Helping students set goals and work towards them is a huge step in empowering underserved youth. That’s the idea behind Teens Run DC, a nonprofit that promotes the physical, social and emotional well-being of DC students through running and mentoring programs.
Two years ago, Teens Run DC had a staff of two; last year, they had a staff of seven; this year, they have a staff of fourteen. Each year, with the increase in personnel, Teens Run DC has been able to double the number of students they reach through their programs – whether in PE classes, lunch clubs, or after school running programs.
However, technology became a sore point for an organization that essentially grew overnight. When Teens Run DC started working with 501cTECH in 2015, employees were using personal computers that did not always have software compatible for sharing documents. There was no main fileserver, and employees used personal Dropbox accounts that quickly ran out of space. Program data was saved in Google spreadsheets with hundreds of columns, formulas and multiple people inputting information. Working with an array of staff, AmeriCorps volunteers, coaches and mentors, Teens Run DC needed to develop an IT strategy that could withstand the growth of the organization.
- Securing nine laptops and one desktop for employees, as well as a printer/scanner for student forms
- Providing new mechanisms for file sharing: Box.org and Microsoft Office Suite
- Setting up a customized Salesforce account that organizes student and mentor data
- Equipping coaches with an attendance recording app that is linked to Salesforce
- Implementing data governance policies and procedures for security
Having this new, cutting edge and reliable technology gave the staff more time to focus on their mission.
- Coaches can easily review student attendance records, race times, and goals in Salesforce, making one-on-one time much more focused and meaningful
- Mentor/mentee matches are made in Salesforce with ease, saving time and allowing for room for the program to grow as interest grows
- The organization can run reports comparing data across schools and programs to inform decision making