Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners Receives 2013 Technology Innovation Award

 Educational Videos to Engage Constituents and Showcase Habitat for
Humanity Metrolina ReStores' Services and Mission for Charlotte-Area Community

Charlotte, NC; April 27, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners (HMP) received the 2013 Technology Innovation Award from Apparo, formerly NPower Charlotte Region, and sponsored by Accenture. The award, which provides project management and consulting support, will help the 11 Metrolina Habitat ReStores develop and leverage educational videos to engage the community, connect people to their mission, and showcase the evolving Habitat.

This year, Apparo worked closely with HMP and the three other nonprofit Technology Innovation Award (TIA) finalists, including Catholic Social Services, Clean Air Carolina and Regional AIDS Interfaith Network to develop programs to engage constituents and further their missions. As part of the application process, each nonprofit finalist has an engagement plan. “The concept of engagement is important for any organization and especially for nonprofits,” said Apparo executive director, Kim Lanphear. “If you want to generate funding and support, engaging people who care about your mission is critical. We are thrilled that Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners received this award and look forward to seeing their engagement plan in action.”

Habitat for Humanity has changed from a new home construction ministry to a housing ministry that serves families through different types of construction and revitalization. “At Habitat, we recognized that the need for affordable housing required more than new construction,” said Meg Robertson, Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners’ executive director. “In many cases, it is more efficient to restore foreclosed homes or engage in weatherization projects. This way we are helping to revitalize neighborhoods using the existing homes available, even if they are in disrepair.”

Many people, however, are unaware of this change in the way Habitat fulfills its mission. “We found that people still don’t know what Habitat provides and the Technology Innovation Award will help us tell our story,” said Robertson. “All of Habitat is steering toward neighborhood revitalization projects that take a holistic approach to enriching the communities we live in, not just the homes we live in.”

In addition to educating people about their affordable housing ministry, the Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners will use the content of their videos to educate and inform constituents of ReStores, a collection of 11 resale stores across the region, which collects donated household items and sells them to the general public. Metrolina ReStores provide large revenue streams, generating more than $1 million dollars in 2012 alone. “When an item is purchased from our ReStores, money from that sale goes back to local families. It is a double-win situation. Items like furniture, construction materials, used cabinets, books and lamps turn into cash for families in need,” said Robertson.

       Helping find a voice; Keeping people in their homes

The videos HMP plans to create using the resources from the Technology Innovation Award will be shown in their ReStores, on television advertising, on Habitat affiliate web sites and in social media about their mission and the new services they offer the Charlotte community. The nine Habitat affiliates that make up the Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners will also receive iPads so they can easily create and update their own videos.

“We are incredibly grateful to Accenture and Apparo for their partnership through the Technology Innovation Award. Video will help us tell our story more effectively and in a way that engages our constituents,” says Robertson. “I think the best part of this process is that we’ve really broadened our view of how technology can transform our ReStore operations and retail environment.”

Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners joins the ranks of other nonprofit Technology Innovation Award winners including, Autism Services of Mecklenburg County, Carolina Raptor Center, Urban Ministry Center, York County Adult Day Care, and Community School of the Arts.

“The Technology Innovation Award is one way Accenture supports local nonprofit organizations in the communities where we live and work,” said John Pesavento, Accenture managing director and 2011 Apparo Hall of Fame Inductee. “Technology can effectively help nonprofits better engage their constituents and, in turn, better serve people in their communities.”

Accenture has sponsored Apparo’s Technology Innovation Award for the past six years.

Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners
Habitat for Humanity Metrolina Partners is comprised of a diverse group of Habitat affiliates who create affordable housing in their communities in the Greater-Charlotte Metropolitan area. Started in 2011, this partnership includes affiliate Habitat partners and 11 Metrolina ReStores including the areas of Cabarrus, Catawba Valley, Charlotte, Gaston County, Iredell County, Lincoln County, Matthews, Our Towns and York County who collaborate to further Habitat’s mission of providing housing for those in need in our community.

About Apparo
Apparo, formerly NPower Charlotte Region, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that transforms Charlotte nonprofits through technology and services that enhance their missions. As a trusted partner and hub for information technology needs, Apparo works to create a vibrant community of technology-enabled nonprofits. Find out more at www.apparo.org.