G.A.I.N. – Powered by Lowe’s
Project sponsored by Bank of America.
OptML skilled volunteers delivered technology plan to Veterans Bridge Home that will help ensure their ability to deliver high quality service to Veterans as they grow reach by 57% this year.
Veterans Bridge Home (VBH) connects Veterans and their families, in any state of transition, to the community. Through their network of partners, they help Veterans navigate employment, create social connections, and settle their families. They look at the whole Veteran and connect them to the resources needed to be successful and thriving leaders in our community.
VBH is a member of the second nonprofit cohort of Apparo’s G.A.I.N. (Growth, Agility and Innovation for Nonprofits) Program. This program provides nonprofit participants with the tools, training and other support they need to implement and sustain their technology and process improvements. G.A.I.N. delivers a one-year journey of technology and process improvement to a cohort of nonprofits to help them overcome their technology challenges and simultaneously amplify their nonprofit impact. The G.A.I.N. program is generously sponsored by Lowe’s.
For the first phase of their G.A.I.N. journey, VBH was matched to volunteers from OptML to assess their current use of technology and provide a plan for improvements. VBH is also being supported throughout their technology journey by volunteer mentor, Bill Hammelman of CCP Tech.
After this technology plan phase was completed, we spoke with Pete Vacho to understand the significance of this work.
“I have limited bandwidth. I just can’t get to it all, so I appreciate the solutions that were recommended to us. We are scaling quickly and our staff has quadrupled in the past few years. This year we expect to serve more than 4,100 Veterans, which is a 57% increase over 2021.
This is the time for us to create efficiencies so that we can be effective as we grow. As we get bigger, there are more administrative tasks, but our IT staff is not growing, so we have to do more with the same number of people.”
After working with Apparo on this first phase of their G.A.I.N. journey, VBH anticipates saving nearly 400 hours of staff time a year, which can be put to use to help expand their services to Veterans:
- Time savings of approximately 300 hours annually onboarding new employees.
- Time savings of approximately 96 hours annually on monthly staff tech updates.
- Documentation of processes will help minimize key man risk
- New software will help increase organizational information security
In closing, Pete shares: “The Apparo GAIN grant has been a collaborative and positive project, where everyone’s expertise blended seamlessly to deliver innovative solutions. Together, OptML and CCP Tech helped Veterans Bridge Home craft a multi-year technology plan to become more effective and efficient, which will lead to maximizing staffs’ time assisting Veterans and their families across the Carolinas.”
Pat Gallavan, OptML: “It was an eye opening experience to understand the immense complexity and challenges that a modestly sized nonprofit can have…because of their size and their projected growth…all that the same time. They need all the help and support that the Apparo ecosystem can provide. Apparo has fantastic tools and does a great job from a project management perspective to keep everybody rolling and working together. I appreciate all your efforts to help us get this to delivering value. Apparo, you are the grease on the wheels that keeps it going week to week.”
Bill Hammelman: “Pat, Mike and the entire volunteer team at OptiML have been superheroes for Veterans Bridge Home and it was a great pleasure working with them. The technology plan generation process covered a significant amount of ground and also went into depth with actionable projects for Pete Vacho to implement in the immediate term. Thanks to everyone for the hard work and commitment to supporting Veterans Bridge Home!”