Saying good bye to multiple Excel sheets as your database
Even the most tech savvy organization can suffer from outmoded IT practices. Vittana is a microfinance agency that connects individual lenders with students in the developing world trying to raise money to attend college. It has been hailed as a dynamic operation with a sophisticated web platform.
Yet its internal data systems were causing unneccesary errors and wasted effort. Vittana relied on multiple different Excel sheets to store key data, which meant it couldn't integrate information. The staff relied on emailing attachments back and forth to manage processes like reviewing applications or tracking donors, which meant that it was difficult to insure that everyone was looking at the same (and most recent) information. The entire system was constructed in a patchwork fashion such that data "leaked" easily.
Rather than continue to perform short term plugs, Vittana turned to CWR to implement a long term fix that could scale with the organization as it pursued its ambitious plans to multiply growth exponentially.CWR installed the industry leading Salesforce platform, customizing it for Vittana's unique needs. This project integrated disparate information flows about donors, interested people, and volunteers.
One example of a time and error saving benefit acheived was in the area of intaking, reviewing, and tracking volunteer applications. In the past, staff would have to download information entered online by applicants, save it into a separate document, enter pipeline information about the applicant review process into yet another Excel sheet, and then have staff email various documents back and forth. In the Salesforce solution, eveyrthing is integrated. The application information is automatically downloaded into a central online database, which also tracks the review process. Staff can be assured they are all looking at the most recent information and can exchange comments easily.
CWR also collaborated with Vittana to achieve the best value for its money. Because Vittana's founder hails from the high tech sector, CWR provided enough coaching and technical support so that he could undertake some of the implementation himself. It's a great example of our desire to empower nonprofits and customize solutions for each of our clients.