Chatham County Council on Aging reached out to Apparo seeking a technology upgrade to improve their efficiency and service to older adults.
Chatham County Council on Aging (CCCOA), a nonprofit with 46 years of experience, promotes independent living and physical and mental wellness, through services, supports and activities for and with those aged 60+, along with their family caregivers. Their leadership reached out to Apparo for support in identifying technology and business process improvements to help move their organization forward in the fulfillment of their mission. CCCOA received a capacity-building grant from the Triangle Community Foundation, but needed support to identify the best way to invest the money. Apparo matched CCCOA with a team of three volunteers to provide a technology assessment and to identify recommended improvements, including selection of an application that would allow integration of data collection, sharing, tracking, analysis and reporting. See PDF of Project Overview Snapshot.
Wanda Stone, Finance Assistant, shares that their current data-related processes create cross-departmental and cross-center challenges, especially in light of COVID-19.
“Because all of our services are focused on improving independent living and physical and mental wellness among our county’s seniors, there is frequent overlap between data requirements and requests across our various departments and our two centers. The need for an integrated system to provide greater efficiency in data reporting has grown as participation in our various programs have grown and has been especially important in light of the remote work challenges raised by COVID-19”,
We checked in recently with Wanda and Dennis Streets (Executive Director) to learn about the anticipated impact of their Community Impact Project.
CCCOA’s new CRM will help streamline work, with an anticipated reduction of report creation time by 90% and other administrative tasks by 50%
Wanda explains one way the new CRM will improve efficiency at the CCCOA, “When our centers are open to the public, we have nearly three dozen different groups that meet here and they come to the front desk and write their names into a log book. Then a volunteer types those into a spreadsheet, and then it’s passed on to 3-4 people for additional processing. With the new system, they will check in through a preprogrammed touch screen, eliminating the need for manually entering attendance data. From there we can simply push a button to generate the report. Where it once took 3-4 hours to pull a report, now it will take just a few minutes.”
Additional time will be saved by leveraging communication tools built into the CRM, which will supplement phone call outreach. As a result, Wanda shares that the CRM will eliminate large sources of frustration for staff, whose time spent around data entry could potentially be reduced by half.
Improvements to fundraising are also anticipated.
With easier access to reports and accurate data to describe the impact of their work, Wanda is confident that the grant writing and reporting process will be run more efficiently and successfully.
As a result, CCCOA will be able to enhance and expand their programming to meet the needs of their community.
“Our freed time can shift to analyzing our new data to identify how we can optimize and expand our programming to reach those who we may not have reached before,” Wanda explains. “For example, we have goals to increase participation among our male and veteran populations, and this [tech solution] should help expand our impact with them.”
She adds that by being able to more efficiently track their 300+ volunteers, they will also be able to optimize how they put them to work, which will bolster their ability to serve.
All members of the project team shared appreciation for the process and each other.
Dennis Streets – “This has been a very constructive and helpful process. I want to thank all of you for working on this with us. It’s so important for us and we imagine that it will make a big difference. A couple of years ago, we really didn’t know where to turn. Fortunately we got connected with Apparo and you stuck with us. Thank you so very much.
Wanda Stone – “Without Apparo, I could not have done all of the research on all of the products and participated in all of these demonstrations, while also doing my job. Also, the tech assessment brought up many things that I would have never thought of. I learned by leaps and bounds. We have thought about upgrading before, but never quite got here. This was fantastic, having your support to keep things going. When I couldn’t do it, someone was there for me. I appreciate all of your help and patience. We are making extraordinary strides already. It’s a big forward push.”
Jonathan Philips (Volunteer) – “Working with CCCOA as an Apparo volunteer provided an extraordinary opportunity to leverage my expertise and experience to assist a great organization. CCCOA is making a daily impact for the senior community in Chatham County.”