the woodland trust

UK woodland conservation charity implemented DocuWare to secure legal documents in an electronic format that was “legally admissible” by the courts and to improve
long-term record storage. After implementing DocuWare, better records management improved the charity’s income by allowing the organization to take full advantage of
tax credits on donations. Additionally, DocuWare was tightly integrated with their CRM solution to create one system for information and documentation which improved customer service.

The Woodland Trust

Industry: Nonprofit

Location: United Kingdom

Application: Donor Management, Legal Documentation, Estate Records

Document Types: Deeds, Legal Documents, Gift

Aide Declarations, Direct Debit Records, Risk

Assessments, Budget Reports

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity and one of the leading conservation forces for woods and trees. The organization campaigns to protect ancient woods, restores woods that are damaged, and fights for those threatened
by development. With the help of communities, schools, organizations and individuals, they create new native woodland throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.


An upcoming move to a new, more modern building where
they anticipated having less storage space prompted the
organization to start evaluating document management
solutions. The charity wanted to digitize their legal
documents in a format legally accepted by the courts and
to securely store these documents with long or indefinite
retention periods. 

They also needed a solution that could
integrate with other key systems such as their CRM and
accounting systems, as well as provide home-based
employees with easy access to important information.
With almost 2/3 of their employees working from home,
access to information over the internet from a tablet,
smartphone or laptop was an important consideration.

The Tasks

  • Reduce storage space
  • Create a “legally admissible” electronic document archive
  • Share information with home-based employees
  • Integration a document management system
    with the organizations CRM and Accounting

The Solution

Woodland Trust met with their Authorized DocuWare
Partner and decided to implement DocuWare because it
met the legal requirements of the courts, would help them
reduce document storage space, and could be customized
to their unique needs.

As an organization dedicated to woodland conservation,
moving toward a paperless office was the logical next step.
DocuWare was initially rolled out to the legal department
to manage and store land acquisition documents and
legacy documents containing the details of an individual’s
donation of part of their estate to the Woodland Trust after
their death.

Easy searchable access to information inspired the charity
to expand DocuWare’s use to include: direct debit
mandates – the document confirming a donation made with monthly electronic debit, and gift aid declarations – a
document that allows an individual to declare that they are a UK taxpayer and donate the income tax previously paid on
the donation to charity. This form allows the charity to collect an additional 25% of the value of the gift from the tax
office as additional revenue. A donation of £100 would result in an additional £25 of income for the charity from the tax

Applied Modules

  • Active Import
  • Content Folder

The Benefits

UK law allows gift aid declarations to be made verbally but
the charity must confirm the declaration in writing and
keep a copy of the confirmation. DocuWare helps the
organization manage and maintain these forms that are an
important source of income. If audited the Woodland Trust
could be liable for missing gift aid declarations, but with
DocuWare in place this liability is eliminated.
“DocuWare helps us securely store gift aid declarations
and claim tax credits. The increase in income from tax credits alone has more than paid for the software,” said Richard
Gardner, IT Systems Analyst for the Woodland Trust.

Using custom in-house software programming, DocuWare
was integrated with the charity’s CRM system, Advanced,
NG. Once a donor is located in the CRM system, every
document related to that donor can be accessed by
clicking the integrated DocuWare button which works in
the background to automatically search and display any
document indexed with a donor’s reference number. This
integration has streamlined two databases into one
system, simplifying information access and improving
customer service, as well as the management of login
“By using DocuWare’s integration tool we have managed
to incorporate enterprise grade, reliable document
management functionality into our CRM software to make
one system for information,” said Gardner. “This
integration allows more staff to have access to supporter’s
documents very quickly without having to train them to use a new system. The integration is so seamless and easy that
most of our staff don’t even realize they are using DocuWare.”
The Woodland Trust was able to add new work processes for home-based employees that allow them to access and
store documentation anytime, instead of requiring them to travel to the office to submit documentation.
In the legal department, DocuWare meets the guidelines set by UK law and the electronic documents are legally
admissible in court proceedings. Search times are considerably shortened which frees up the legal team for more
important tasks. Their DocuWare solution also guarantees secure access to documents legally requiring long or
permanent retention schedules, such as property deeds or wills.The legal department actually went back and scanned
all of their files in order to provide digital access to any legal document.
DocuWare also plays a key part in the Charity’s estate management. Today risk assessments, budget reports and other
documents relating to site management are securely stored in DocuWare and available to the entire staff regardless of

The Benefits

  • Created a digital archive of “legally admissible”
  • documents
  • Improved customer service by integrating
  • DocuWare and the CRM, creating a single
  • system for all information
  • Increased income through better management
  • of gift aid declarations
  • Enhanced work processes for home-based
  • employees
“One of our original purposes in implementing DocuWare was to make our move to a new building easier and move toward a paperless office. That was accomplished, but the real benefit we’ve seen is DocuWare’s flexibility which allows each of our departments to use the software in very different ways expanding charitable income and helping us reach out goals.”
Richard Gardner
Information System Manager

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