Monday, October 6, 2014

Stu's Data Corner: Aunt Bertha Lists Which Types of Programs?

Written by our Chief Information Officer, Stu Scruggs.

You probably know that Aunt Bertha gives people (we call Seekers) the ability to find programs that can help them, but what does that really mean?  

There are a lot of great government, nonprofit and private programs out there that help people, but not all of them will find their way onto Aunt Bertha. 

Why not?

At Aunt Bertha we list free and reduced-cost, need-based services provided directly to individuals and families. You’d be surprised how many great organizations, when it comes right down to it, do not provide services directly to families or individuals, or maybe do not offer services that people who need help can afford on their own.

Helping Seekers find a shortcut through the maze of social services, without bouncing from one place to another because they didn’t know where to go first, means identifying those services that can most readily serve their needs.

Aunt Bertha's targeted listings create a shortcut through the maze of social services.

Here are some examples of programs we would and would not list:

·        Picture two health clinics providing services to low income families. For one of those clinics, families have to have Medicaid to qualify, and for the other clinic, they don't. We would want to direct the Seeker to the program that will see them when they walk in the door, not tell them to wait until they are enrolled in Medicaid.

·        A food bank collects food for those in need, but Seekers wanting food have to visit a local food pantry that partners with the food bank. Aunt Bertha would list the food pantry programs but not the food bank.

·        A local church puts out a great booklet each year of social service programs in the area that they provide those in need. While it’s a helpful resource, it is still an intermediate step the Seeker must take to then find the services they’re looking for (if this describes your organization, we can help; let’s talk!). 

While keeping this information in mind, if you work for an organization that has a program you'd like to see listed, please suggest it hereBut, first check to see if we've already listed your program on our site. Thanks for reading!