For a lucky few, employment in the acting profession is well paid, and abundant. But, for many, their experiences are a stark contrast. For some, there are dry spells when they are out of work, or cannot work, due to injury, ill health or old age.
It’s at times like these, the Actors’ Benevolent Fund is able to step in, to provide vital financial support. The charity was set up in 1882 by the renowned actor and theatrical director Sir Henry Irving and friends. Its original remit to help impoverished actors, is still being served today.
As a grant-making charity, the Actors’ Benevolent Fund needed to upgrade their database so that it could manage the specific data sets it handled, including application forms and confidential information including medical records and financial information. It also needed the data to be easily retrieved so that it could review records of applications and, its beneficiaries.
The ABF soon realised, after enlisting the support of ITRM, who already provided IT support, that a new bespoke version of the database would need to be created.
After a consultation ITRM established exactly how CRM data would be accessed and how it could be stored in the most efficient way to be queried. ITRM proposed and worked on a redefined interface to make the system more intuitive and easier to use.
In addition, a refined data structure allowed ABF to build any report they would need to make sense of the data gathered. And, automatic alerts and being able to interface with various Microsoft tools, such as Outlook and Office, automated some of the process.
Despite initial delays from ITRM’s side, a dedicated project manager and developer worked on the project, until it went live in January 2019.
The ABF says, “We are now in a position to handle data better than ever before. The database saves time and is really simple and straightforward to use.” The ABF also mentions that the development team were extremely proactive in getting bugs fixed and moving the system from its infancy, to being fully functional.
Regular reporting means the Trustees are kept bang up-to-date. And, as each grant application is assessed on a case by case basis, the ABF is now able to retrieve the details of each award, with ease, ensuring the charity is much more efficient and responsive to its beneficiaries.