In late 2017, Cross-Country for Youth (CCFY) reached out to Apparo for support in improving their methodology for gathering and reporting results of their health and fitness program for school-aged children. We matched them to a corporate volunteer team from Lowe’s and one additional individual volunteer, Renato Cabral of Intercity. Their Community Impact Project was generously sponsored by AIG.
The volunteers helped CCFY move away from a cumbersome, disjointed Excel-based process and built a Google-based process with an analytics dashboard.
We checked in recently with Alvin Jefferson (Board of Directors and Program Coordinator) and Reggie McAfee (Founder and Executive Director) to learn about their past struggles and the impact of their work with Apparo.
Today, increased efficiency and ability to demonstrate effectiveness of their program leads to stronger relationships with key partners, minimizes expenses and helps drive growth.
Alvin explains that “before, it took from 7-10 minutes per survey, for two surveys, to input the responses from just one child, now it takes no time because it’s automatically input from the survey into the sheet. That’s for each of 455 kids, saving, on the low end, 95 hours each season. Since we moved from Excel to Google, I’m at least 30% more efficient with my time.” This efficiency is also driven by the minimized need to manipulate date between separate spreadsheets and clean it. As he explains, past problems with children self-reporting incorrectly have been “90% corrected” by the use of rules and drop-down menus.
“We have to report to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) on how our program corresponds to their course of study and prove that we are ‘partner-worthy.’ Now we don’t just write a list of reasons, we show results,” Alvin explains. Reggie adds, “Our ability to report on our results reinforces the longevity of our partnership with CMS. Anyone can say they do something, but not a lot of organizations can prove it.”
“We don’t have new funders yet, but this data enables us to make the perfect pitch,” explains Reggie, “and we will likely be able to get new funders and corporate sponsors.”
Reggie continues to say that they plan to double their reach in Cincinnati and grow in Charlotte by 40% over the next year. “The data helps us build these partnerships where we can grow, because organizations want to be able to quantify and measure impact. They want to know what kind of change they can expect and we can now tell them.”