PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zoho today announced that Zoho CRM is being used to automate workflow processes at Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA), a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and other services to low-to-moderate income individuals and families living in the Central New Jersey area. Working with Twin Lights Group, a Zoho Alliance Partner, AHA has a redesigned website that streamlines the online forms creation and other tasks needed to efficiently provide affordable housing resources.
“AHA shows how non-profit and for-profit organizations alike can use Zoho solutions to deliver sophisticated functionality with limited budgets,” said Ian Wenig, senior director of business development at Zoho.
“Working with Twin Lights Group, AHA was able to incorporate the Zoho CRM functionality into a new website that provides a self-service portal where potential low-income housing applicants, donors, volunteers and other constituents can apply for whatever services they are seeking.”
Donna Blaze, founder and CEO of AHA, said, “Demand for our services is on the rise. As a result, we needed a faster way of receiving and processing applications, but without making a significant investment in time or money. Our Zoho solution delivers the process efficiencies we were seeking as a housing and service provider while achieving the flexibility, simplicity and affordability we need as a non-profit. With limited resources, the new technology allows us to be more efficient, providing 50 percent more people the direct services they need in a more timely way.”
Founded in 1991 as the Monmouth Housing Alliance, AHA had an initial grant of $25,000 and a single staff member — Donna Blaze. Today, AHA has grown to nearly $3 million in operations annually, employing close to 40 professional and staff members augmented by interns, volunteers, and community partners. That growth reflects the organization’s success developing 400 homes as well as helping over 1,000 qualified families and individuals purchase their first home. AHA also provides foreclosure counseling to those who are delinquent in their mortgages or in danger of foreclosure. Of the 1,300 monthly incoming calls, over 600 of them are from individuals and families seeking foreclosure assistance.
The challenge facing AHA was to reduce the number of incoming phone calls and the number of hours spent by AHA staff answering these calls so that they could tend to other pressing needs. Another goal was to streamline the backend application process which was manual and very time consuming for the staff. It involved lengthy phone conversations, series of emails, paper mail, tedious case management, and manual data entry.
In response, Twin Lights Group redesigned the AHA website, incorporating easily-accessible online forms for every client type. These forms are tied to a centralized database using Zoho CRM. As a result, for every online form completed, a corresponding client record is created. Furthermore, Zoho’s workflow automation capabilities alert appropriate staff members any time a new record (aka case) is created. Once the staff determines next steps for a given case, they can create pop-up or email reminders for themselves.
The results of the new, Zoho CRM-fueled website are impressive. New applications are being completed by clients online, which simultaneously creates records in the database. In addition to an improved intake process, AHA also has dynamic, easily administrable website, donor and volunteer management, as well as easy access to data that should help them tremendously when seeking grants and funding. Future plans include support for email marketing using Zoho Mail.
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Zoho is a comprehensive suite of award-winning online productivity, collaboration and business applications for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumers. Over two million users rely on Zoho for their Business, Productivity & Collaboration needs and actively connect via Forums and Blogs. To date, Zoho has launched 21 different applications which include several online office applications such as Writer, Sheet, Show, and Mail along with a host of business applications ranging from CRM to Projects, Invoice and Meeting. These applications are offered directly via Zoho.com or through hundreds of partners in the Zoho Alliance Partner Program. Zoho has received numerous awards, including a 2009 Webware 100 Award and an InfoWorld 2009 Technology of the Year Award. For more information about Zoho, please visit http://www.zoho.com/.
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