Building a resource management app for nonprofits

  • ServiceNow Blog
  • Life at Now
  • Culture
  • 2022
August 18, 2022

5 ServiceNow employees who built a resource management app for nonprofits

As global crises multiply, we’re becoming more reliant on the essential work of nonprofit organizations. Many of them—already stretched by small budgets and few staff—are struggling to keep up.

Their dated, hard-to-use (and sometimes nonexistent) technology delays deliveries and hampers organizations’ ability to scale. Their tools are often siloed. With limited IT resources, volunteers struggle to integrate them.

It’s a resource management issue and the kind of gap the new ServiceNow In-Kind Resource Management app could fill.

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The need for a better experience

Nishant A., principal technical consultant for creator workflows at ServiceNow, experienced this issue firsthand when he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles a few years ago. Wanting to donate his couch, he reached out to a well-known national nonprofit to arrange for pickup.

“It was cumbersome,” he says. “You would think these organizations would jump at the prospect of taking a couch in good condition, but the driver didn’t end up coming.”

Problems like these make it hard for nonprofits to measure their impact. Without powerful statistics and success stories, it’s difficult for nonprofits to tell the full story to donors of how their contributions are positively affecting their communities.

What these nonprofits need is a mobile app that makes their resource management processes intuitive, flexible, and configurable. Enter the Now Platform.

There hasn't been something like this in the past. It's very new. We’re prototyping this whole process. - Yvette M., Business Process Consultant, Creator Workflows, Remote, DC

Skills-based volunteering

Alan N., senior manager of in-kind donations at ServiceNow, recognized this gap in the nonprofit space as an opening for our technology and employees’ skills. “Instead of providing loose change or monthly donations…wouldn't it be great to give the ServiceNow skill set to support organizations?” he asks.

It wasn’t hard to find employees to join the initiative. Diverse teams from across ServiceNow jumped at the chance to give back, donating their time and skills to help build the app.

Christy R., senior manager of user experience (UX) research, leads the in-kind discovery phase with six nonprofits. She saw “so much opportunity to make this better and easier,” recalling one nonprofit whose application programming interface (API) had been built by a high school senior. “They’re limited with the resources that they have,” she admits.

Katie K, senior UX researcher who helped interview nonprofits, felt humbled to participate in something that would make a real difference in the world. “I haven’t been able to do anything like this before,” she says.

Learning along the way

Sharon C., senior director of product design, is spearheading the in-kind app ideation phase. She describes the designers on her team as “hungry.” Volunteering for something so critical has “reinvigorated our creative spirit,” she says. But bringing different teams together is no easy feat. “We’re learning a lot as we go,” she adds.

Keeping customers happy is one thing. Building something for society is another. - Nishant A., Principal Technical Consultant, Creator Workflows, Remote, IN

Yvette M., a business process consultant for creator workflows, loves the challenge of leading the app’s tech design workshops. “There hasn't been something like this in the past. It's very new. We’re prototyping this whole process,” she says. “That’s fun because we get to be on the forefront of this type of work.”

Nishant is thrilled to bring his technical skills to address the issue. “Keeping customers happy is one thing,” he says. “Building something for society is another.”

Only the beginning

With the technical product build well underway, the In-Kind Resource Management app is nearing launch. As with any other ServiceNow product, the team will continue to incorporate feedback from users, invest in additional features, and scale to meet the needs of more nonprofit organizations.

“In-Kind is by the people, for the people,” Alan says. In working on something that supports the greater good, he’s noticed employees have been more inspired and happier than ever. “The positive influence it’s having on our employees’ sense of well-being is really cool,” he notes.

In this environment, purpose-driven work matters more than ever. At ServiceNow, we stand by our purpose to make the world work better for everyone, every day. Through the In-Kind Resource Management app and other initiatives, we’re bringing the best minds together to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Join a company where your work makes a difference. Browse job opportunities at ServiceNow.

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