Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nonprofits Working Together Get Big Results

Several months ago, we at HuTerra were introduced to a Director at a Habitat for Humanity State Support Organization. State Support Organizations (SSOs) are Habitat organizations that are formed in each state (though not every state has one yet) with the mission to strengthen and support all the Habitat for Humanity affiliates, ReStores, and groups in their respective states. Like each Habitat affiliate, SSOs are independent nonprofit organizations. Unlike affiliates, SSOs don't build homes. They are tasked with creating a collaborative environment to strengthen Habitats and Habitat efforts in their states.

The Director we had the pleasure of meeting is Sara Kierzek, of the Wisconsin SSO. As we got to know her, we learned that one thing many Habitat organizations struggle to maintain is technology, specifically websites. Helping nonprofits is kind of our thing, and we just happen to have technology resources available that we could use to solve this problem for Habitat organizations. Before we knew it, HuTerra started working with Habby Habitats for Habitats, that fosters collaboration among all participating Habitat organizations while allowing each to maintain independence and autonomy. It does this through group forums, news feeds, and free webmaster training, along with great features that are just what Habitats want and need.

Habitat SSOs and affiliates in Wisconsin, Kentucky, and North Carolina to create a website application designed

The first one to launch was the Wisconsin SSO's site. Within days of the new site going live, they experienced a marked increase in information requests, donations, and event registrations. 

Everybody was pretty excited. So, they asked if we could make it available to all Habitat organizations nationwide. We added some more functionality, and said sure. Then, before we offered it to all Habitat organizations in the United States, we got funding from the HuTerra Foundation to cover the setup costs for Habitat affiliates and ReStores, because helping nonprofits is what we do.

It's available now to all Habitat for Humanity organizations across the United States. Check it out here: http://hfh-wi-template.huterra.com/content/site-could-be-yours