Duke Energy volunteers helped Apparo with a process improvement and application selection to collect RSVPs for the ConnectivIT® Ball.
Apparo amplifies nonprofit impact through technology and process improvement. They create community partnerships across the nonprofit and corporate technology sectors, delivering solutions that multiply nonprofit impact.
Apparo raises funds to support their mission through various avenues, but the largest fundraiser of the year is the ConnectivIT Series, which culminates with the ConnectivIT Ball. The ball brings corporate sponsors and CXOs together to celebrate Apparo’s impact annually. The Ball hosts between 300-600 guests every year. Apparo needed a process improvement in regards to collecting and managing RSVPs for the ball, and a recommendation for an automated software.
Apparo employees have been manually tracking RSVPs in a time-consuming manner, including back-and-forth emails to corporate partners and CXOs, tracking RSVPs in Excel spreadsheets, and manually assigning guests to their tables. The staff at Apparo requested a process improvement plan to streamline current processes, and identify a software to automate the RSVP process and save time.
Apparo was matched with volunteers from Duke Energy to address their technology challenges. The volunteer team reviewed their current processes and suggested process improvements.
The Volunteer and Nonprofit Teams
- Duke Energy Volunteer Team:
- Zack Harris
- Devin Mervin
- Apparo Nonprofit Team:
- Lauren Greene
- Karen Rosenfeld
- Vickie Wixon
Process Improvement and Results
As part of the process improvement, the Duke Energy volunteers discussed how Apparo staff received and tracked RSVPs for the ConnectivIT Ball, the largest fundraiser of the year. In the past, RSVPs have been tracked manually, requiring a lot of back-and-forth emails. When RSVPs changed, this also required manual tracking via an Excel spreadsheet. This process was not efficient and required a lot of time.
Duke Energy volunteers, Zack Harris and Devin Mervin, discussed options for automating RSVPs. Apparo was already using GiveSmart to track their auction/raffle items and to check-in attendees for the ball. After exploring this program more and doing a demo, Apparo and Duke Energy volunteers realized it would be useful to use GiveSmart’s ticketing process to track RSVPs.
Upon utilization of the process improvement recommendations, Apparo anticipates saving approximately 10 staff hours per week during the ConnectivIT event series, as well as:
- Reducing human error when managing RSVPs in Excel
- Improving the registration process for guests by using GiveSmart’s automated email/text system
- All registered attendees information will be stored in one place which will allow automated table assignments
- Will free up time for staff to focus on social media engagement and auction fundraising
- Will allow all users to know when the auction/raffle goes “live” immediately, and will remove the necessity of duplicate emails
Apparo and Duke Energy Share Their Thoughts
Lauren Greene, the Events and Marketing Coordinator at Apparo, shared, “The people who are attending the ConnectivIT Ball are our constituents, our donors, and many work for the companies that sponsor us. With an automated RSVP process, it will be easier and more seamless for these guests to register. It will help them see that we are streamlining our own manual processes, like we encourage others to do.”
Zack Harris, a skilled volunteer from Duke Energy shared, “The Apparo team was easy to work with. Sometimes a simpler solution ends up being the better solution. We provided a soft touch to work them through the GiveSmart ticketing system to see if it would work for them. We also acted as a sounding board in this project. The Apparo team came to their own conclusion, which is always good. We are excited to see it in action in the coming months, and to see Apparo continue to refine the process.”