GenOne leadership reached out to Apparo for help to improve their use of technology solutions in order to support their growth goals.
GenOne partners with talented, first-generation students from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them successfully navigate to and through college. GenOne was using an inefficient combination of technology solutions including Airtable, Google Sheets and Signup Genius to track students and volunteers. In order to support planned growth, GenOne asked Apparo for help on streamlining these processes. Apparo matched GenOne with a corporate volunteer team from CapTech, who also generously sponsored this project, to help select the best solutions to meet their needs. See Project Overview Snapshot.
We checked in recently with Ian Joyce, Executive Director, and Scott Brennan, Board Member, to learn about the impact of the project.
Implementation and integration of tools recommended by CapTech will save 200+ hours annually for GenOne staff. That is time they will dedicate to tripling the number of students they serve over the next two years.
This project “opened our eyes to ways we can work more efficiently,” shares Scott. “As a small nonprofit, the time we’ll save is meaningful, especially since our current staff is at maximum capacity. It will free bandwidth to serve more students.”
Ian reflects on the anticipated benefits of new tools they will implement:
- “Rather than a staff member having to do it, CounselMore will remind the students when they have things due and when they have appointments. Instead of going back and forth with emails and spreadsheets, students will be able to do their college rankings online. This will save staff 5-10 hours a month. By integrating Zapier and Airtable, we’re eliminating the need for manual data entry and use of multiple spreadsheets. As a result staff will save an additional 5-10 hours a month.”
- By creating a student portal via Google Sites, they will reduce staff workload by another 3 hours a month as students are able to find important information and book their own appointments in a self-serve environment. Use of Google Calendar instead of the more complicated Sign-up Genius will save another 8 hours a year.
- This time will be shifted to work with even more students. As Ian explains, “this year, we are going to double the number of students that are on each counselor’s case load. It will be more than tripled next year.”
Other benefits include an enriched student experience, risk mitigation, fundraising enhancements and reduced expenses.
- Through a Google Sites portal students will be able to efficiently get answers to their own questions, book appointments and have virtual tutoring sessions.
- The portal will also ensure that student and volunteer data stays secure.
- The Zapier/Airtable integration will help ensure data integrity by eliminating potential manual data entry and manipulation errors across spreadsheets.
- The donor experience on the website is improved through Bloomerang, and an uptick in revenue is expected because it allows donors to cover transaction fees. This increase is anticipated to reach $2,500 this year and grow annually. Bloomerang also allows for enhanced tracking data and robust reporting, which will improve impact storytelling to funders.
- Using Google calendar invites will allow elimination of their Punchbowl subscription, saving $60/year.
At the project wrap up, all team members shared their appreciation.
Ian Joyce – “This was a fantastic process and we’re really thankful for the recommendations, everyone’s support and the hours and stress that will be saved. Our expectations were exceeded, all within a realistic budget. As a smaller nonprofit, I was scared that they were going to have all of these great recommendations, but that we would not have a sufficient budget for them. They did a great job of making it relevant to our financial situation.”
Adam Jones (volunteer) – “CapTech leadership supports our efforts helping out in the community, and we were taken in right away by GenOne and what they represent. There was a lot of enthusiasm on our end. Everyone on the team really makes a commitment to participate. It was a strong working relationship. In the end, I feel really good about what we did and hope to stay in touch with them to see how things work out.”
Cody Warrington (volunteer) – “The project was a lot of fun and a nice break from my usual client work. They were great to work with. They had tried so much on their own before we got there, it was fun to talk shop together.”
Rocco Esposito (volunteer) – “It was an amazing experience. I’m really captivated by GenOne’s mission and I’m looking forward to working on more of these in the future. It really feels like you are making a big impact. I really appreciate the opportunity.”