Inspire Roll-Out A Second Region

When you’re young gifted and have bold aspirations, where do you turn for support? Usually the first port-of-call is the bank and loving arms of Mum and Dad. But what happens when Mum and Dad are tapped out and maybe even worn out? Inspire Foundation seek out young Cantabrians that have the unique blend of incredible talent, absolute dedication and total commitment.

Canterbury’s Inspire Foundation helps to bridge the gap between ambition and success.

The vision of founders Bob Davison and Paul Wright was to arm these kids with the skills and resources needed to market themselves, speak in public and introduce them to what it takes to achieve success at the highest level. And achieve they do, in everything from sport, to the arts, to academics. These are the heroes and thought leaders of the future.

Harcourts Chairman Paul Wright is no stranger to taking a model that works and replicating it. And this is what he wanted for The Inspire Foundation.

From his experience rolling out the Harcourts franchise across hundreds of offices he understood that Inspire would need to have efficient systems and processes in order to scale. Inspire were already well on their way to developing a systemised approach to the scheduled awards ceremonies and encouragement of their supporters as well as the regular newsletters. Next up was the digital and administrative aspect, to replace an overwhelming number of paper grant forms and manual processing time that was overloading staff – that’s where Custom D were able to get involved and help with what we do best.

In their 6 years of operation they have dished out more than $800k to over 150 of Canterbury’s best and brightest.

So we built an online application form and account area for would-be grantees. And a lot of thought was given to ease of use – if this was going to be useful, Inspire applicants had to be able to complete their applications without any assistance from the stretched support team at Inspire.

For applicants, this meant that all of their details were captured under their profile making subsequent applications super-quick and easy. For Inspire, applications were now coming through digitally and in a standardised format making it easier to read and share amongst the review committee.


Next we turned our attention to the process of reviewing, approving and declining applications. We were able to take full advantage of the application data being delivered electronically. We built a fully-interactive web app for reviewing applications that caters to the variety of roles that need different types of access. This included the review committee, administrators, media and those giving the final tick of approval.

When designing both the application form and review area, the most important aspect of its success was, without a doubt, ease of use. With thousands of applications coming through the system, it had to be clear and easy to complete and follow for a wide range of users.

The online application has been in use for a couple of years now and the review web app was launched in November last year.

The reduction in administrative overhead has been game-changing.

Inspire recently announced that Marlborough will be launching their own chapter of Inspire later this year – all of the hard work and effort of building a system that can roll out easily to a new region will be worth it!

“The introduction of an online application screening and approval system has saved our application review team hundreds of hours of time and made their collaboration on candidate assessment so much easier. The CustomD software was a game changer for us and worked brilliantly from day one.”
– Paul Wright Chairman
“The tying together of the web site, application portal and assessment process is so damn clever, even for me!! The by product is this amazing reservoir of history of these young Cantabs some who will potentially within our grant age parameters for multiple years”
– Bob Davison Founder

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