We recently checked in with Michael Britt, Director of Information Technology, to learn about the impact of InReach’s 2017 Website for Good Award and Community Impact Project. InReach is a leader in providing housing, jobs and community support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.
“Before our Website for Good Award win, our website was dreadful. It looked like it was from the 90s, it was difficult to donate online, expensive for us to manage and did not provide the information that the public needed,” explains Michael. A solution to these challenges appeared when InReach was recognized as a recipient of Apparo’s Website for Good Award (WGA). As a winner of the WGA, InReach was partnered with 38North Designs to plan and implement a website redesign. 38North Designs created a distinctive, user-friendly, and engaging website for InReach that communicates the nonprofit’s services, events and offerings.
“Now our website is clear and informative. Previously, we did not come up in any relevant online searches, now we are 2ndor 3rd in every search term we care about. We’ve grown from a few hundred hits a month to over 30,000,” explains Michael.
Other benefits to the new website include:
- Nearly 75% decrease in website maintenance expense, due to ease of updating
- Increase in volunteers (easy to find volunteer opportunities)
- Increase in online donations
- Increase in event attendance (due to clear online event calendar)
Michael shares that their Community Impact Project with Jabian and generously sponsored by Cardinal Innovations, “opened people’s eyes into what needed to be improved.” They had turned to Apparo for help assessing and improving their business processes. “There are so many things on your plate when you are running a nonprofit that have to be prioritized. Directly supporting the customer and simply keeping the wheels on the bus comes ahead of long-term planning. The heat map started a dialogue. While we were doing things well in some areas, things aren’t as rosy as we thought in others.”
Other key recommendations minimize travel for employees in Monroe and Concord for training/meetings and generate other important benefits.
Automation of training has begun and is already making a significant impact:
- Ability to track training by team member ensures meeting all legal requirements
- Decrease in lost productivity/direct service to clients in need while waiting for next scheduled required class
- Decrease in time/expense traveling to Charlotte classes from Monroe and Concord
- Decrease in costs of class teachers/leaders
- Increase in employee satisfaction – can take classes on their own schedule and re-take as needed
Virtual meetings replace regular drives to Charlotte for InReach’s monthly Quality Improvement leadership meeting:
- Decrease in lost productivity/direct service to clients in need while out of pocket traveling to a meeting
- Decrease in time/expense traveling to Charlotte for a meeting from Monroe and Concord
- Increase in employee satisfaction – minimized commute
Improvement to payroll process has saved significant time