Our US team has been hard at work rebuilding the system we use to track your donations. When Friends of Ngong Road was founded 16 years ago, most of our supporters mailed checks to our founding board members, and then to our PO Box. Eventually, we were able to start accepting sponsorship donations through automatic credit card withdrawals, but each donation was still manually tracked, responded to, and managed by our team. This led to a huge amount of time spent by our US staff doing simple data entry, and occasionally, making mistakes as humans tend to do. Over the years as we have grown and added more students, created a more robust program, and as inflation and other costs have increased, the amount of time our staff has spent manually typing your donations into our system has increased.
We realized that this model was no longer sustainable, and our US team went to work to build a system that would support automated donation tracking. There were 16 years of donations to comb through, sort, and organize, then we rebuilt our existing system to support automation, and finally, in the past few weeks, we have been able to launch the newly built automation to our website. You likely won’t notice a difference quite yet (there are big improvements coming your way soon!) in the way you make donations on our website, but behind the scenes your donations now flow directly into our system, allowing our US staff to use their time in more meaningful and impactful ways.
In the next year, we are hoping to bring an account management system to donors through the sponsor portal where sponsors can log in to manage their sponsorships, change credit card information, add additional sponsorships, etc. These types of improvements would not be possible without all the work that has been completed over the past year. As technology continues to improve and become more accessible, and as we as an organization continue to grow and serve more students, we are grateful to have a board that understands the power of technology and is willing to support new ventures to ultimately support the efficiency of the teams both in the US and in Kenya