Skilled volunteers worked with Freedom Communities to help select the best client and program data management tool. As a result of this project, Freedom Communities anticipates staff will save over 1,300 hours annually on manual data entry and reporting. That time saved will allow staff to have more time to devote to their mission and to tell more funders about the stories of their impact in the community.
Freedom Communities was founded with the core belief that every child deserves equitable access to opportunities to ensure they are given every chance to realize their full potential. Their tagline is family-centered community transformation, and they are focused on four evidence-based impact areas that drive revitalization and growth: housing, education, wellness and employment. They serve as the connective tissue, bringing together those who live, work and pray along the Freedom Drive Corridor. This perspective and approach allows Freedom Communities to equip families with the tools and practices to drive upward mobility and sustained economic stability.
Freedom Communities reached out to Apparo for help with identifying an application to manage their client data, services, programs and reporting. They were using multiple applications and other means to track this information and needed an application that would streamline tracking, analyzing and reporting on data.
Skilled volunteers Eric Hoffman and Brandon Coates were matched with Freedom Communities for this project. Volunteer, Eden Estabrook, facilitated the project as the Change Agent. Together, the volunteers partnered with Freedom Communities to understand current business processes related to data collection and reporting on client data, services, and programs. The team defined and prioritized business requirements, conducted marketplace research and vendor demos. The volunteers provided guidance to the nonprofit as they evaluated each potential solution. Ultimately, Freedom Communities identified Apricot Core as the software application that best aligns with the needs of the organization.
As a result of this new solution, Freedom Communities expects staff will save 25-30 hours per week that they are currently spending inputting data and putting together reports. This equates to a savings of more than 1,300 hours per year! Freedom Communities anticipates that staff be able to focus that time back on their mission to drive holistic family and community transformation in Freedom Drive corridor. The time saved and improved access to reporting will also allow staff to share the stories of impact with the community and funders, potentially increasing revenue. Risk will also be reduced as a result of Apricot Core. The new system will allow Freedom Communities to manage permissions/guidelines needed for mental health referrals, mitigating the risk of breaching confidentiality.
Hannah Beavers, Freedom Communities Executive Director, shared her thoughts about the work, stating “A huge barrier exists for nonprofits to be able to get the technology we need to allow us to articulate the impact that we are making. Apparo and their amazing volunteers have made it possible to identify the technology solutions to track our impact. We are currently serving 1,800 families today and have a goal to double that number over the next five years. Having Apricot Core in place will allow us to track our progress towards that goal in real time so that we can secure more funds and impact more families.”
The volunteer team contributed approximately 80 hours and delivered a project worth $17,550. Hoffman was excited to share about his experience working on the project, stating “It was great working with a nonprofit that is addressing an underserved population and attempting to provide services that many of us take for granted in our day to day lives. The platform we selected should set them up for continued growth as they continue to expand their services and make their mark on the Charlotte community.” Estabrook also shared, “This application selection project was such an adventure! But, it was a journey I’m glad I took and I’m so excited to see how it will help Freedom Communities serve even more people in the Charlotte community.”
Beavers shared her appreciation for the project team, commenting, “We are so grateful for the amazing Apparo team of volunteers, Eden, Eric, and Brandon for dedicating their time and expertise so that we could choose a technology solution to take our work and impact to the next level. It will be exciting to look back a year from now to see what we have been able to accomplish as a result. THANK YOU!”
- Volunteer team: Eden Estabrook (Change Agent), Eric Hoffman and Brandon Coates
- Nonprofit team: Hannah Beavers and Tom Brydon
Hannah shares her thoughts on the critical nature of affordable technology and volunteer support for nonprofits: