More than 1 million. It’s how many meals Second Helpings prepares and delivers each year. You’ve likely heard of the nonprofit, yet might be shocked by the magnitude of its impact: Since 1998, Second Helpings has distributed more than 44,000,000 lbs. of food through central Indiana in pursuit of its mission to “transform lives through the power of food.”
To achieve that mission, Second Helpings offers three programs: food rescue, hunger relief, and job training. “Each of those takes excess food — overstocked, damaged cases, items nearing expiration,” explains Jennifer Vigran, executive director at Second Helpings. That food is then used to bring nutritious meals to people in need, and to supply 85 other nonprofits.
Growth brings its own set of challenges, however. As donations and distribution multiplied over time, Second Helpings accumulated 20 years of inconsistent, disparate data on various spreadsheets. “Any time you take 20 years of data stored in different ways by different people, it’s a lot of work,” said Mike Eline, Second Helpings CFO.
As long-time supporters (netlogx Partner Nick Taylor volunteers every Wednesday), we tasked a team of interns to solve Second Helpings’ disparate data troubles. Trent Kabrich acted as project manager, Ria Rebein as the communications lead, Brendan Bard ensured alignment with the Salesforce platform, and Jesus Marcial helped devise a system to ensure consistency.
How, exactly, does this help Second Helpings live out its mission?
“This project will help us be more responsive to the people we serve and give our donors great information about the impact they’re making,” shared Vigran, adding the project will also help her team plan and make decisions.
Vigran also acknowledged the quality of work she observed in the intern team: “You have technical skills, communication skills, analytical skills — all qualities that are critical for any consulting team.”
We’re excited to watch Second Helpings’ continued growth, and where its newly consolidated data will take them next. What aspect of your business, operations or customer experience could work faster, easier, better if you had data to facilitate or automate next steps?