Helping BAVO Improve their Application Process by using Microsoft Forms

by Sarah Namann | 14th Dec 2023

This blog is a case study from our DigiCymru service, which offers free, short, 1-to-1 support to third-sector organisations in Wales. Bavo is just one organisation that has contacted the service to ask for advice and help to find solutions to their problem.

What is BAVO?

Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) is a County Voluntary Council (CVC) covering Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Newport.

What problem did BAVO face?

The BAVO staff team has varying levels of digital skills and experience in using digital tools to create forms. BAVO needed help with creating application forms that were consistent across the organisation.

As part of the free DigiCymru service, BAVO asked ProMo Cymru to explore the best tool to use based on their needs and help them understand the possibilities and ways to utilise the features best. In particular, they were looking to attach a guidance document to the application form, as applicants weren’t reading the guidance as it was being sent separately.

They also had issues managing all the information submitted in the applications, as the completed applications weren’t stored in one place. Additionally, some applicants choose to apply on paper rather than online, so BAVO were also looking for an easy way to adapt an online form to a paper version.

Finding a digital solution

As with many third-sector organisations, the budget for new tools is often tight. BAVO were looking for a free tool that the team could learn in-depth.

Sarah Namann, Digital Projects Officer at ProMo Cymru, met with BAVO to discuss what digital tools could provide a solution.

To start, we explored the pros and cons of popular and powerful tools such as Typeform, Google Forms and Alchemer. As the organisation already had a paid subscription to Microsoft 365, we jointly decided to proceed with using Microsoft Forms – a basic, intuitive tool used to build forms.

Sarah showed them how Microsoft works and highlighted the advantages and limitations of the tool. BAVO learned about the specific functions that would help them, including rethinking the way they build their application forms they could access the application guidance document directly in the form.

We also explored how to use Excel, another Microsoft 365 software, to gather the information submitted by applicants in one place. One limitation of the tool is that you can’t adapt Microsoft Forms to a paper format, so this only supports digital applications.


When asked how happy they were with the service, they scored DigiCymru as excellent (5 out of 5).

BAVO shared that they felt ‘supported’, ‘heard’, and ‘like the help was tailored to their needs’, and that it was a ‘really helpful & useful session’.

The organisation shared that they are ‘very likely’ to use what they learned in the sessions in their work. The most useful part of the DigiCymru sessions was learning more about the functions of Microsoft Forms. which answered specific queries that the BAVO team had about using the tool.

This case study is funded through Third Sector Digital Support, a National Lottery Community Fund project to support the Welsh Third Sector with digital. To find out more about how this project can support your organisation, click the link or contact