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Center For Community Alternatives: QB and Human Services

By Neil Beschle posted 09-12-2019 11:42

  

One of the most powerful aspects of Quick Base is its ability to wrap around your workflow and be customized to what matters most to your organization. For one of our customers, the data being collected, and reporting produced is critical for a greater cause: the livelihood and success of the people enrolled in their human services programs.

Michael Pasquale, Director of Program Quality Improvement at the Center for Community Alternatives, has been leveraging Quick Base to make an impact in the non-profit human services sector, enhancing his organizations data management workflow and reporting capabilities.

“The mission of the Center for Community Alternatives is to work with individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, or the juvenile justice system, and provide them with the services that they need to effectively reintegrate with society. Individuals who have a criminal history number in about 70 million across the country.”

While oftentimes overlooked and lacking resources to achieve positive outcomes, the data on this population and the ability to report on program success plays a major role in the longevity and impact of an organization like the Center for Community Alternatives.

“When you think about the adults in the United States, that 70 million represents about 1/3 of the population. That’s about as many people as those who have a bachelor’s degree. These are folks who are members of our community, who are facing some significant barriers because of their involvement in the criminal justice system for whatever reason. We provide both jail-based and community-based services to those with an incarceration history or an arrest history and our goal is to help them engage in the workforce productively and stay in the workforce.”



Prior to Quick Base, the CCA was faced with challenges of data input and consolidation. Time consuming practices and scattered data sources played roles in disorganization and extra steps in data management. Various Access databases, spreadsheets, and paper files were culprits of a cumbersome, antiquated system, resulting in a loss of time and effectiveness. Mike leans on Jennifer Schafer, the primary Quick Base builder at CCA, to overcome these challenges through QB apps.

“The Department of Labor requires us to use an electronic MIS tool in Microsoft ACCESS for one of our grants. Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t include many of the questions that CCA would like to ask so I recreated it in QB and added tables to track additional education, employment, and other case management data.” Says Jennifer Schafer, the primary QB builder at CCA.

“I had to add a formula field for each “MIS” field in QB so I could convert the text answers to numbers or dates to display as a numeric with the year then month then day to match what they are doing in ACCESS.  I can pull Excel spreadsheets from both and then do some conditional formatting to compare data entry. This is super helpful for the person who manually transfers the data from QB to ACCESS.”

In addition to bridging gaps with other tools, CCA is looking to Quick Base to help quantify the results of their programs to determine whether or not they are successful: the number of people enrolled in programs, those who obtain jobs, and those who keep them.

“Using Quick Base was a game changer for us, because we were able to more effectively collect information about our outcomes, share that information within the agency, and more effectively report that information to our funders.” Says Schafer, who has been building and maintaining Quick Base apps for the last 7 years.

CCA is now embarking on their most ambitious build yet, combining all of their reintegration programs from 3 offices into one app. Jen is looking forward to the newly designed Quick Base Community for crowdsourcing her efforts.

“I am looking forward to brainstorming with more people within my organization and with QB users, especially those who are in the Non-Profit industry, in the new QB Community site. I am grateful that Quick Base is providing a place for us to more easily find each other.”

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09-12-2019 12:30

Well done - this a great example of how non-profit organizations can leverage the power of Quick Base to creatively address a lot of workflow, data collection and data analysis/reporting issues increasingly required by funders and program sponsors.