Lowe’s skilled volunteer helps ensure nonprofit growth needed to address increasing food insecurity
Angels & Sparrows empowers families to reach their potential by providing access to food security and educational opportunities that lead to a fresh start.
Demand for Angels & Sparrows services is growing at a very strong rate, driven by cuts to food stamp programs at a time that food (and other household costs) are increasing. When Jessika Tucker, Executive Director of Angels & Sparrows, knew their organization needed to improve their use of technology in order to grow to meet this demand, she reached out to Apparo for support. She worked with Apparo’s Tech Therapy team to transition from Microsoft Essentials to their Premium Business Suite and Nonprofit portal. She was matched to volunteer Mohit Das of Lowe’s to help with the migration.
Before working with Apparo, Angels & Sparrows faced organizational inefficiency that limited their chances of successful growth:
- File sharing was conducted via email and Dropbox, leading to version control problems and data loss risk
- Staff members were using different tools because they could not access what they needed in the Microsoft suite
- Storytelling to the community was difficult due to challenges with gathering the most accurate data about their work
Jessika shared her thoughts on the significance of this work:
“As a small, grassroots nonprofit organization, we don’t have IT staff and technology is not in our area of expertise. We are focused on making our mission happen. But, we know that we need to grow to meet demand, and a strong foundation in technology is necessary.
“We needed professional help and finding Apparo was a welcome blessing. As a small nonprofit, we have a very tight budget. If we had not found Apparo we would have had to just continue working in the same way that we were, unless we grew big enough to have the funds to make improvements, which is ironic because you really can’t grow unless you have the right technology to support your ability to work efficiently and fundraise effectively.
“What I have loved about working with Apparo is that we have a contact who is a constant (in this case, Apparo’s Jerri Grant) who keeps things connected and moving forward. What has been wonderful about our volunteer is that, because Lowe’s is a large, professional corporation, Mohit followed a clear process that I really appreciated. The level of his professionalism and clarity was so high, it made it easy for me to explain the changes we were making to my team. He helped me overcome challenges in understanding technology terminology, asked all of the right questions and got assurances that we would get the access we needed. Once we made the transition, he also came to our offices to get our computers running and to teach us how to use Teams. He is a fantastic, patient instructor, who carefully walked us through all the steps we needed to take, making sure we were all comfortable.”
Now that they have migrated to the Microsoft 365 Business Premium Suite of products and nonprofit portal, Jessika is confident that organizational efficiency and fundraising will both increase:
- Working together in the cloud to avoid risk of data loss and version control issues
- Working together using the same tools and files ensures data integrity and makes storytelling more effective, critical for fundraising
As a result of increased fundraising, Jessika hopes to be able to move the organization to a larger facility as soon as possible so that they can help more families in need achieve food security in the short term and address the root causes of food insecurity through educational programming.
Volunteer Mohit Das shares his appreciation of his volunteer experience, “Helping others decode technology in layman’s terms has been a pivotal part of my life. I learned about Apparo from my CIO and I was intrigued by the opportunity to partner with the organization. I am a supporter of Apparo’s unwavering commitment to the nonprofit community. Their mission aligns with my as well as my employer’s commitment to empowering the community.
“I’ve enjoyed being able to connect with nonprofits through Apparo. Had it not been for Apparo I would not have had the opportunity to support these nonprofit organizations with my expertise. I look forward to helping many more nonprofits reach their technical acumen.”