In France, 1 in 5 children are below the poverty line1, and 85% of single parent families are single women with children2. With over 30,000 children living on the street, Benevole at Home was looking for a solution to help keep children off the street and help mothers who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Benevole at Home’s innovative approach to providing support to vulnerable families distinguishes them from many other nonprofits. Rather than simply soliciting donations, Benevole at Home believes that establishing a social bond with a volunteer helps single mothers escape potential isolation while still getting the resources they need. Additionally, this kind of community support helps to limit the abandonment of newborns, mitigates the risk of depression, and helps to improve self-confidence among vulnerable individuals. As a startup nonprofit, Benevole at Home needed to find the right tools to help them develop their organization and increase their impact, while keeping costs low. They needed to find a way to connect those in need with altruistic community members. Additionally, as a completely volunteer run organization with no full time employees, time is extremely limited. Benevole at Home needed a way to centralize processes and save time. With the help of Google’s tools, Benevole at Home was able to turn an idea into a reality.
Potential beneficiaries use Google tools throughout their search for support with Benevole at Home. A young single mother in poverty may search on Google to find an organization to support them, using phrases “I need social assistance”, “no money to feed my baby”, and “help for single mothers.” With the use of Ad Grants, Benevole at Home could serve ads on these phrases so that people in need were easily able to get in touch with the organization. Once this single mother finds the organization, they simply look on a Google Map to see what volunteers are located closest to her. Within the map, she finds a volunteer nearest to her who can provide diapers and milk. Through the association’s Google Form, she can contact the volunteer in order to book a meeting in a cafe. In addition to finding individual volunteers, people in need can find other partner humanitarian organization centers (Red Cross, Salvation Army, Restos du coeur) through Benevole at Home’s Google My Maps. Strengthening social cohesion between people who live in the same neighborhoods starts with getting them together. Google My Maps makes this not only possible, but easy to do. Having the location of volunteers mapped and easy to access is crucial as local, convenient meetings between volunteers and beneficiaries is at the core of Benevole at Home’s mission. It can be very difficult to find volunteers for the organization, so Benevole at Home uses Ad Grants to recruit local volunteers in addition to potential beneficiaries. People in need are easily able to find the organization as well as individuals who are looking to give back to their community. After recruiting beneficiaries and volunteers, coordinating initial interviews and pre-screens, setting up appointments, and tracking results can be timely and inefficient. With the use of G Suite, Benevole at Home has been able to centralize and streamline their internal processes between volunteers.
Starting in 2015, Benevole at Home has needed to grow their operations quickly. The use of Google Ad Grants has allowed them to expand their reach to new beneficiaries, and Benevole at Home finds 70-100 new beneficiaries per month through the use of Ad Grants. Additionally, Ad Grants has been a key tool for recruiting volunteers. Benevole at Home consistently recruits 80-100 volunteers per month and sources aid from humanitarian organizations and social centers. Benevole at Home has expanded their network to more than 1,000 volunteers across France and has managed to help more than 100 families per month. They launched a YouTube channel to host videos that Benevole at Home uses across multiple platforms and social media. Many of their videos, like Créateur de rencontres solidaires (translated to “Facilitator of Solitary meetings”) have over a thousand views, and allow them to show images of beneficiaries like young children and show the process their organization uses in supporting the needy. Benevole at Home’s YouTube channel allows them to visualize the work that they do for potential donors and volunteers. Between recruiting and screening volunteers and beneficiaries, tracking results, and setting up meetings, Benevole at Home is a detailed and sometimes complicated operation. The use of G Suite has helped to streamline and centralize their various processes, saving hours of time each week. With Google Sheets, Benevole at Home is able to easily assign an ID to each beneficiary and volunteer to track the progress and success of the program. Since these can be updated in real time from anywhere, users across the organization can keep beneficiary and volunteer up to date easily and conveniently. Before the use of G Suite, Benevole at Home used several other products that did not allow them to have a central place for organization or collaboration, leaving multiple versions of each document. Benevole at Home is able to complete their day to day operations while supporting their mission by using Google’s various business tools. They were able to easily expand their reach and impact by using Ad Grants to market their work and find new volunteers. G Suite keeps their operational work streamlined so that all internal employees can easily check on a beneficiary or volunteer’s status. Google My Maps and matching are at the heart of their efforts to support the needy and vulnerable with resources and volunteers. With Google for Nonprofits, Benevole at Home can work effectively and efficiently to support more beneficiaries, grow their operations, and focus on their mission at no cost.
1. From UNICEF France, 08 June 2015
2. From French Ministry of Families and Childhood
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