Skilled volunteers identified best nonprofit software solution for Backpack Weekend Food Program
BackPack Weekend Food Program (BWFP) provides healthy, non-perishable meals for students in Gaston County to take home on weekends during the school year- with over 100,000 meals served last year. Their ability to stay agile to meet the food needs of the community is especially critical given the current state of the economy and rising food prices (estimated to rise 12% next year).
BWFP leadership needed nonprofit software help and reached out to Apparo support. They were using a custom-built inventory management system developed and run by a volunteer and needed to move to their own system. Through our Community Impact Project service, Apparo matched them to skilled volunteers who assessed their needs, helped them select Salesforce as the best solution to meet their needs and made recommendations for vendors for the implementation.
Volunteer team: Mike Jacobs, Salesforce; Phil Moroni, Presidio; Lindsay Zandy
Nonprofit team: Leigh Spach, Executive Director; Suzanne Jones, Program Coordinator
New nonprofit software will help overcome operational challenges
After the project wrapped up, we met with Suzanne Jones (BWFP Coordinator) and Leigh Spach (Executive Director) to learn about the significance of this work and its anticipated impact.
They explained that this work was critical. Currently, their program management database is:
- Run by a volunteer who no longer has the bandwidth for the role
- Owned by an external organization
- Housed on-site on a server at that organization
- Run on old technology (old Access database)
New nonprofit software will help optimize processes and services to those in need
Upon implementation of their selected nonprofit software, Salesforce, they anticipate many benefits:
- Minimized keyman risk and ability to ensure longevity of their organization by removing dependence on external parties
- Minimized risk of data loss through cloud based system
- Streamlined processes will drive increased efficiency once internal staff are able to take full ownership
- Enhanced data management capabilities
- Tracking inventory
- Managing partner information
- Monitoring volunteer activities
- Improved reporting and analytics, drive their ability to deal with difficulties of rapidly increasing food prices, the ever-changing number of students, and food allergies
- Improved ability to conduct financial planning through monthly tracking of actual food costs
- Improved metrics for grant writing, which can hopefully help increase funds for food purchase
- Increased growth potential – Flexibility and scalability of the platform ensures long-term viability and adaptability.
Members of the nonprofit software selection team shared their appreciation
Lindsay Zandy – This was my first Apparo volunteer opportunity and found it be a perfect match for someone like me who loves problem solving and helping people. I really appreciated the high level of communication, quick response to questions and how the BWFP team was very open-minded to exploring new opportunities. This was very much appreciated and helped us to be a better partner to you.
Leigh Spach – All in all the project was very successful. Researching for a new database on our own would have proved to be a very difficult endeavor for us. Having the Apparo team allowed us to focus on providing the details to a skilled Apparo volunteer team and concentrate on obtaining funding for the project. Without Apparo we would have been left to figure out how to continue providing weekend meals for the children enrolled in the BackPack Weekend Food Program, Inc. Working with a team of volunteers who really understood us and our needs, helping us search for the right solution was invaluable.