Meals on Wheels People is touching the lives of older adults in the community one volunteer-hour at a time.
Meals on Wheels People has been making a difference in the lives of older adults throughout Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties for almost 50 years. The organization was founded in 1969 by Jean Wade, Martha Shull and Cay Kreiger, who saw a need to support older adults in the community. The nonprofit organization focuses on providing fresh and nutritious meals, is committed to changing lives and being an organization that the community can rely on in their time of need.
Meals on Wheels People prepares and distributes 25,000 meals per week through their home delivery service and dining centers. The organization prides itself on serving anyone over the age of 60, regardless of immigration status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or income status.
“Our vision is that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation,” said Catie Ellis, Manager of Human Resources & Volunteer Services, Meals on Wheels People.
Support Needed to Fulfill Mission
In order to reach their mission, vision and goals, Meals on Wheels People enlists the support of both volunteers and donors. On average, volunteers provide the organization with 4,000 hours of their time per week and fill a variety of roles including supporting their dining centers, delivering meals, preparing meals working in dining centers, fundraising and preparing for the holiday season.
Meals on Wheels People depends on more than 5,600 volunteers annually to support their mission. Donors are also essential to the organization’s ability to reach its goals. Each meal that Meals on Wheels People prepares costs an average of $7.39. The support of the community makes it possible to provide meals to any older adult who needs them.
“Our organization serves the community more than 1 million meals per year. We would not have this impact without the support of volunteers and donors in the community,” said Catie.
Manual Process for Managing Volunteers
Before implementing VolunteerHub, Meals on Wheels People relied on a manual process for recruiting, engaging and managing volunteers.
“The process consisted of countless spreadsheets, paper sign-ins, phone calls and tools in order to be sustainable. It was organized chaos and required a substantial time commitment to run effectively,” Catie said.
The manual process also did not have front-end capability to allow volunteers to create a profile, self-register or manage their involvement.
Meals on Wheels People knew that there had to be a more strategic way to register volunteers, communicate with them, record hours and integrate their volunteer program data with Raisers Edge (fundraising platform).
“Prior to VolunteerHub, our process for managing volunteers and recording data was not consistent, which made it difficult to run our program efficiently and keep up with growth,” said Mark Kretschmer, IT Director, Meals on Wheels People.
VolunteerHub is the Best Solution for Meals on Wheels People
Meals on Wheels People employees looked at several volunteer management solutions before ultimately landing on VolunteerHub as the best partner for their needs. When vetting software, they wanted a solution that could be customized to be consistent with their brand on the front-end, allowed volunteers to easily self-schedule, had the functionality to create volunteer groups, and provided communication features that could be used to notify, thank and retain supporters.
“Our organization has several special events during the year and we needed a solution that would allow us to register and segment volunteers into specific groups. VolunteerHub makes it easy to create group landing pages and promote directly to the people we need, when we need them,” said Mark.
Staff at Meals on Wheels People is happy that they chose VolunteerHub as their volunteer management solution. The organization has been able to successfully register new volunteers, retain existing ones, create and deploy a process for volunteer orientation, connect their VolunteerHub data with Raisers Edge for more insights, create a process for communicating opportunities and deploy a solution for group sign-ups.
They have seen an ongoing increase in opportunity fulfillment since implementing VolunteerHub that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
“We have had nothing but a positive experience with the VolunteerHub from the start until now. We had a great implementation experience and whenever an issue comes up, the team is quick to provide a fix,” said Catie.
“VolunteerHub has become an invaluable resource for our volunteer program. We continue to see increases in new volunteers each month providing our organization with substantial savings and the ability to reach goals. I could not imagine not having VolunteerHub.” Said Catie.