Microsoft-TechSoup Help Disabled and Elderly to Age in Place

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
First Tennessee Human Resource Agency
City & State:
Johnson City, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To improve the quality of life for the people of Northeast Tennessee through effective delivery of social services.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Microsoft products donated through TechSoup enable First Tennessee Human Resource Agency to optimize mission delivery through increasing the reach of programs and enhancing program quality. First Tennessee Human Resource Agency (FTHRA) was established in 1974 under Tennessee state law as a not-for-profit delivery system designed to implement human services programs. First Tennessee Human Resource Agency is one of nine Human Resource Agencies across the State of Tennessee. FTHRA provides services to a core of eight counties in Northeast Tennessee. The agency administers seventeen programs categorized into six programmatic departments. Program goals are wide reaching, ranging from promoting proper nutrition of children to preventing premature institutionalized care for elderly and disabled adult citizens.

Family Services Institute (FSI), one of six programmatic departments within FTHRA is comprised of five programs. A majority of programs within the Family Services Institute focus on improving the well-being of elderly and disabled adults in Northeast Tennessee. In assessing future service needs of the local area, FSI found the elderly and disabled adult population in Northeast Tennessee carries significant service implications. The number of persons age 65 and older in Tennessee is projected to increase over 101% from the year 2000 to the year 2030 ( In addition to the increasing aging population, five counties within FTHRA’s service area report that over 45% of persons (noninstitutionalized) age 65 years of age and older have a disability ( FSI provides numerous services to assist elderly and disabled adult consumers to age in place. Services to promote the independence of elderly and disabled consumers may include protective supervision, household chores, shopping, budgeting, and assistance with life skills. Services are provided at no personal cost and are individualized to client need. The cost of in-home services provision is minimal in comparison to institutionalized care cost.

Products donated through TechSoup including Microsoft’s Publisher 2007, enables FSI to increase the reach of programs to local elderly and disabled adults. A commonality to nonprofits is the inability to afford advertisement of programs and services offered. FSI has been able to advertise programs and services with professional quality brochures created using Microsoft’s Publisher program. Brochures include a program’s determination of service, service description, and contact information. The ability to create brochures has been invaluable to FSI. Family Services Institute’s umbrella agency, First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, has been in existence for over thirty years. However, employees routinely report clients say, “They wish they would have known about services earlier.” Brochures advertising services are distributed at numerous community events. An average of 2,000 brochures are distributed annually to increase the awareness of services offered. Microsoft’s Publisher program in addition to producing high quality brochures, allows FSI to convert files to a portable document format for website placement or electronic transmission. A brochure for the Homemaker Program is attached to this submission.

Additionally, Microsoft’s Excel 2007 program enables FSI to enhance program quality through assessing the value and cost of administered programs, and providing data displays that easily allow monitoring of program budgets. All programs within First Tennessee Human Resource Agency annually calculate cost versus value in each administered program. For example, the Homemaker Program seeks to prevent premature institutional care for elderly and disabled adult citizens. The annual cost of providing services through the Homemaker Program is contrasted to the projected percentage of clients that should remain in the comfort of their home with services and those that will be moved to institutional care regardless of services. The comparisons use ratios based on averages compiled from Human Resource Agencies across the state. Calculations also implement the current average costs of daily institutionalized care in Tennessee. Using Microsoft’s Excel to calculate, for every one (1) dollar spent in the Homemaker Program, the agency saved the community $21.92 in potential nursing home costs while allowing consumers to remain at home in the setting of their choice. A cost versus value worksheet is attached to this submission.

Microsoft’s Excel is also used to create charts and tables for each FSI program. Inputting monthly budget report figures into Excel spreadsheets allows for comprehensive budget monitoring and data chart creation. Excel tools enable development of accurate budget projections for grant submissions. The ability to create spreadsheets customized to program services enhances program quality and services provided.

Microsoft products donated through TechSoup allow FSI to optimize mission delivery. Many grants require a specific inkind donation match. Consequently, the donation of Microsoft products through TechSoup allows FSI to use resources in an effective and efficient manner to garner additional needed funding. FSI is able to use TechSoup products as an inkind donation to gain optimal program funding for elderly and disabled adults to age in place at no personal cost. On average, for every one (1) dollar of inkind, FSI is able to receive four (4) dollars in grant funding. Microsoft products enable FSI to offer affordable, safe, and healthy choices within Northeast Tennessee that meet community needs.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery