VICaP Faith in Action

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Beatitudes Center DOAR
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Beatitudes Center DOAR (Developing Older Adult Resources) is a nonprofit, interfaith organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older adults and their families. Beatitudes Center DOAR promotes health and well-being through a broad range of community-based services that assist caregivers, homebound adults, grandparents raising grandchildren, and congregational health programs.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The VICaP program of Beatitudes Center DOAR utilizes volunteers to provide in home services. Last year services were provided to 682 homebound individuals and we are well on track to exceed that number this year. Thanks to the generous donations of Microsoft products we are able to stay up to date with technology using Windows Server for our network, Windows XP for our workstations and the full suite of Microsoft Office products. Aside from the obvious benefits that Word, Publisher, and Powerpoint provide with production of professional documents, brochures and presentations we also look to our technology to find ways to automate and streamline our day to day functions. Outlook provides a solid communication tool both with internal and external email and the calendar is used not only as a scheduler but also as a log, so that nothing and no one is forgotten. Excel has been used to automate monthly report calculations and employee time cards ensuring reports are accurate and staff time can be focused on our services.

Our most effective tool to date has been Access. Because our various funding sources require a variety of information on our volunteers and service recipients, whom we call Neighbors, we needed something we could tailor to those needs and make our daily work flow as automated and efficient as possible. Consequently, in 2001, we switched to an Access database. Going paperless was our first goal which now saves money, is environmentally responsible and makes our records and information more accurate, stable and secure. The beauty of the program is that it can always be changed, adapted and added to as our needs change or as we come up with new ideas. Information is easily and quickly available at our fingertips, making us more responsive to Volunteers or Neighbors when they call. Our database is used for every aspect of what we do from keeping Neighbor and Volunteer records, to logging volunteer hours, monthly quality assurance calls, keeping service records, viewing and working from our wait list, and making and recording matches. The program then ties all that information together. For example, we can bring up a neighbor record and from that one page easily look at their complete service history, who they are matched with, the QA call history and any other information that may be connected to that person. Being able to respond quickly enables us to meet their needs more quickly and get the services to them more effectively. With a full range of user friendly designed menus and forms even new staff, interns or office volunteers can jump right into work easily.

Making the reporting process easier has helped us win grants and has provided the staff more time to focus on our programs and service recipients. With our database we are also able to quickly and accurately pull up people who meet specific criteria for special programs that come along. No longer a hit or miss prospect, this enables to us get more services to more people. Improved communication, more efficient use of staff time and providing the environment for creative juices to flow for better ways to use our technology has led to our most recent development and one we are quite proud of.

We developed an interactive service map for our website. Because we use Access, the database is compatible with and able to easily communicate with the programs that translate the information to the map. The map pulls information to show our service requests online and in real time. Volunteers can use the map to see who needs help and where they are. The focus can be large, or narrowed to a specific neighborhood, and can be further filtered by specific services. This empowers volunteers to identify someone they can assist and they can send us an email regarding a potential match right from the map. It has also been an effective tool for recruiting new volunteers. The visual aspect has widened everyone's perspective and has a powerful impact.

Improvements made through the versatility of our database have enabled us to match more volunteers to more people in need in the community, and has brought new volunteers in at a higher rate. Our wait list has been drastically reduced from one that used to average as high as 150 people per month down to the current low of just over 40. We have certainly been able to Optimize our Mission Delivery by having Microsoft Office tools that increase efficiency and by having a customizable and adaptable database program.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
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