As winners of Apparo’s Mission Possible Award in 2017, Heart Math Tutoring’s Emily Gaffney, Executive Director, and Rebecca Presnell, Business Operations Manager, are very familiar with the Community Impact Project (CIP) process and its benefits. We checked in with them recently on the outcomes of their CIP and their more recent work with Apparo’s Tech Therapy team.
“We finished the project with Accenture in April 2018 and worked with Torrent Consulting to complete the build in Salesforce. it has been a successful transition, with 100% staff implementation in the 2018/19 school year. The staff is very happy with it,” explains Emily.
She describes the new key features:
- New dashboards are in place for easy, actionable analytics. “We can see which schools in our program need more attention or are having attendance issues. We can also easily identify students who are not moving along at the expected pace. Then we can take action quickly to address these issues.”
- Rather than looking through files for information, coordinators now have an easy-to-use online tool which gives them real time information to improve tutoring session on the spot. As appropriate, they can encourage volunteer tutors to focus on conceptual gaps and help students make connections to material they have already covered. The tool can also set up reminders to give students notebook checks as they proceed to new curriculum levels.
- The system allows better monitoring and response to our own program attendance needs. “For example,” explains Emily, “we can more easily see which sessions haven’t been completed that week and where substitute tutoring is needed, and we can compare that information to the academic achievement information to be even more precise on allocating our staff and substitute resources.”
The new features have enabled increased quality of service and also increased reach. “Staff can focus on the relationships and student needs, rather than pulling data from multiple spreadsheets to find out what is going on,” explains Emily. ” We used to run 17 schools on 17 separate spreadsheets without a seamless way to summarize operational data across the program. The old Excel-based systems would have been extremely cumbersome at the current 22 school size and would have hindered future growth. We think Heart Tutoring’s program could be a good fit for 35 – 40 Charlotte elementary schools, and the student database is key to growth with quality.
They turned to Tech Therapy for advice in choosing an IT vendor and now, implementing Apparo’s advice, will save $1,800 a year. “We were getting oversold,” Rebecca explains. “Apparo can interpret the words of a vendor and offer context back to us. They have better knowledge of the tech space and awareness of the feedback of other nonprofits. Apparo is a valuable resource, an interpreter and mediator. They are on our team, as an advocate, saving us time and money.”But Heart Math Tutoring’s relationship with Apparo doesn’t end here. They have taken advantage of both Education and Tech Therapy offerings. “Many other organizations have cybersecurity education programs, but only Apparo’s are specific to Charlotte nonprofits,” Rebecca says. “These programs are also very helpful for networking with other local nonprofits in similar situations. For example, the tech planning panel was a great opportunity to hear how others are tackling similar problems. We take away tips that we give to our full staff to use.”