SharePoint at Jubilee

Organization Name
Jubilee Women's Center
Mission Statement

Jubilee's mission is "to provide women a safe and supportive place to live and an opportunity to learn while becoming self-reliant in housing and employment."

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: Like most nonprofit organizations, several groups of people need to work together so Jubilee Women’s Center can provide housing and support services to homeless women in Seattle. With a 15-member board, 34 residents, 8 staff members and 20 weekly front desk volunteers, it was difficult to share information in an efficient manner. Group e-mails would sometimes work, but important documents often got lost in the inboxes of busy board members and not all residents had e-mail accounts. Staff found it difficult to track facility repairs and household supplies to be purchased; different residents would communicate household needs to different staff members. There was no centralized place for information that was accessible to all groups, making streamlined communication difficult.

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 SharePoint

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: Several years ago, Jubilee staff found SharePoint, which streamlined communication processes between and among groups. Less time was spent on communication and logistics and more time could be spent on completing the task at hand. There are now different portals for staff, the board, residents and volunteers. Each group has access to the information they need to function smoothly. The staff now has a staff calendar, so important meetings and staff vacations are on everyone’s calendars. Residents have a calendar so they know when life skills and technology classes are scheduled. Volunteers can check the list of jobs that are needed by staff and can find another volunteer to cover a missed shift, ensuring Jubilee has adequate coverage for women who contact us in need of resources.

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: SharePoint gives Jubilee the ability to host multiple sites for different constituencies. Secure storage of documents in a central location means staff can keep all administrative forms in one easily accessible place. The board can access meeting minutes from one place. Furthermore, the different sites can share information, if needed. For example, the list of facility repairs and household supplies can be seen and updated by both staff and residents; residents can make requests and staff can note if items have been ordered or when a repair person is coming. Staff can note if they need help on the volunteer project list and a volunteer can check the list when they arrive for a shift. Information is shared seamlessly among groups and, when needed, between groups.

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: Jubilee provides resource referral services for nearly 500 homeless and low-income women per year. Volunteers are an important part of this service delivery, especially those at the front desk who answer the door and phone. With SharePoint, we have more consistent front desk coverage so when a woman calls asking for help, there is someone to answer the phone and help her find safe shelter. If a volunteer cannot come for a shift, they easily find a sub using the volunteer portal. In addition, the volunteer portal gave them easy access to a resource list with links to other community resources, improving our referral services. When a woman calls for help, a volunteer has the information available to connect her to emergency housing providers and resources, such as food or medical care.

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