunteers. Being integrated means managers can quickly import existing volunteers and their profile information to event roles and get their badges printed straight from the application. Its also flexible enough to allow registration of entities like team members, managers and media.
To reflect the combination of multiple community building facilities in the one place we created TeamKinetic.