West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM) is a nonprofit organization that provides social services to the needy and families in crisis without regard to race, religion, gender, national origin or disability. WHAM intends to be a model of Christian service in the world.
WHAM offers programs that meet the immediate basic needs of those in their community, such as rental, utility and food assistance. They also provide coaching and training through adult literacy and education programs to promote independence and equip a person to achieve long-term stability. Through WHAM’s Care Ministry and Job Readiness Programs and the Resale Shop and Food Pantry, the largest in West Houston, their staff and volunteers serve the West Houston community with care and compassion.
Pre-Apricot, WHAM used a custom-made database, which was not cloud-based and made it difficult to capture their data efficiently. Acknowledging this software no longer worked for them, their leadership committed to fully aligning their operational value goals to be data-driven and reflect excellence in all they do. In doing so, they realized they required a greater ability to obtain data accuracy and integrity. This is essential in accurately telling their impact story and establishing trust and confidence with funders. “Reporting accuracy is the highest priority, so funders have confidence in what we can do,” stated Lisa Iparrea, Director of Client Services. Moreover, due to data integrity challenges with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, they faced the issue of time inefficiencies related to reporting.
With the onset of Covid, WHAM experienced major growth with the increased number of people seeking help. They were challenged by day-to-day and day-to-week demands and seeing past the short-term timeframes. All of this highlighted the need for case management software that would provide sophisticated data to inform future planning as well as establish systems to support this growth.
“West Houston Assistance Ministries is the largest food pantry on the west side of Houston. Last month, with Apricot’s help, we were able to identify helping 7001 people, and we’re just getting bigger and bigger.”Lisa Iparrea, Director of Client Services
With increased demand for WHAM’s services, staff needed to serve the people directly, minimizing time devoted to administrative tasks. Management analyzed options and saw the best use of their resources was to invest in the Advanced Support Consulting and Managed Services packages with their Apricot investment. This decision eliminated the need to spend time finding, hiring and training a new member of staff to provide platform subject matter expertise. Engaging their dedicated support resources and leveraging the Advanced Support Services and Managed Services to take Apricot further has allowed WHAM to quantify an unprecedented growth in services and protect against data lost with staff turnover.
The decision was made to tap into the expertise at Social Solutions and invest in both an Advanced Support Consultant (ASC), a dedicated, subject-matter expert who provides client-led, one-on-one help and a Managed Services Representative, a dedicated, subject-matter expert that works as if they are a member of your organization’s team and provides proactive maintenance and administration. Both investments allowed WHAM to save time and money while helping their administration team learn and take their use of Apricot even further.
“Managed Services helps us see what we didn’t see before. It gives us the opportunity to think about how we can make improvements by providing us with suggestions while going through reports. That’s what got our wheels turning on how we can do better. For me, that was golden.”Maria Hospedales, Database Coordinator
Data integrity problems created by duplicate contact records are a common challenge for many organizations. Apricot is designed to help detect duplicates and eliminate duel data entry. WHAM’s Advanced Support Consultant assisted them in identifying all the different ways a duplicate contact record could occur and helped them set up Apricot to readily detect any duplicate entries. In addition, the customization and flexibility of Apricot enabled WHAM to withstand these “tests” of the system, offering data software that feels tailored to their organization.
Another step to refine data accuracy was improving the forms that WHAM’s staff used with participants. Again, WHAM worked together with their ASC to identify what successful and accurate data looked like in their specific situation, improving and reconfiguring the form logic. This insured WHAM’s confidence that the new form configuration could meet their needs while reflecting accurate data.
Part of Managed Services is performance and quality testing, which validates user experience at all levels, impacting the use and accurate data entry within Apricot. Because the platform is customized, the testing is tailor-made to meet their needs. Maria Hospedales, database coordinator for WHAM, said with a smile, “The more I started working with the form logic, I started to understand what every step meant. Then [our Managed Services expert] would come in and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to try to break your form.’ Now when he tells me that, I’m like, ‘Go for it’”. Not only is their data more accurate because of form improvement, but staff expertise and knowledge have also developed.
Moreover, having good data has refined their decision making, showing them which programs need more resources. In terms of future usage, WHAM aims to reach 12,000 participants and families served, and they are evolving their workflow and use of Apricot to accommodate the increased data entry needs of their staff.
The expertise brought by their Managed Services professional has helped WHAM identify areas of opportunity and improvement, whether gaining efficiencies or enabling growth and information for decision making. As for the services they’re providing, “It’s helped us as far as seeing what we didn’t see,” said Hospedales.
Managed Services has also greatly influenced their current and future funder confidence. Lisa Iparrea adds that major funders, having seen WHAM’s development and the improvement in their manner of service collection both pre-Apricot and after, have been “very impressed by the way we conduct our database process.
“Our Advanced Support Consultant has brought so much relief to us. It is incredibly valuable to us, and it’s absolutely 1000% worth it because they know what they’re doing. Managed Services brings a different perspective to what we don’t always think about as a nonprofit. It’s a proactive approach, and that’s so helpful because it helps us keep our eye on the future and pull advanced reports with the least amount of discrepancies as possible and keeps us on task.”Lisa Iparrea, Director of Client Services
WHAM’s Managed Services expert has helped them hone their data accuracy, paving the way for advancement. This has positively influenced every aspect of their operations, from increasing funder confidence to improving their community relationships and reputation. Furthermore, it’s proved extremely effective in their reporting for 990s, noted Iparrea.
Managed Services and Advanced Support Consulting experts leveraged WHAM’s budget to help them get the absolute best and most out of Apricot. Ultimately, this was a less expensive way than finding, hiring and retaining an Apricot expert in-house. Moreover, it reduced any risk related to staff turnover, giving them peace of mind that no matter what, they would have all the notes and logs of the work done by their ASC and Managed Services experts. Plus, they knew they would always have someone there to support them.
“Our Managed Service Representative works closely with Maria, our database coordinator. She’s able to identify problems and create solutions with our representative. It empowers her as an employee, and I love that as a director. Maria has excelled with having her ASC and Managed Services consultants by her side.”Lisa Iparrea, Director of Client Services
ASC provided 1:1 consulting, empowering staff to grow in their roles, allowing them to learn effectively and gain confidence. In addition, WHAM’s staff has developed an innovative application of what they’ve learned from working with Managed Services and ASC experts. One of WHAM’s biggest goals in terms of the ASC services was that, when it came to their platform, the experts would simultaneously “fish for them” and “teach them how to fish.” “[Our staff] is able to work out and identify problems and create solutions with our ASC, so it’s really empowering them as employees. I love that as a director,” said Iparrea.
The onset of Covid required WHAM to go virtual. Apricot enabled staff to do their work from anywhere because it is cloud-based, which was and continues to be essential. Moreover, being available virtually brought about exponential growth for their organization to an increase of 14 times the number of people served in the West Houston community.
West Houston Assistance Ministries has successfully leveraged their investment in Apricot by utilizing the Advanced Support Consulting and Managed Services: Basic System Administrator programs, helping them fully maximize the benefits of using case management software. It’s enabled exponential growth with greater ease in less than a year of usage, improved services and increased funding. The Advanced Support services have helped WHAM leverage all of their resources, whether it be staff time or investment in technology. By using ASC and Managed Services, WHAM is empowering their staff to develop professionally and become experts in using data, which enables innovation that will support growth in exciting new ways to be discovered.
|_biz_flagsA||1 year||A Cloudflare cookie set to record users’ settings as well as for authentication and analytics.|
|_biz_pendingA||1 year||A Cloudflare cookie set to record users’ settings as well as for authentication and analytics.|
|_biz_sid||30 minutes||This cookie is set by Bizible, to store the user's session id.|
|ARRAffinity||session||ARRAffinity cookie is set by Azure app service, and allows the service to choose the right instance established by a user to deliver subsequent requests made by that user.|
|ARRAffinitySameSite||session||This cookie is set by Windows Azure cloud, and is used for load balancing to make sure the visitor page requests are routed to the same server in any browsing session.|
|BIGipServerab09web-nginx-app_https||session||This cookie is associated with a computer network load balancer by the website host to ensure requests are routed to the correct endpoint and required sessions are managed.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|CookieLawInfoConsent||1 year||Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.|
|__atuvc||1 year 1 month||AddThis sets this cookie to ensure that the updated count is seen when one shares a page and returns to it, before the share count cache is updated.|
|__atuvs||30 minutes||AddThis sets this cookie to ensure that the updated count is seen when one shares a page and returns to it, before the share count cache is updated.|
|__cf_bm||30 minutes||This cookie, set by Cloudflare, is used to support Cloudflare Bot Management.|
|_biz_nA||1 year||This cookie, set by Bizible, is a sequence number that Bizible includes for all requests, for internal diagnostics purposes.|
|_biz_uid||1 year||This cookie is set by Bizible, to store user id on the current domain.|
|bcookie||1 year||LinkedIn sets this cookie from LinkedIn share buttons and ad tags to recognize browser ID.|
|lang||session||LinkedIn sets this cookie to remember a user's language setting.|
|lidc||1 day||LinkedIn sets the lidc cookie to facilitate data center selection.|
|UserMatchHistory||1 month||LinkedIn sets this cookie for LinkedIn Ads ID syncing.|
|_gaexp||2 months 10 days 10 hours||Google Analytics installs this cookie to determine a user's inclusion in an experiment and the expiry of experiments a user has been included in.|
|_uetsid||1 day||Bing Ads sets this cookie to engage with a user that has previously visited the website.|
|_uetvid||1 year 24 days||Bing Ads sets this cookie to engage with a user that has previously visited the website.|
|SRM_B||1 year 24 days||Used by Microsoft Advertising as a unique ID for visitors.|
|_BUID||1 year||This cookie, set by Bizible, is a universal user id to identify the same user across multiple clients’ domains.|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_ga_33YSH1JFFW||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_gcl_au||3 months||Provided by Google Tag Manager to experiment advertisement efficiency of websites using their services.|
|_gd_session||4 hours||This cookie is used for collecting information on users visit to the website. It collects data such as total number of visits, average time spent on the website and the pages loaded.|
|_gd_visitor||2 years||This cookie is used for collecting information on the users visit such as number of visits, average time spent on the website and the pages loaded for displaying targeted ads.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgress||30 minutes||Hotjar sets this cookie to detect the first pageview session of a user. This is a True/False flag set by the cookie.|
|_hjFirstSeen||30 minutes||Hotjar sets this cookie to identify a new user’s first session. It stores a true/false value, indicating whether it was the first time Hotjar saw this user.|
|_hjIncludedInPageviewSample||2 minutes||Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's pageview limit.|
|_hjIncludedInSessionSample||2 minutes||Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's daily session limit.|
|_hjTLDTest||session||To determine the most generic cookie path that has to be used instead of the page hostname, Hotjar sets the _hjTLDTest cookie to store different URL substring alternatives until it fails.|
|at-rand||never||AddThis sets this cookie to track page visits, sources of traffic and share counts.|
|CONSENT||2 years||YouTube sets this cookie via embedded youtube-videos and registers anonymous statistical data.|
|undefined||never||Wistia sets this cookie to collect data on visitor interaction with the website's video-content, to make the website's video-content more relevant for the visitor.|
|uvc||1 year 1 month||Set by addthis.com to determine the usage of addthis.com service.|
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to display advertisements when either on Facebook or on a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising, after visiting the website.|
|_mkto_trk||2 years||This cookie, provided by Marketo, has information (such as a unique user ID) that is used to track the user's site usage. The cookies set by Marketo are readable only by Marketo.|
|ANONCHK||10 minutes||The ANONCHK cookie, set by Bing, is used to store a user's session ID and also verify the clicks from ads on the Bing search engine. The cookie helps in reporting and personalization as well.|
|fr||3 months||Facebook sets this cookie to show relevant advertisements to users by tracking user behaviour across the web, on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|loc||1 year 1 month||AddThis sets this geolocation cookie to help understand the location of users who share the information.|
|MUID||1 year 24 days||Bing sets this cookie to recognize unique web browsers visiting Microsoft sites. This cookie is used for advertising, site analytics, and other operations.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||The test_cookie is set by doubleclick.net and is used to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||A cookie set by YouTube to measure bandwidth that determines whether the user gets the new or old player interface.|
|YSC||session||YSC cookie is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos on Youtube pages.|
|yt-remote-connected-devices||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt-remote-device-id||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|_an_uid||7 days||No description available.|
|_clck||1 year||No description|
|_clsk||1 day||No description|
|_dc_gtm_UA-718299-1||1 minute||No description|
|_hjSession_2602456||30 minutes||No description|
|_hjSessionUser_2602456||1 year||No description|
|6suuid||2 years||No description available.|
|AnalyticsSyncHistory||1 month||No description|
|CLID||1 year||No description|
|d-a8e6||1 year||No description available.|
|dpi_test||1 day||No description|
|dpi_utmOrigVals||5 months 27 days||No description|
|intercom-id-rbb6qelf||8 months 26 days 1 hour||No description|
|intercom-session-rbb6qelf||7 days||No description|
|li_gc||5 months 27 days||No description|
|loglevel||never||No description available.|
|referrer||session||No description available.|
|s-9da4||15 minutes||No description available.|
|SM||session||No description available.|
|xtc||1 year 1 month||No description|
We are becoming BonterraTM
We are becoming BonterraTM