Doing what’s important–how a database development project can help

It’s the end of summer. The next few weeks will be a blur as we begin recruitment, review hundreds of applications from girls and mentors, and start up the new year of science fun. But this year will be different. Our staff members will have lots more time to connect with girls most in need of our programs; interview teen applicants; and explain to prospective volunteer mentors what their commitment would entail. Why? We have streamlined the application and acceptance process through TECHNOLOGY!

We have just finished a year-long engagement with Hands On Tech Boston to develop a new process and database that will save us tens of hours each month processing applications manually via spreadsheets, and promise more timely reports. Most importantly, the database will help us track the programs that each girl (and volunteer) has applied to and participated in; the duration of their participation; and which programs have high demand.

This may sound trivial but to a small, growing nonprofit, having this technology is a major milestone. By conservative estimates, the project would cost ~$250K on the market! Through Hands On Tech and the amazing team of volunteers, we got it for free. Here are all the folks and their significant contributions to this project:

* Vicki Appel, for her sharp analysis of our needs, driving the process mapping exercises, and willingness to reach out to the Salesforce employee community to help with this project;
* Alnoor Pirani for his insightful translation of the complicated application-to-registration process;
* Brooke Mohnkern, for his incredible technical expertise;
* Tom Gagne for his expert integration and development of the donor side of the database.

We also want to thank Erick Olson, the AmeriCorps Vista liaison at Hands On Tech Boston for his excellent project management skills, grasp of Salesforce, and wonderful way of making everyone feel valued!

Karen O’Neill, our Program Operations Manager, has been a key player and driver in this process. We owe the success of this project to her!

Last but not least, we are grateful for the Salesforce Foundation for generously donating this wonderful constituent management system to nonprofits like ours so we can better live our mission.

If you’re interested in volunteering with us in this or other capacities, please visit our Volunteer page and fill in an application or volunteer interest form!

P.S. Vicki has joined our board as a result of this engagement. We are thrilled!

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