We are receiving licenses from Salesforce for our organization and need someone skilled at setting up the program to suit our needs.
We currently use 4 databases that we would like to get down to 2. One database is our certifying agency that doesn't communicate with outside agencies. Our needs are for programs to track applicants, communicate with them, and schedule classes. We need a way to keep track of donors and schedule recurring contacts. We are using Access Database to track participation by applicants, and grant management is also a big need for which we are currently using spreadsheets and Outlook calendars. We schedule travel for up to 50 people per trip and need to track that. We'd also like a way to track and manage volunteers. So, the departments being wrapped into Salesforce use will be 1) Operations 2) Finance 3) Development and 4) Programs.We have been serving wounded veterans for 10 years in Southern California. We expanded to Florida and Texas 3 years ago and are growing those areas. We have grown with only three staff members and have recently hired a development person. We have no tools to offer our development person to keep track of donors and for her to work efficiently she needs a CRM which Salesforce will deliver. Our Programs director manages participant applications, vets them and ensures they have medical releases and other required documentation. He also schedules classes, instructional staff, boat trips and pool sessions every month and is doing all of it using a note pad and a primitive scheduling software in our Point of Sale system. Too many people are falling through the cracks because we can't keep all of them. We normally have over 100 disabled veterans on waiting lists to participate. Grant management is a critical function, just this year we lost track of two grant reports that were due costing us the opportunity to request more funds from those grantors. Also, knowing when to apply for grants to meet deadlines is necessary to manage work flow. Tracking statistics helps us obtain grants by being able to show how effective our programs are and longevity of participation. All of these needs flow into our ability to obtain the funding we need and serve the veterans who are counting on us.Each department has been gathering their information, listing their needs, challenges and hopes. We have the ability to download excel files from the software we currently use to make uploading data efficient. We have met with Salesforce to obtain the licenses however they do not help with implementation. They use a third party which will be too costly for us at this time. We don't know the best way to implement once it's complete and are hopeful we can get guidance on best practices at that time. We will dedicate our time and attention to making this improvement.
We give wounded American veterans the opportunity to experience SCUBA diving as therapy. Any veteran with a disability may participate with their choice of a buddy - spouse, family member or friend at no charge.
Suicide is one of the most pressing problems facing the veteran community today, estimates are that at least 20 veterans take their own lives every day. After leaving military service, many Veterans miss the camaraderie that is experienced while serving. WAVES Project provides an environment and opportunities to create new bonds with like-minded Veterans and volunteers. SCUBA diving is a Buddy sport and veterans learn to rely on each other and have less tendency for isolation. Many veterans who have participated in our programs tell us it changed their lives with new activities and opening their minds to new possibilities.
Each participant goes through a series of training sessions from "try SCUBA" in the pool to completing their open water certification in the ocean. This normally takes place over six days and includes two classroom sessions. After this each person can choose to continue training or what we call "guided wellness dives" where a dive professional leads a group. We provide diving opportunities every one to two weeks over the course of a year because we recognize the greatest benefit comes from frequent diving. In addition to aiding in controlling symptoms of post-traumatic stress, divers experience reduced anxiety and nerve pain. Even paralyzed veterans receive the benefit of water therapy and have the ability to take part with able bodied buddies as equals.
We have conducted studies with Stanbridge and Loma Linda Universities colleges of Occupational Therapy. The studies help determine the impact of diving on how veterans enjoy their everyday activities. We have advanced programs to encourage continued participation and veterans can advance to our Mission Oriented Diving program working with the National Park Service. This partnership has given the veterans a great sense of accomplishment and pride of serving their country.
Since 2012 we have trained nearly 1000 veterans and their buddies. During that time, 15 have advanced to professional levels and conduct training for other veterans. Our Houston organization is led by a veteran who completed his very first dives with us and is now an instructor running his own classes. Many veterans volunteer in our head office to service equipment to keep it in good repair, when jobs come open veterans have first consideration.