Duke Energy skilled volunteers conducted a software selection project, from which Crisis Assistance Ministry Gastonia anticipates serving 25% more clients and saving almost 800 hours in staff time.
CAM provides assistance to households living in greater Gastonia who have had a recent change resulting in a financial crisis.
When Crisis Assistance Ministry Gastonia (CAM) reached out to Apparo they were using a 20+ year old custom built system that was cumbersome and difficult to manage. With the recent pandemic, the need for a new system became even more critical as clients were required to apply for services using an online application on their website. After clients applied online, they had to submit various documentation via email. All four staff members would often spend 3 hours a day tracking client applications, following up with documentation requests and entering client information into the client database.
Apparo matched CAM with a team of skilled volunteers from Duke Energy. The team worked together to understand CAM’s business needs, conduct marketplace research and guide CAM in the selection of their new software solution, Salesforce. Once implemented, CAM expects to save almost 800 hours a year in staff time.
The organization also anticipates serving 25% more clients as a result of the new system, that’s 1,250 more people in our community getting the life-sustaining assistance they need to help overcome their dire financial circumstances. Jenny Moran, CAM Program Director, explained, “We have a lot of older clients unfamiliar with technology and we just don’t have the time to help them all. The time we expect to save as a result of the new system will give us the ability to meet with those clients and guide them through the application process.” In addition, because of current system constraints, CAM serves only clients with a social security number. The new system will allow their services to be accessible to all members of the community. Moran shares, “Having the ability to serve the undocumented populations is a big deal for us! It is difficult to turn someone away because of a system constraint and we are excited that we will no longer have to.”
Kim Wheeler, CAM Executive Director expressed her gratitude for the project, “Jenny and I would like to express our deepest gratitude towards Sarah (Apparo), Brad, Tamara, and Erica (Duke Energy) for all the assistance and guidance they have given us throughout the process of finding a new client database for CAM. We are not sure they will know how life-changing it will be for our organization and staff to have an efficient system in place to enable us to assist those in financial crisis in our community. Without their expertise and ability to parse information, and Sarah’s ability to articulate our needs, it would have been very difficult for us to make the best decision between all the choices of software we considered. Again, thank you and know that your generosity with your time and knowledge did not go unappreciated.”
Duke Energy volunteers, Tamara Harrison, Erica Gordon and Brad Richmond, contributed over 48 hours and delivered a project worth almost $13,260. Richmond was excited to share about his experience on the project, stating, “Working with CAM, Apparo, and my fellow volunteers on the CIP was an absolute pleasure! The team came together quickly under our project manager’s tutelage and we were able to identify the true needs, pain points, and opportunities for CAM. I feel as though my time and effort contributed real impact and I can’t wait to work on another project!”
Apparo is thankful for volunteers like Brad, Tamara and Erica who are willing to go the extra mile to make our community a better place for all!