Shortly after celebrating its 90th anniversary, a local provider for disadvantaged populations in the city of Niagara Falls has deployed new software in order to reshape its mission and goals.
Christian Hoffman, communications and development manager at Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier, led the announcement Thursday alongside Mayor Paul Dyster and Larry Diamond, a tenant at the Buffalo Avenue shelter and outreach center.
The software, SamePage, was developed by MED-VAR, LLC, a Western New York consulting agency with locations in New York City and Cairo, Egypt. A representative of the company, and a board member for Community Missions, Hanan Ismail called the technology a way to map the "aspirations" and "needs" of an organization through input of its leaders, consumers and associated stakeholders.
Ismail said the software has been previously used by corporations to enhance organization and use of resources, but its implementation by the the mission marks one of its first uses in non-profit assistance.
"These days, everybody is collecting data, everybody has charts and documents and you get 30 page reports from consultants on every issue," she said. "How can you convert that data into meaningful results is what matters, and this tool does that."
The mission has solicited input from 202 area stakeholders, ranging from individuals like Diamond to executives of local agencies. Those who have completed the questionnaire are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, Ismail said, but cleared participants can access the group's data.
Diamond, an accountant in the past who fell on hard times and found his way to the mission, said the software recalled some of his former duties.
"If you want good results for everyone involved, you have to get the whole community involved," Diamond said.
Robyn Krueger, the mission's executive director, said the collected data has not been employed to change any programming yet. But with more than 200 stakeholders' information now cataloged, the organization will undertake a review and determine its evolved goals.
"Our current focus is our identity and our vision," Krueger said, adding the mission would pair with a Niagara University organizational planner to take "this vision that has been developed and help us craft a strategic plan which then will reinforce and inform services."