Hylaine skilled volunteer helps select donor management tool with Hope House Foundation to help expand their support of single mothers facing homelessness.
As a result of their Community Impact Project, Hope House Foundation anticipates being able to serve more women and children, and expanding their services further. Currently, keeping track of donors and numbers is a hurdle that hasn’t allowed Hope House to grow efficiently. With their new donor management tool in place, more single mothers facing homelessness with their children will have access to shelter and resources to be self-sustaining in the future.
Hope House provides housing and support services for single unaccompanied women or women with children experiencing “situational” homelessness. They turned to Apparo for support in reviewing their business processes for managing donors, creating a business requirements document and help with selecting a donor management application that will fit these requirements. Apparo matched them to a corporate volunteer from Hylaine, Matthew Burke. He conducted marketplace research, demos, and price comparisons to see what would best fit Hope House’s needs. The team selected Eleo as the application that best fit their budget, allows for growth and will be sustainable for the organization. This project is generously sponsored by Bank of America. See PDF of project snapshot here.
Hope House has grown exponentially in a short amount of time with their budget increasing by over three fold. Eleo will help make this growth more sustainable.
Between 2019 and 2020, Hope House’s budget has tripled, demonstrating just how much the organization has expanded in their capacity to help others. In the midst of their surge, other Charlotte community members often referred Hope House to Apparo to aid in the transition of their small organization to an organization making huge impact. The staff knew they needed reliable systems in place as they continued to grow.
With Eleo in place, Hope House will have an all-encompassing tool to help manage donors, connect to QuickBooks and reports when needed, all while being fairly easy to use. Debbie O’Handley, Executive Director of Hope House, shares with us that this is especially important during their growth because it’s hard to keep track of all their information now, which will only become more difficult. “Right now we can tell you who our top 10 donors are because we’ve focused on cultivating those relationships, but apart from that, it’s easy to lose track of other donors and supporters. Eleo will help us keep track of everything we need in a much more manageable and effective way while we’re growing,” she explains.
With the help of this project, Hope House anticipates being able to support 70% more people in the near future.
Currently, Hope House has the capacity to serve 12 families at a time and they often have a waitlist on top of that. Within the past few weeks, Hope House was granted land in Huntersville to develop. With these new plots of land available, they are hoping to add more cottages to serve even more people in the community. The development of this land alone will help them serve 70% more people with the possibility of changing their model slightly to accommodate intact families.
Previously, the challenge with this initiative would have been knowing which donors to ask for support, but with Eleo reporting in place, they anticipate their fundraising efforts to improve. Increased donations will help develop this land in the more immediate future, but will also position Hope House to expand their reach even further. Debbie shared some of her goals in the future, “I’d love to have a full-time clinician on staff to serve these families. We could also focus on more child-centered services and childcare.”
With Eleo, all Hope House staff will have better insight into their organization as a whole.
Currently, Hope House’s accountant keeps track of all their donor records and they have to ask for reports when needed. Staff will now have the ability to log into the Eleo app whenever they need any data or reports. This mitigates risk for the organization as everyone will be able to double check data and it will also provide an all encompassing picture of the current state of the organization for anyone internally that wants it. When discussing initiatives with the Board or potential donors, the capability to do this will help Hope House immensely.
The project was a pleasure for all involved.
Our volunteer, Matthew Burke from Hylaine, discussed his appreciation for the project, “I’ve had a great experience with this project. This is my third venture with Apparo and I still learn something new with each project. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to be part of Hope House Foundation’s growth, and that I could help in some way. Their mission of supporting families in need and being a catalyst to help end homelessness in the area is inspiring. I really look forward to seeing what they do in the future.” Debbie also expressed her gratitude for the process, “It was really great to have you there to support us, be a voice for us, and to ask the questions we didn’t know needed to be answered. I felt very supported in this process both by our volunteer, Matt Burke, and the Apparo team. It’s going to make a big difference for us.”
One year after their Community Impact Project was completed, we checked back in with Hope House Foundation leadership to learn about the sustained impact of our work together. We were thrilled to learn that the new Cottage build, allowing Hope House to extend their reach, is on track. Three Cottages are complete and they have purchased an additional home in Davidson. They also had an incredibly strong fundraising year, raising twice what they had last year.
As it relates to their selection of Eleo, Jen explains, “We are using Eleo daily and feel very good about it. Our Board is also very excited about it.” Debbie adds, “It’s spectacular for us. I was able to create a very comprehensive report for the Board in just a few minutes by pulling data from Eleo. That would have been 3-4 days of work before. What a huge relief. And being able to have Jen focusing on running with Eleo has given me time to be out in the community to fundraise and to work on writing grants. Once we have all of our data into Eleo, it will be a true gamechanger for us and will really free up significant time.”
In 2021, Hope House also received support from an Apparo volunteer from Duke Energy on their social media strategy. Debbie shares, “We’ve really stepped up our social media game, using the tools that Maddy taught us.”
Additionally, Hope House was a recipient of refurbished laptops (donated to Apparo by Compass Group) for their families and their school age children to support their virtual learning. Debbie shares that “One of our moms cried with joy when we gave her two laptops because her children had been struggling to keep up with school using the technology they had before.”
In closing, Debbie shares her appreciation, “It was a big year for us. We want to thank you for supporting us and pushing us forward. It would have been easy for us to stand still and just do business as usual. But we grew exponentially and can now demonstrate it with our data, through the processes you’ve helped us with. I cannot thank you enough. You are such a valuable resource. I feel on solid ground for the first time in a long time. We’re only as good as the strong foundation we build and if we want to teach families that they need strong foundations, our organization better be standing on one. This is so important. You were there for us; you were the catalyst of our change, helping us realize we needed to make a change and then helping us implement that change. It’s just the tip of the iceberg and we have some great momentum moving forward. I’m excited for our future.”