Step Up for Better Living supports their South Bronx community by providing social services and referrals for over 200 families—and that’s just the start of what they do. When they found themselves facing a variety of needs, they turned to Taproot pro bono projects.
What makes the hard work worthwhile
When I look at Step Up’s accomplishments, I know that our hard work is all worth it. Each year, Step Up conducts a program evaluation. We track how many evictions we prevented, how many seniors we helped access senior services, and more. Some of my favorite examples include helping seniors and people who are disabled achieve lifetime rent freezes by connecting them with the SCRIE and DRIE programs, or encouraging clients to graduate from high school and then seeing it happen.
Sharing our successes
We had a draft logic model for program evaluation, but we needed help revising and implementing it. We turned to Taproot Plus and quickly matched with a skilled volunteer. Now that we have a completed logic model, Step Up has improved its capacity to evaluate programs. This valuable tool helps us measure exactly how much our programs help our clients.
Tracking our successes was inspiring, but we also needed to share them. How could we let our stakeholders know the impact our program has on clients’ lives? The answer was simple: by working with a Taproot consultant to produce our Annual Report. When the annual report was completed, Step Up was able to post it on our website. Stakeholders and potential funders can now read about our accomplishments and share in our successes.
Turning problems into solutions through pro bono projects
Our pro bono experience didn’t stop there. Step Up completed and implemented three additional Taproot Plus projects. Each project addressed a specific problem and resulted in clear solutions:
- Step Up needed a volunteer to help us apply for Office 365 to enable file sharing. As result of this project, we can now share files with staff in one central location.
- Our organization needed help designing a client database to track client census and services provided. When the project concluded, we improved our capacity to track clients served, services delivered, and more.
- We required marketing tools to promote the agency’s services to potential funders and other nonprofits. When the project was completed, Step Up had a first-class flyer–in English and Spanish–to facilitate client recruitment.
Capacity building made easy
Taproot was instrumental in helping us address numerous capacity building needs in technology, data management, and marketing. The support provided by their staff was amazing, and the whole experience was rewarding!
Most of all, I’m grateful to those who donated their skills pro bono to Step Up. To all our volunteers: thank you very much for your patience, your dedication, and your expertise. Your contributions improved Step Up’s tech capacity, marketing capacity, and our ability to evaluate the work we do. You are greatly appreciated.