iCarol is a web-based all-in-one software designed especially for non-profit helplines. Helplines of all types and sizes use iCarol, including warmlines, befriending lines, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, information and referral services such as 2-1-1, LGBTQ hotlines, and more. iCarol takes many of the administrative tasks of running a helpline and integrates them into one system. Contact documentation, data collection, shift scheduling, volunteer and staff management, offering services like Live Chat and Texting, Resource and Referral database, Statistics and Reporting, and many other tasks can all be managed in iCarol.
What does “iCarol” stand for? Is it an acronym? Is it named for a person? +–
iCarol’s name was originally developed to be an acronym for “Information Calls and Reports Online” though today iCarol’s capabilities go far beyond what was represented in our name originally.
Are there hardware requirements to be able to use iCarol? Hard disk space, operating system, etc? +–
There are no minimum memory, storage, processor, hardware, operating system, software, performance or network requirements for a device. If you can get to Google, you can use iCarol. But of course everything on the internet (including iCarol) seems to run better with at least DSL, Cable or for mobile devices, Wifi or 4G service. Still, we have some users happily using iCarol from a dial-up connection.
Authorized users can access iCarol from any computer or device that is connected to the internet and running a web browser. This includes (but is not limited to) computers devices running Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux, as well as devices like iPads, iPods, iPhones, Blackberries or those running Android, Windows Phone, Palm/WebOS, Symbian and more.
For access from computers, we officially support these web browsers:
Apple Safari (all versions)
Google Chrome (all versions)
Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 9 and higher)
Mozilla Firefox (version 2 or higher)
We recommend that you keep updated with the latest web browsers, especially wherever someone may be entering Call Reports. You’ll get better security, faster performance, and less likelihood of errors.
Do I answer my calls through iCarol? Is it a phone system? +–
iCarol is not the same as a phone system that you use to answer your calls, but rather you use forms in iCarol to document, collect data, or log the interactions you have with your clients, whether those are over the phone, in person, or over chat or text. Our software can work with your phone system in some ways, such as populating a contact form on your counselors’ screens when a call comes through to their workstation. If you’re interested in integrating iCarol with your phone system, please contact us for more information.
Where is my data stored? +–
Your data is stored at secure and redundant locations in Canada. Our choice to do so allows us to be compliant with EU/UK data privacy laws.
How does iCarol approach privacy laws? +–
We are well acquainted with privacy laws like HIPAA (US), PIPEDA (Canada) and the Data Protection Act (UK and Europe). We have safeguards and processes so that we do our part to help you maintain compliance with these laws, and are willing to sign needed agreements asserting our role in your compliance with them.
Is iCarol secure? +–
Yes, we take the security and privacy of your data very seriously and take extensive security measures to protect your call center’s data. Read more about our security here.
What support is available? +–
We aim to to provide plenty of training and support during your free trial so you can get a true feel for how iCarol can address the issues most important to your helpline. Of course our team will be there to support you once you become a subscribing user, too.
Users can access myriad support documents and training videos 24/7 from within iCarol. Our responsive support team will be delighted to help our clients with inquiries Monday through Friday from 6am-6pm PST, though we have processes in place to address urgent issues outside of those hours. Our certified professionals monitor the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year so they can quickly and immediately resolve outages when they rarely occur. We know how important it is for our clients to access their systems at all hours of the day and night, and that any interruptions impact not just them but the communities they serve. For this reason, system reliability is a top priority for us.
Is there a limit to how many users I can add to my iCarol system? +–
No. Unlike other software that allows only a certain number of “seats” or users, or charges more based on the number of people accessing it, iCarol allows you to add an unlimited number of volunteers, staff, managers, board members, and others to have access to your iCarol system, with no impact on your subscription pricing. Read more about managing volunteers and staff using iCarol.
How do I access the data I put into iCarol? Who owns it? Can I export it? +–
Our philosophy is that our clients own the data, and we are simply the stewards of it by storing it securely for you. You can export this data for offline use at any time.
Can I try it before I become a paying customer? +–
Absolutely! We’d welcome you to try iCarol for free for up to 30 days with absolutely no obligations. We won’t even ask you for a credit card number so there’s no sneaky business with charges showing up on your credit card statement because you forgot your trial was ending.
For your trial, we’ll set you up with a real, live, fully functional system. There’s no “trial version” of our product — you get to see and use the same basic features as our subscribers. We’ll work with you to add your staff and volunteer profiles, resources, create data collection forms, and more, so you can get a real feel for how iCarol can work for you. Click here to find out more about our free trial.
How customizable is iCarol? +–
No two helplines are exactly alike, and that’s why we offer tons of settings that let you adjust how iCarol works for you. You can decide what users can use certain functions, and you have many choices about how each area of iCarol will work in your system according to your policies.
Can I make changes to my report forms/data collection? +–
Sure! We completely understand that your data collection needs may change and grow as time passes, especially as you take on new programs and projects that require reporting to your funders. Not to mention the fact that when your helpline is responding to fluid situations like disasters or community emergencies, you may need to quickly start collecting some new piece of data. The forms you use to collect data can be edited at any time, and with our comprehensive form editing tools, the power to change these forms is in your hands. Of course our support team is always willing to lend a helping hand if you need it.
What kind of training is available? +–
We believe in cultivating some iCarol experts at your helpline so that they can train your volunteers and staff on how to use the system in ways that align with your own business practices. That’s why we follow a train-the-trainer approach. During your trial and implementation period, you’ll be invited to a meeting with one of our experts to talk about your needs, and have access to several training webinars for your staff that cover all the areas of iCarol that you’ll be using each day. Your management leaders can then take what they’ve learned and inform your line staff of how to use iCarol in ways that fit with how you do business. And the neat thing about the experts who work for iCarol is that many of us used to work at non-profit helplines, so we understand the challenges you face and have first hand experience with how iCarol can help you meet those challenges head on.
What kind of reporting tools are available? +–
There are dozens of ready-to-go charts and graphs in the Statistics area of our software, arming you with all the top reports you need like call volume, top issues, demographic breakdowns, caller location reports, top referrals given, volunteer hours, and more. These graphs take various forms — spreadsheets, pie charts, and bar charts for example, with options to quickly download the data to Microsoft Excel and comparable programs for further analysis. Filter these reports based on your chosen time frame, data collection form used, or the source location of the call. Filter results even further using the data fields you collect on your forms. And of course you can also download the full raw data tables, too, if you’d like the freedom to write your own queries and cross tabulations available in programs like Microsoft Access. Reporting on your helpline’s outcomes has never been easier. Read more about Statistics and Outcome Reporting in iCarol.
Is there a limit to how much data I can store in iCarol? +–
No. In 2014 alone our clients collectively logged over 5 million report forms into iCarol. That’s a lot of data, and we invest in the best systems to keep this data safe, secure, and readily accessible. There are no limits on the amount of client contact, volunteer and staff, resource, and other data that you put into iCarol. Please note, though, that our pricing model is based on your annual call form and resource data storage needs.
How are updates to the software handled? +–
Because iCarol is web-based, we handle all the software updates for you. You don’t need to download and install service packs and other updates. We deploy releases to iCarol regularly to add new features, adjust functionality, and do other maintenance. And best of all, these releases are transparent to your users — we don’t have to take our systems down to deploy these updates.
Can I import data from my old system to iCarol? +–
Yes, this is certainly an option and one that many of our clients choose to take advantage of. We have created easy-to-use templates that you can fill in with information so that you can easily upload your volunteer profiles and resource database entries. More complex imports are also possible, such as migrating data directly from another source, for example if you’re moving to iCarol from another software solution. Previously collected call data and resource databases are common examples of this type of import. We’d be happy to talk to you about all the available options when it comes to moving your data to iCarol. Click here to read more about importing your data into iCarol.