Sparrow Group skilled volunteers helped Brave Step select the right application for the launch and management of a new program for loved ones of sexual abuse survivors.
Brave Step empowers individuals who have been impacted by sexual abuse. To shape a strong, supportive community, they:
- Provide personalized services that help adults impacted by sexual abuse reclaim the life they deserve;
- Foster brave public conversations about sexual abuse; and
- Cultivate courageous changemakers.
Brave Step was preparing to launch a new program focused on loved ones of victims of sexual violence. They needed help identifying a business system application that would support this program by managing data and reporting results in an easy-to-navigate interface and providing the efficiencies needed to track metrics for this program. Apparo matched Brave Step to a volunteer team from The Sparrow Group who partnered with Brave Step to understand current business processes related to data collection and reporting, as well as prioritized requirements for a software solution. The volunteer team provided marketplace research, demos, price comparisons, and assisted Brave Step with evaluating potential software solutions against the documented requirements. With this due diligence, Brave Step selected Monday as the system that best their needs and budget. View PDF of Project Snapshot here.
The Brave Step Community Impact Team
Implementing Monday as their application system will help the Brave Step team save at least $18,000.
When staff at Brave Step started looking into developing this new program, they thought they needed to pay for a custom app that fit all the requirements they had in mind. Crystal Emerick, Founder and Executive Director of Brave Step, explained their new initiative to us, “We’re working on a program to support loved ones of survivors of sexual violence. What we’ve seen firsthand are the loved ones of a survivor are often in the dark and do not have the skills, knowledge, or understanding to best support a survivor. We are trying to fill that gap in care. This program would be established specifically to help these people support and connect with their loved ones who have survived sexual violence.” Crystal shared the importance of this project with us, “When we got connected with Apparo, we were working on developing this new program that we ideally want to be self-sufficient in 3 to 5 years. We knew we needed something to help us sustain this program, but that was as far as our knowledge went. We priced out a custom built app which was going to cost us about $18,000 up front. The most important thing to us was finding a cost-effective solution to get this initiative up and running effectively.” In tandem with having a cost-effective solution in the beginning stages, the Brave Step team wanted a solution that was also cost-effective going forward in terms of maintaining the program.
This project was a big win for Brave Step because they were able to find a cost-effective solution that will allow them to launch this new initiative, while also allowing the team to work more efficiently. Crystal explained to us, “We’re a really small team, so being able to find something that supports this new initiative and allows us to make our programs and processes more efficient was the best case scenario.”
Brave Step anticipates saving 104 hours annually (2 hours/week) by having all information in one location.
Monday will also allow Brave Step to work more effectively beyond implementing the new program. Crystal stated, “there’s a lot of things we need to do manually right now, which causes us to be inefficient in simple tasks. Now we’ll be able to pull reports and collaborate as a team better. We implemented a similar system for our donors last year, and we anticipate finding more efficiencies and saving even more time once Monday is implemented on our client side.” For the system they’ve already implemented, they’ve found efficiencies in their workflow and are anticipating finding even more with Monday.
One of the biggest efficiencies the staff will experience is the participant information being stored in one central location, instead of being on individual laptops. Not only will this allow for the data to be more secure, but all staff will know where to find the information without any issues.
In addition to supporting the launch of their new program, Monday will help the organization be more efficient in other areas of their work.
Crystal explained to us, “We had a custom database built for the client side last year, and we keep finding it’s not fully what we need. We could have had a similar issue with another custom build, so I’m glad we found that Monday has everything we need. I could see us utilizing Monday for our other programs if it works successfully for our loved ones program.” The loved ones program has been a dream for several years, but Brave Step now has the ability to implement it in an effective way, especially with Monday. Having a central information system will be an integral part of starting this program, and continuing it going forward.
Both staff of Brave Step and our volunteer team were appreciative of this experience, and grateful to have had one another throughout this process.
Everyone involved in this project expressed their gratitude towards one another. Crystal shared her thoughts of going into this project, “I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t have the expertise or understanding to really know what was needed. I’m sure other nonprofits, like us, don’t know what’s going to happen and have thoughts of ‘oh what did we get ourselves into.’ From the beginning the process was laid out very systematically with a timeline and I really wasn’t sure we’d accomplish everything. I can’t put into words how much this project means to us and how great the process was. Our volunteers are such genuine, great people and without them this wouldn’t have been possible.” She also explained the importance of this project to us, “When Brave Step was awarded with the Community Impact Project, we truly had no idea how lucky we were. As the project began, we were amazed by the project management that was provided to us, the team of dedicated and passionate volunteers we were able to work with, and the breadth and depth of the team’s technology knowledge. Apparo took what was a complex technology challenge to us, and transformed it into an easy to manage solution that will make our mission operate more effectively, and will allow us to empower more lives affected by sexual violence.”
Our volunteers also shared their gratitude for this project, and their love for Brave Step’s organization. Sarah Steffensen, one of our volunteers from The Sparrow Group shared, “Since I found out about Brave Step, I’ve tried my best to spread the word to friends and colleagues. I’m in awe of the work you do day in and day out, and the challenge you are undertaking with launching this program. I’m truly humbled to have played a small part in this process. The work you do for the community is unmatched. From here on out, you have cheerleaders in Derik and I, and we’re here for whatever you need going forward. You have people rooting for you from all over, and I hope you know that.” Derik Timmerman, our other volunteer shared with the team, “I am just so thrilled with where Brave Step is headed. Crystal, under your leadership you’re taking your organization in an incredible direction. The fact that you’re putting all that talent, expertise, and know-how into this incredible cause says the world about you and who you are as a person. When the time comes, we would love nothing more than to help you fan out and expand across the country. We’ll be there to high-five you and help you find all those clients. You have a fan in us.”
Impact Update: One year later, Brave Step confirms the right application was selected and implemented.
One year after this project was completed, we checked in with Crystal Emerick to learn how Monday is working for Brave Step. She shares that the loved ones program is now in it’s 5th group and has successfully served approximately 30 individuals. Their new application, Monday, is fundamental to that success. “I love Monday, it streamlines our data entry and processes, it keeps us organized, helps ensure that we always gather all of the right information and makes exporting data for analytics simple. We save so much time in our program coordination, organization and analytics processes in this program. Processes that would be multiple steps are now just a few clicks. And our program participants save time because they can enter all of their information online. In other program, participants much fill out paperwork via PDF and then our staff has to reenter the data.”
Brave Step is now well positioned to grow in reach and revenue through partnership programs in which they train others to run their curriculum. Their goal of serving 1,300 loved ones by 2027 is in sight. Crystal explains the importance of supporting loves ones of sexual abuse survivors, “Survivors need allies who are equipped with knowledge and skills on the right way to show up for them. When they don’t have this education, they may do more harm than good, even when trying to help. Many loved ones are survivors themselves and sometimes react based on their own trauma. Through this program, and because of the tool we implemented in this project, we will give more loved ones the right tools to help effectively.”