Women and Families Empowerment: One Service at a Time

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People Served Directly
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People Served Indirectly
Name: Jenny Cervantes
College Affiliation: Oakes College
Major: GISES
Graduation Date: Spring 2016

Project Date: March-June 2016

Partner Org: Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center
Partner Website: wafwc.org

Technologies Used: Salsa Labs Donor Pro, MS Access, Squarespace CMS
Project Themes: Women’s Empowerment, Youth Empowerment, Tech Literacy, Fundraising, Capacity Building
People Served Directly: WAFWC Employees
Community Served Indirectly: Annual volunteer staff

Project Description

The Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s center has been serving the Santa Cruz County for over 80 years. Their mission statement is to provide skills and opportunities for all women, children and families, so that they can thrive. Through a “strength-based” model, they encourage every individual to move towards a healthier life-style and focus on their positive attributes rather than their lack of opportunities or weaknesses. It is crucial the organization ensures that individuals are provided with the resources that fit their particular needs and are prepared for social, emotional, physical, and intellectual success.

The organization is composed of less than fifteen paid staff and 40-50 volunteers at any given time during the year. Through this dynamic, the organization has been able to serve hundreds of individuals every year through each of their four following programs, within their limited budget. They offer Early Childhood Education, Services for Children & Youth, Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence, and other community relations programs. Within each category, there is aid in Crisis-Intervention, One-on-One Mentoring, Support Groups, Skills Workshops, Children’s Care Centers, Fundraising, Safe Housing, Sheltering, Food, and Clothing.

Given that there are many resources and roles within the organization, I have partnered with Walnut Avenue to develop a project that will aid them in tracking their valued donations and client profiles. A large part of their organization relies on the support from donors to maintain the current grants and services and they offer to hundreds of women and children every year. Previously, they were not updating or generating reports about the donations that were being processed. Rather than increasing the donor repetition rate, they were only noting them as they came.

It is important for them to create consistent relationships with community or organizational donors, to guarantee their organization maintains its services to people who depend on their support. For my project, I created the template for organizing their Donor information through the database ‘Donor Pro’, that is managed by Salsa Labs Inc. I will also set-up and generated the analytical client reports and put together the template for creating follow-up letters to donors based on categories and classifications. In addition, I trained the authorized staff on how to use the database, through a step-by-step virtual instruction document. My project begun in April 1st, 2016 and was finished June 1st, 2016.