CVC - Changing Kentuckians lives - one at a time

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Community Ventures Corporation
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Founded in 1982, Community Ventures Corporation (CVC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that exists to improve the quality of life for urban and rural residents throughout central and northern Kentucky. CVC's central mission is to provide individuals and families with the skills, income, and assets they need to achieve financial independence. CVC helps people increase income and build assets with three main strategies: small business ownership, home ownership, and job creation.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Introduction: CVC has been changing lives in the Central Kentucky area it serves for over 27 years now, through its homeownership, small business development, and business expansion programs. During those 27 years, CVC has watched more than 350 families become homeowners for the first time, facilitated over 500 small business venture startups, and helped over 150 companies grow and create nearly 750 employment opportunities that benefit all of the communities that we serve. CVC has also grown during these times, from an initial staff of one to over thirty-five employees currently, and have expanded our service area from one county initially to forty-five counties today for some programs and statewide for others. We have also grown from one office location to six during that time. However, our largest growth period has come, not coincidently, since we discovered the generosity of Microsoft toward non-profits like us, via Techsoup specifically.Our Need: In 2003, CVC’s growth was beginning to be stunted by technology problems. As a non-profit agency, funding for technology needs is generally difficult to come by. And it showed in the infrastructure we had in place at the time. CVC had one server, with a limited storage capacity, and office computers for staff were an inconsistent mixture of hardware running Windows 98, ME, and 2000, and Office 97 and 2000. At the time, we had three office locations, but all interactions between the offices occurred via telephone, mail, and fax machine. Even submitting time sheets proved to be a time- and resource-consuming task. File, print and information sharing was virtually non-existent, even at the home office location.Our Solution: CVC recognized this problem, but was resource constrained to solve these issues easily and cost effectively. However, after discovering the resources available via Techsoup to purchase Microsoft products at an extremely affordable price, and with a grant for updated hardware from HP, we began to improve our technology that allowed us to begin seamless communications between office locations and personnel. We upgraded to SBS 2003, and added a second server running Windows Server 2003. We upgraded client computers to Windows XP and Office 2003. With the addition of the upgraded server software, we began to run our own Exchange Server, which allowed us to have control over our e-mail, which has really provided a productivity boost for all employees. Users are free to spend more time outside the office working directly with clients at their locations and on their schedule. For those employees who travel, they are no longer inhibited by technology limitations when working outside of the office. We have also created and maintain databases for client management. We have a central repository for file storage, which makes for easier access and more efficient backup capability. We used our second server to run Terminal Services, and now all remote office users have the same access to shared folders/printers, etc, as our employees at our home office location. Information is available at everyone’s fingertips across the entire agency, and we have no barriers regardless of location. We continue to find new productivity enhancements that benefit our employees and our clientele as we explore the features offered in Microsoft’s products.All of our employees now have the ability to use the Microsoft Office suite of products to create documents/spreadsheets that we distribute in our training classes, and can create their own marketing materials for classes and seminars. Our housing and business development staff provide monthly training to perspective clients and existing clients, offering a range of in-house courses. All class participants are entered into a database for tracking purposes. We have also created an online homebuyer education program ( to serve clients who do not have the time or ability to drive to our offices and sit in on an eight hour class on Saturdays. All of our training documentation for all of our classes/workshops/seminars are created using Microsoft software. Our web site is a wealth of information on all of the products and services that we offer, and many of the components of the site and marketing materials we have there, were created using Microsoft’s suite of products. We also do regular newsletters to send to funders, partners, and clients.Since 2008 began we have had a tremendous focus on foreclosure prevention and counseling as the economic downturn has adversely affected our service area. Our spreadsheets and databases allow us to track our clients through the process and be able to quickly respond to their needs, during a time of tremendous pressure and stress for the client. Since we began our foreclosure prevention and counseling, we have counseled over 850 clients and helped save 100 families from foreclosure.As an organization, we have put in place performance measures that track on a monthly basis how we are doing in serving our community. We are able to see at a glance what areas we are achieving our goals, and in which areas we need to focus our energy to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. This allows us, at any given time, to be able to quickly respond to market changes, demographic and economic changes, so that we can better accomplish our mission. This would not have been possible without our technology from Microsoft. Also, as a result, we saw a need and had the opportunity and provided a workroom for our clients who may not otherwise have access to a computer and printer, where they can come and create brochures, flyers, marketing materials, documents, and spreadsheets, anything they need to run, enhance and market their business to prospective clients.We also from time to time as the need arises offer computer training courses, such as “Computers and the Internet”, “Microsoft Word”, and “Microsoft Excel”, to help clients better understand how to use technology to grow their business. Many of the teachings in these courses are a direct result of our own learning we have gained via the use of Microsoft technology. Since receiving our initial Microsoft product from Techsoup, we have increased the number of housing clients we are able to serve by 50% per year, and have seen an increase of 200% increase in our business development activity from 2007 to 2008. Summary: CVC, in an effort to fulfill our mission of providing services to our community to create homeowners, small businesses, and business expansion, has made great strides using technology available to us from Microsoft and Techsoup to become a more efficient, productive organization in our 27 year past. We will continue to pursue the available use of technology to enhance our service delivery to our clientele, and our communities we serve in the years to come.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery