Technology Turning Point

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Salem Community Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The Salem Community Center is a private not for profit organization dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life within our community. This continuous process will be enhanced by: To be responsive to our membership by addressing emerging and changing community needs and removing economic barriers within available resources. To continue the cycle of giving through service and resources to our community.


Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Salem Community Center has been providing services for the community for six years. We are a small rural community comprised of 10,000 people locally and another 5,000 people surrounding us within a 15 mile radius. Location requires that we go beyond our immediate zip code and pull from those who drive up to 30 minutes to reach our facility. Our state of the art facility has many opportunities for individuals and families in the form of health and wellness. Ironically we hear from many people they did not even know we existed offering services associated with fitness and sports for people of all ages. This is what prompted us to design a building informational quad fold that could be sent via traditional mail, email and presented to our local Chamber to hand out to new residents and businesses. Because of the distance we must go to recruit membership we needed something that looked nice, displayed all we had to offer and could meet our needs financially, in that we could not incur a large cost to produce marketing literature.

We have accessed multiple Microsoft products in our attempt at a better marketing scenario. To begin the process we accessed our membership data base “Sportsman” provided by PEAK software. This data base could provide us zip codes but could not separate them out so that we could analyze our market area. This is when we called on Microsoft excel. Excel allowed us to take our date from sportsman and convert it to excel spreadsheets. Once that was complete it was very easy to see where the largest area was that we were pulling from. Through the excel sheet we could take out duplicate family members, and children, categorize who no longer are members and break down into age categories. It also allowed us to easily make labels to produce mailings enhancing the range of people we could reach.

A campaign push for corporate membership with local businesses is a priority to the Salem Community Center. We wanted to offer all businesses no matter how big or small the opportunity to provide their employees with a membership at a discounted rate. The corporate membership program allows the company’s employee the ability to participate in the Community Center’s natatorium, fitness floor, walking track, gymnasium and sauna. This would better educate the employee on health and wellness and in return, help the employer to keep healthcare costs to a minimum. With the help of the excel program were able to create a data base of local business. In turn we were able to send all information including our quad fold to the business informing them of what we have available. This has been successful as we continue to add area business and their families to our membership. To date we have twenty businesses over three counties involved in our corporate program. Being that many businesses in our area are in economic turmoil, this is a great service for employers that we are happy to provide at a discounted rate.

Once all data bases were created we began work on the quad fold. We wanted something that could show the community what we had to offer. The quad fold was created in Microsoft publisher. The ability of publisher to import clipart and rearrange text was helpful to all who were working on this project. In addition, it saved us money as we were able to create this document in house instead of outsourcing the making of the quad fold to another company. We are able to provide new members and business, potential members and business and our area Chamber with this quad fold which displays the beauty of the building and what we have to offer. This ability has provide a much more effective and cost efficient marking tool for the Salem Community Center.

TechSoup has been a wonderful service to us as a nonprofit. It has enhanced our ability to compete in the global market keeping our staff and other businesses up-to-date in the technology world. It has made our job easier enhancing the quality of materials and work that we can provide to our members. In addition to spreadsheets and our new quad fold, we are able to create professional looking flyers announcing new programs, create registration forms for our sport programs and put together beautiful marketing ads for our local business, newspaper and educational institutions.

In our six years of existence, we have been proactive in answering the requests and needs of the community. Keeping the Salem Community Center up to date with technology, equipment, programming, and education continues to be our priority for the community. In doing so, we must continue to keep membership and activity pricing to a minimum, trying to absorb the rising economic cost going up all around us. We are committed to serving the needs of all ages, genders, ethnic origins, economic incomes and disabilities of all members. Microsoft and TechSoup continue to provide these cost effective programs to nonprofits so that we can in turn pass the savings on to our members keeping the local and global economy healthy.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery