MS Office Suite Provides Consistency for C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation

Organization Name
C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation
Mission Statement

To provide disabled, disadvantaged and at-risk youth inclusion in quality, outdoor receation through the sport of fishing.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: As a largely volunteer driven organization with operations in many locations we faced issues with consistency in forms and documents, external communications and data collection and storage. Efforts were frequently duplicated when it came to coordinating each event and we were consistently concerned that we were unable to fully control the type of information that was distributed in regard to our programs. This resulted in frequent phone calls in which staff members would spend considerable time clarifying the processes required to participate in an event and to whom was able to take part in the event. Additionally, on a liability standpoint it was very concerning for us that multiple documents in were in existence and the bulk of our contacts were stored in personal email accounts.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Utilizing Office 2007 applications has enabled our organization to create professional forms, brochures and reports that allow our operations to run more smoothly. We’ve created a standard registration and order form used for each event with MS Word, as well as standard marketing materials with Publisher. With the assistance of Adobe Acrobat we are able to make those documents available via download from our website. Standardization allows us to control the information disseminated in regard to our events and ensures that all participating families have signed the correct waivers and are given accurate information regarding event details. Following each event we publish a report summering the event using a Word template and utilize Excel spreadsheets to track our attendance statistics.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Prior to the implementation of MS 2007 software our statistical information was a disaster of files kept in a variety of different places and in a format that had little practical application for the foundation. We now possess a database that easily allows us to input data from each of our events into Excel spreadsheets enabling us to determine not only the total number of participants and volunteers that our programs reach, but allows us to gather information regarding the background of the participants. Since 2008 we’ve been able to analyze the disability demographics and income statistics of the populations we serve and use that information to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: Using MS Office Suite has given us the ability to provide statistical information to granting organizations and corporate sponsors thus increasing support for our programs. Since 2008 the foundation has used statistics in grant applications that have resulted in over $50k in grant award funding. We also estimate that included statistics in event sponsorship proposals created using both MS Word and MS Publisher have resulted in over $100K in corporate sponsorship in the last two years. With rising programs costs, this additional support has allowed the foundation to sustain our programs at post recession levels.

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