American Transplant Foundation Saves Lives with Quickbase
Every day, 21 people die waiting for a kidney or liver transplant — organs that can be donated by a living person. The American Transplant Foundation was created to provide assistance to patients and living donors in order to reduce the nation's shortage of human transplant organs. As the foundation grew rapidly, it needed a way to scale operations and manage new programs without investing vital dollars in expensive software solutions. Quickbase gave the American Transplant Foundation the scalable, easy-to-use platform it needed to manage and grow almost every key area of its operations, enabling it to serve more patients and donors with lower administrative and technology costs.
- Increased demand for programs and services
- Spreadsheets limited visibility into key data
- Limited budget for technology & administration
- Quickbase apps for tracking donors, board members, vendors, partners and more
- Single source of truth for critical information
- Scalability to support more than 10x growth in patient and donor services, driving $111 million in economic impact
- Cost savings from more expensive off-the-shelf applications
- Fast access to key information for better decision-making
- Improved efficiency means more resources go to patients and donors — not technology or administration
A Mandate for Life
At age 60, Steve Farber's kidneys were failing. His options were to find a new kidney, go on dialysis, or die. The successful lawyer soon learned that his stature and connections could help him move up the transplant list or even travel to a foreign country to buy a kidney from a matching donor — and that those without his means had fewer options and much bleaker outlook.
Farber eventually received a kidney from his eldest son. That was in 2004. The following year, Farber established the American Transplant Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people find the help they need to receive transplants from living donors. The foundation provides financial and personal support to recipients and donors alike, removing financial barriers to living donation and providing access to anti-rejection medication to help people receive much-needed transplants.
In 2011, the foundation provided critical financial assistance to 11 recipients and donors. In 2016 the foundation aims to serve 250 — a huge increase in patient service that is projected to provide over $111 million in economic impact from Medicare patient savings. At the same time, the foundation was expanding its programs and services offerings, such as creating a mentorship program that matches those in need with past recipients to help navigate the legal, medical, and emotional complexity involved in receiving a new kidney or liver.
With growth came challenges, however. Foundation employees previously used spreadsheets to track key information, but as the foundation grew this became an unsustainable approach. Off-the-shelf software programs were too expensive and complicated, meaning the foundation would have to divert much-needed dollars and resources to implementing and maintaining the system.
"We were growing so fast it was unrealistic to keep using Excel. That was a huge struggle," says Anastasia Darwish, Executive Director of the American Transplant Foundation. "At the same time, we didn't want to invest tens of thousands of dollars in a solution."
"We're so thankful we have a tool to help scale our programs without significant investment."
A Platform for Growth
In 2014, the foundation found its answer in Quickbase. Darwish says the foundation selected Quickbase primarily for its ease of use — without dedicated technologists on staff the foundation needed a system that was easy to learn and customize. Working with experienced Quickbase Solution Providers (Advantage Integrated Solutions and Crystal Bay Solutions), the foundation was able to quickly build, customize, and roll out a suite of integrated applications that manage:
- Board members
- Community partners
- Patient programs & services
- Awards program national nominations
- Internship applications
Quickbase gives the American Transplant Foundation a single system for managing every aspect of the foundation, from raising money to delivering service and celebrating medical professionals through awards.
"Before Quickbase, we couldn't get immediate answers or feedback on anything," says Erica Gundry, Manager of Programs and Outreach. "With Quickbase everything is so streamlined — you can see everything from any computer — which makes communication, training, and tracking everything really easy."
Cullen Coates, CEO of Crystal Bay Solutions, has worked with the foundation to build and deploy its Quickbase apps. He says the uniquely flexible nature of Quickbase drives real value to nonprofits.
"The advantage of Quickbase is that you can create apps that exactly mirror your workflow processes and offer significant productivity savings in terms of employee time. Most nonprofits also find that Quickbase is very intuitive, so new users learn to work with their new solutions quickly," says Coates.
That ease of use means the American Transplant Foundation can launch new programs almost as quickly as they are conceived. For example, when the foundation set out to launch its mentorship program, Quickbase was a natural fit for managing it. In just a few weeks, with help from Advantage Integrated Solutions, the foundation had an app ready to go that enabled it to scale from 10 mentors to more than 100 mentors. That program recently helped match a young person awaiting her fourth kidney transplant with a mentor who could help the family search for a donor.
"It's wonderful when we can connect the dots and give people a second chance at life," says Darwish. "We're so thankful we have a tool to help scale our programs without significant investment."
As the foundation continues to grow, Quickbase is right there with it. The foundation is piloting a living donor database, which may one day be the go-to source nationwide for matching living donor volunteers with those who need transplants. The foundation also uses Quickbase to manage its intern application process, automating the collection and tracking of volunteer interns.
All of this — the ease of use, speed of development, fast access to information — makes Quickbase a valuable ally in the foundation's efforts, says Darwish.
"Quickbase is the perfect solution for a growing nonprofit, because it grows with you. It's your partner."