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November 10, 2014
What does $100K mean to a nonprofit? For organizations that are always struggling for each dollar in donations or spending countless hours applying for grants, $100K feels like a miracle. Today we’d like to share a customer success story of how a nonprofit was able to save so much money on a single project using Caspio’s cloud application platform. In fact, the project was so successful, it earned national recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the solar technology as a sustainable energy resource. It relies on funding from member organizations and individuals to perform various outreach programs to further their initiatives.
For several years, Solar Oregon manually entered membership data from hand-filled forms into Excel spreadsheets and shared them across a small peer-to-peer network. The painstaking process seriously impacted the effectiveness of record-keeping and outreach programs. The organization realized they badly need to overhaul existing practices, enhance their program offerings, and develop new partnership channels. After evaluating several cloud database platforms, Solar Oregon decided on Caspio, due to the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of deployment to unlimited web properties for any number of users.
Using Caspio, Solar Oregon developed several web applications to streamline their entire data workflow, such as event registrations, membership portals, solar ambassador programs, and many others. Not only did Solar Oregon significantly improve the overall efficiency of their operation, the decision to select Caspio also resulted in many new programs, outreach campaigns, and partnerships.
The success of the initial applications inspired the organization to embark on even more aggressive projects. When Northwest Solar Cooperative merged with Solar Oregon, the latter was tasked with managing monthly solar energy production readings and calculations of more than 600 residential solar PV installations. The challenge was tackled using a Caspio application that allows members from different locations to maintain an online profile and report readings on a monthly basis. This application was developed in less than two months and saved an estimated $100,000 in development and management costs.
But Solar Oregon didn’t stop there. They turned their energy to “Solarize” grass-roots campaigns to encourage Oregonians to join hundreds of other solar enthusiasts as an innovative way to get discounted group pricing. Nearly 20 different Solarize campaigns used Caspio applications to share data for in-home solar assessments and installations across the state of Oregon. The Solarize program administrators from Solar Oregon, Energy Trust of Oregon, Portland Office of Sustainability and many solar installers collectively managed the installation of more than 400 solar PV systems for nearly 4 megawatts of installed solar in the first year.
The Solarize programs gained national recognition in the Solarize Guidebook compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy. The guidebook serves as a best practice roadmap for all solar project planners and advocates looking to create their own successful solar campaigns.
Since its adoption, Caspio has become the go-to solution for Solar Oregon to implement new application ideas that are easy-to-use, expansive, scalable, and cost-effective.
Download the Solar Oregon case study to get a more in-depth look at their story.
With a decade-long track record working with nonprofits, Caspio has served a wide range of organizations with demanding data management needs on a limited budget. Learn more about how Caspio serves nonprofits.
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