360 Youth Services
Software Donation Strengthens Operations of Youth-Services Organization
360 Youth Services (formerly NCO Youth & Family Services) was founded in 1971 by a group of concerned parents and community leaders in Illinois. Its main goal is to prevent families and individuals in the community from falling through the cracks. It aims to improve communities by helping youth obtain skills that are necessary to navigate life's challenges. 360 Youth Services helps the community members through prevention, education, counseling, and shelter. Its Counseling and Crisis Intervention Program serves over 390 children and adults annually. Every year the agency provides substance abuse prevention programs to over 3,000 children and creates social-norms marketing campaigns that target 14,000 high school students. The organization's Cornerstone Shelter provides more than 2,400 nights of emergency shelter to homeless teens every year. The transitional living program has served over 200 homeless youths since the year 2000 and aims to move these at-risk-youths to independent living within 24 months.
One of 360's biggest challenges is tracking the community's needs with limited funds and donor base. By using Microsoft technology, the organization is able to serve the community efficiently. The organization has six different locations, and Microsoft networking is key to strengthening its communication, cooperation, and coordination. Thanks to Microsoft Office 2007, internal operations now run smoothly. Excel and Word are used for fundraising and accounting, while Outlook provides email communication, scheduling, and contacts storage. By using Access, 360 is able to track valuable volunteer sponsor and patron information in a database. The organization also uses the entire Microsoft Office 2007 suite to manage large-scale community invitations and mailings for key fundraising events, making it easier to pursue their mission.