Solutions

New York City–based charitable organization keeps track of volunteer efforts with FileMaker Pro

New York Cares

When New York and the nation faced adversity in September 2001, normally dour and cynical New Yorkers showed they have a big heart. Then as today, New York Cares was there, organizing volunteers and helping in the 9/11 recovery effort. And at the heart of New York cares, you'll find FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker, Inc.

Overview

  • Volunteer–coordinating organization serving social service agencies throughout New York City
  • Based in New York, NY
  • Approximately 50 employees

Industry

  • Non–Profit
  • Information Technology

Solutions

  • Fund raising
  • Event planning
  • Volunteer contacts database

Benefits

  • Ensure data is immediately available throughout the entire organization
  • Improve ability of program to connect participants with organizations needing their skills
  • Reduce development time and improve operating efficiency through enhanced relational capabilities and new Relationship Graph in FileMaker Pro 7

With each new incarnation of FileMaker Pro and as the organization grows, our solution grows with it!

— Antonio Rodriguez, manager of Technology, New York Cares

Business Challenge

Finding opportunities for people to help and helping people find those opportunities is what New York Cares is all about. Founded in 1987, the organization lines up tens of thousands of willing New Yorkers each year with volunteer openings, working in close cooperation with the city's social service agencies and other organizations. "New York Cares coordinates projects 365 days a year," explains Antonio Rodriguez, the group's manager of technology. "These projects address a wide range of issues in New York City, including homelessness, literacy, hunger, advancing technology in schools and social service agencies, youths and adults with special needs, senior citizens, caring for animals, community revitalization, education, building children's self–esteem, and more."

Each month's volunteer opportunities are listed in a monthly project calendar, available to New York Cares members by mail or email. And keeping track of those members and what they do each month is a technological challenge requiring real database power. "New York Cares needs to coordinate thousands of individuals for hundreds of projects on a day–to–day basis," Antonio explains. "Having access to this information, as well as sending off the information to our volunteers project partners and contacts, in a timely manner is critical."

Successful Solution

New York Cares first turned to FileMaker Pro in 1995 and over the years they've developed a system of fifteen databases containing hundreds of thousands of individual records. "Our FileMaker Pro solution allows us to keep all our data in one centralized location, while allowing our staff easy access to it," says Antonio. "They can view current and past projects, find volunteers for targeted mailings, and even view information on partnered organizations."

The databases process an ever–changing assortment of data, ranging from basic information on program participants and partner groups to specific details on each ongoing volunteer project and administrative information for fundraising and annual events.

Saving time will be the biggest benefit of FileMaker Pro 7. Not only will it quickly update our old solution, it'll streamline how our databases interact with each other. Being able to keep all the data for a specific record in one place is helpful and this will help us get rid of redundancies in our system.

— Antonio Rodriguez, manager of Technology, New York Cares

Customer Benefits

Such centralized management of vital data means real operating efficiencies for the organization, which is always an essential need in a non–profit organization where time and money are both precious commodities. And now, with FileMaker Pro 7, New York Cares is poised to see its databases become even more efficient. "Saving time will be the biggest benefit," Antonio predicts. "Not only will FileMaker Pro 7 quickly update our old solution, it'll streamline how our databases interact with each other. The interface is more intuitive, and the new Relationships Graph gives us a birds–eye view of all the tables in a file and how they relate to each other. Being able to keep all the data for a specific record in one place is helpful and this will help us get rid of redundancies in our system."

Antonio's already experimenting with the improved relational capabilities in FileMaker Pro 7 to create on–the–fly statistical analyses of volunteer activities, and he's also looking forward to implementing the Custom Web Publishing features in FileMaker Pro 7 once the New York Cares solution's been fully upgraded. "With each new incarnation of FileMaker Pro," he declares, "and as the organization grows, our solution grows with it!"

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For New York Cares:

Antonio Rodriguez
Manager of Technology
New York Cares
212-228-5000
Antonio_Rodriguez@nycares.org
http://www.nycares.org