October 16, 2020
Recognizing the far-reaching effects COVID- 19 was having on local communities at the start of the Quarter, InitLive put together a free product offering for any organization needing to manage volunteers in relief and related programs. The company knew that managing perhaps hundreds of inexperienced volunteers with similarly unseasoned managers and limited tools was only going to add to the challenges, and that easy-to-use InitLive software could help bring significant value to these causes through greater team organization, communication and resulting effectiveness.
One of the first organizations to seize on the offer was the local Manor Park Community Association, who were mobilizing to deliver food on behalf of Ottawa food banks. Job losses due to the pandemic were causing demands on these services and the volunteers who provided them to increase quickly and dramatically. InitLive collaborated with the Manor Park team right away. The soft- ware lived up to its billing, and the delivery program was up and running quickly, providing relief to individuals and families who were already or newly in need.
At the same time, The City of Ottawa launched an Innovation Pilot Program to help accelerate economic recovery efforts through technology innovation. The program offered funding for up to five projects, and InitLive applied, using the Manor Park relationship as a case study for what could be accomplished. The City was quick with its approval and has since partnered with InitLive to offer a streamlined process that connects and supports local community associations, food banks and volunteers.
InitLive offers these groups an “all in one” volunteer management solution that modernizes and improves this aspect of their operations. However, the company is also exploring how key technologies that food banks already use, such as Link2Feed (a specialized CRM to manage food inventory and delivery), could be integrated with their software to share data and better ensure those in need receive their food on time.
Another project is looking at ways to optimize delivery driver routes and present that information through the InitLive mobile app. Enhancements like this could further streamline volunteer operations and in this case, help ensure vulnerable community residents are better taken care of.
Until then, the system is already providing dividends. For example, Josh, an administrator at one of the local food banks has had his volunteer workload reduced from several hours a day to about 30 minutes each day. This is actually great news, as he also has another full-time career. It has enabled him to provide the community service he is passionate about but also have more time for his other activities. He said the following to add perspective: “InitLive has made my life easier. I would be embarrassed to show the spread- sheet I was previously using to manage the volunteer schedule …”
InitLive is definitely pleased with this success, and they hope they can help many more community organizations gain similar benefits. As has been said, we are all in this together … initlive.com