G.A.I.N. – powered by Lowe’s
As part of the inaugural G.A.I.N. cohort, RunningWorks has completed their first phase in Apparo’s 2-year nonprofit accelerator: a technology assessment and plan.
As a result of this project and their work in the G.A.I.N. program, RunningWorks anticipates deepening their impact on their “team members”, those they serve. They will have more time to serve more deeply, so that the father experiencing poverty receives not only caring case management, but also support to build healthy lifestyle habits and focus on getting the training he needs to earn a higher wage to help support his family and connect to opportunities for safe, permanent, and low barrier housing they can afford.
RunningWorks provides case management and outreach services to children and adults experiencing homelessness and poverty in the Carolinas. Their programs and services are designed to promote healthy lifestyle habits and connect clients to community resources to achieve goals in five key areas: healthcare services, food security, financial stability, employment and housing.
As the first phase in their G.A.I.N. journey, RunningWorks was matched to a corporate volunteer team from Polypore, who conducted their tech assessment and provided a plan with recommendations for improvement. The G.A.I.N. program is generously sponsored by Lowe’s and EY. See PDF of Project Snapshot.
We met with Matt Sharp, Chief Operating Officer, to learn about the start of his G.A.I.N. experience and the anticipated impact of this specific project on their organization. “We worked with Apparo and Polypore a few years ago and are in much better shape with our technology because of that, but time has passed and not all of our systems are being optimally utilized. It was time to further develop our technology systems, so I’m thrilled to be part of the G.A.I.N. program. The work we’ll accomplish even over just the first six months, would have taken us years on our own. Because we have two years together, we’ll be able to really get back on track, get staff trained and gain their buy-in. This is truly a team initiative and as a result, we’ll be as effective and efficient as possible, so that we can do our best to serve our best.”
Specifically, Matt shares the organizational issues that drew him to apply to the G.A.I.N. program. “We aren’t sharing files and communicating as efficiently as we should be and we need upgraded technology so that we have fully utilize our new client specific CRM (Apricot).”
Tech plan recommendations will improve organizational effectiveness, reduce risk and save nearly 10 hours a month, time which will be put to use to deepen their service to their clients.
- Use of Teams for file storage will save time spent seeking files and waiting for other to find files.
- Tracking and updating tasks will be more efficient with everyone on Teams rather than using their own spreadsheets.
- Moving off of spreadsheets and onto Apricot will help RunningWorks save time and also manage relationships with all constituents more effectively.
- Moving to the cloud and following new security and data backup protocols will help mitigate risk of data loss.
Matt elaborates on the anticipated impact on those they serve. “We’ll have more time to be present with our team members (clients) and will be more efficient at fulfilling more of their needs by diving deeper into their lives. That deeper impact is the huge key piece. We’ll be able to support our clients more holistically. For example, not only in getting housing, but also in overcoming their food insecurity and enhancing their earning potential.”
Revenue will also be bolstered, with fundraising ideally growing by 25% to recover from COVID losses and be well positioned for 2022.
- Freed time can be spend cultivating donors
- Use of Apricot will help with tracking and reporting needed for grants
In closing, team participants shared their appreciation for working together.
Matt Sharp (RunningWorks) – “Without G.A.I.N., we would have done our best to make improvements, but we would not be nearly where we want to be. The work we’ll be able to accomplish in just the first 6 months in the G.A.I.N. program would take us years on our own.”
Jacob Porter (Polypore) – “I really enjoyed being able to give of my time, knowledge and expertise. I come from a consulting background and really enjoy helping others and providing value in their projects.”
Danny Schwippert (Polypore and RunningWorks Board Member) – “It’s a gift to be able to work with great people, especially those who help the homeless. When you get connected with the right people, with the right mindset, helping them do their job better is very rewarding.”