G.A.I.N. – Powered by Lowe’s
Hylaine skilled volunteers delivered a refreshed technology plan for A Better World, helping support their growth and deepen their impact on West Charlotte students in need of academic and emotional support.
A Better World (ABW) is an after-school program for at-risk youth in West Charlotte. ABW equips them with the skills and confidence to be responsible adults by nurturing their physical, academic and spiritual development.
In this phase of their G.A.I.N. journey, ABW was matched to corporate volunteers from Hylaine (Matthew Burke and Brian Justice) to refresh the technology plan that they worked on at the beginning of the G.A.I.N. program. Since then, there have been changes to staff roles and software tools. The effort was supported by ABW’s volunteer Change Manager, Bridgette Madrigal.
After the project wrapped up, we checked in with Taylor Justice, Program Manager, to learn about its current and anticipated impact.
“As someone new in this role, the tech plan was a game changer for me. It helped me really understand all of the organization’s logistics, roles and relationships with vendors and contractors. It also gave me structure on an calendar basis.
She explains that the process for onboarding new members of the team is now 2-3 times faster and more secure, “The new documentation will make onboarding new staff in the future much easier. With our growth we’ve had to onboard many new teachers and volunteers. It used to take 2-3 because of the manual processes. Now it is all online and is done in less than one day. It’s more convenient for our virtual volunteers, who no longer have to come in just to do paperwork. The process is also much more secure, because we are no longer faxing information with personal data.”
Their next step is further integrations of Kindful (their donor database) with other applications. Taylor shares, “We didn’t even know these types of integrations existed before we worked on this tech plan. It was really great to have our volunteers give us these insights.” As a result, they expect:
- Cost savings
- Additional increased efficiency by eliminating need to toggle between applications
- Improved donor data/reporting will enable improved cultivation strategies and ability to apply for grants, driving increased fundraising revenue
With freed time due to efficiencies, Taylor share important examples of current and anticipated enriched service and expanded reach:
- “Our reading buddies programs has grown over 6 times the size this past quarter, this is because we have the efficiencies to onboard and coordinate more people. This coming school year, every child will have their own reading buddy for the first time. This has a direct link to increase in reading scores.”
- “We’re going to kick off a capital campaign for a new building for their older students. I have time now to engage in this now because of how efficient everything is running.”
- Increased time to dedicate to working directly with students
- Ability to serve more students, through:
- Retention of summer students for the school year and
- Enrollment of more schools for their programming
In closing, Taylor, Brian and Matt shared their appreciation:
Taylor Justice – “Thank you for the introduction of these amazing volunteers, they are so helpful and quick to respond. Apparo’s volunteer resources are a total game changer. This is my first nonprofit role and the work together has really boosted my confidence in my abilities.”
Brian Justice (Hylaine) – “I’m grateful to be able to provide this support and to see the impact. It’s great to be a part of what you do by using my tech skills to help you with this plan. Thank you all.”
Matthew Burke (Hylaine) – “This the second time I have been lucky enough to work with the A Better World and, once again, it didn’t disappoint. It was rewarding to see the positive impact our original efforts have made, along with helping refine the original IT roadmap and next steps that will hopefully continue to add value to the positive direction Taylor Justice and her team are leading their organization.”