Convene Customer Success

Moorfields Eye Hospital Charity

We spoke to Ailish Murray, from Moorfields Eye Hospital Charity, about how implementing Convene has benefitted both the efficiency and security of their organisation.

“Convene is a flexible system that you can confidently and securely manage important documents.”


Please describe your Board structure and typical meeting calendar

We have 13 trustees on our main trustee Board, and we have approximately 5 subcommittees which are made up of the same trustees and also include some committee members who are not trustees but are brought in by virtue of their additional expertise.

Below that, we have our independent Scientific Advisory panel, which is made up of independent academics and clinicians, which feeds into our Grants committee.

Most of the committees and the whole Board meet four times annually with the occasional crossover meeting, and the panel meets three times per year. We do plan to hold more hybrid meetings in future since there are always some trustees who may not be able to attend in person, and we also have a lot more trustees based in different European countries who sit on our Scientific Advisory panel who would dial in to meetings.

What was the situation like before Convene was implemented?

I was the instigator for bringing Convene into our organisation. Dealing with the scientific grant applications was an issue because of the sheer volume. There could be hundreds of pages. From a security and confidentiality perspective there was also a need for a system to manage the process, since it was not appropriate to be sending them via email.

In organisations where I had worked prior to Moorfields, there was always some kind of system for document management, so there was a clear need for a similar system. I was also very keen to push towards a paperless model for my team and to adopt a greener approach to working. I took the decision not to post out hard copy grand applications, but this meant that they would have to be sent out via email which of course was a security risk, since documents could end up sitting in people’s inboxes, or a document going to an unintended recipient.  

We were looking for increased efficiency, especially since some of the documents could be very high volume. Applications come from people applying to us for research projects for funding, and an individual application could be made up of 25-30 pages. Our Administration function is not huge so if we had 10 applications, plus the other agenda items we would typically be dealing with 500 pages.

What made you choose Convene over the other providers you considered?

We looked at Virtual Boardroom and Boardpacks plus one other. Convene was chosen because of the permissions function certainly but we also liked the fact that we could click and drag Agenda items. Convene was also very competitively priced and represented good value for investment.

Which Convene features do you find useful, and what has helped your organisation?

We use the Document Library extensively. There was always an intention to have a space for storing common documents so that they could be referenced without the need for recirculating our governing documents and others. We have also begun using the Review Room.

Convene has made a significant difference as far as time is concerned with collating and circulating papers and setting up meetings.

Please share your security considerations, and how Convene helps with this.

Because of the nature of our work, we have a lot of confidential information not only relating to our own employees, and the activities of the charity but also when it comes to the research grant applications, they always contain sensitive information for example salary details, or commercially sensitive information. It’s a balance between information that is confidential and sensitive. With the information we deal with, the balance is tipped in favour of confidential, with information that should not be in the public domain.

We like the fact that the Permissions level with Convene allows us to go solo with each agenda item. One of the reasons I chose Convene initially was because it gave us the ability to restrict one person’s access to a single document if required.

How has Convene been received as a system?

At the beginning there was a bit of resistance from the more technology averse trustees, some of whom were resistant to change. There were some pros and cons when it came to using the app. It took a number of our trustees a while to get used to using the portal because they found that the app was so much easier. We do advise them to go into the portal if they need to download a large file since it’s not possible to view it in the app.

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