Often, the organizations that benefit from good application of technology have some very non-technical goals. This was certainly the case with Fruit Share, a Manitoba based organization bent on saving fruit from waste to feed others.
In 2013, Fruit Share developed an online Harvest Management System (HMS) to seamlessly collect volunteer and fruit owner registrations, to efficiently coordinate fruit picks while allowing volunteers choice for location and fruit type and to further improve communications with both volunteers and fruit owners. Fruit Share is now able to share this HMS with other fruit rescuing communities.
100% Helpdesk has been involved in website management for Fruit Share since then, making sure that tedious technical tasks are not left to the people who run the organization, who are not technology specialists.
The HMS operates online and is built using a combination of freely available and custom developed website software to manage the database. It manages volunteer and fruit owner lists and allows fruit owners to input harvest date/time preferences through linked forms – keeping harvest and registration info together. The HMS automatically communicates with fruit owners when no one is able to pick their fruit and gathers statistics from volunteers after all successful picks.
With these automated features, the HMS allows Fruit Share to continue as a volunteer-led organization with minimal staff support during the peak harvesting season.
In total, Fruit Share rescued and shared over 30,000 lbs of fruit in our first 4 years. Without a good system, I am sure this effort would not have been as productive.
When looking at your own work, consider not whether your task is technical, but whether it could be helped by technology.
If you need help figuring out how to leverage technology, contact us – we love to come up with ideas!