16.4% of the total population in Washington D.C. is living in poverty1,
and home prices are rising year over year. Thrive DC needs to act fast and at scale
to mitigate the risk of increasing homelessness in D.C., currently affecting 7,400
“When you are raising 3 million dollars to serve thousands of meals a year, help
people to get sober, return from incarceration or find a job, the last thing that you
want is inefficiency. Google for Nonprofits makes us more efficient.”
Daniel Meloy, Thrive DC’s Development Director.
A typical morning at Thrive DC starts with a hearty breakfast served to 150-200
people, at which point clients can also access laundry facilities and showers.
Throughout the week, Thrive DC coordinates substance abuse counseling support,
post-incarceration re-entry programs, a food bank, job skills training, access to a
computer lab, and a mailing service for 1,000 clients. With a staff of only 16
people, each year Thrive DC serves more than 2,000 clients, coordinates 2,400
volunteers, provides 160,000 meals and distributes over 140,000 pounds of food
through its emergency pantry.
Their keys to success are a productive team, a very structured volunteer management
system, and an efficient fundraising strategy. When our Google for Nonprofits team
visited Thrive DC’s office in Washington, we felt incredibly proud to see how our
products are fueling them all!
Efficiency is essential for a small staff whose job changes the lives of thousands. G
Suite helps Thrive DC to be even more productive. Google Calendar is used to assign
hundreds of volunteers to six different programs every week, and events are
color-coded to see at a glance which groups are volunteering, and when. Google Drive
and Hangouts are bringing collaboration to the next level: “When we organize our
volunteer database, we all work on the same Google Spreadsheet. In two hours, we have
finished a task that would otherwise take two weeks” says Kira Lanier, Thrive DC’s
Development Manager. “If we are not sitting together, we can communicate on our
Hangout group chat.”
“Thanks to G Suite, we can get the work done faster and spend more time serving the
Kira Lanier, Thrive DC’s Development Manager
“Serving the community” has a very specific meaning for Thrive DC. It is about
offering food and care to a vulnerable group of people every day, but also about
developing support programs for the homeless to reintegrate into society, become
self-sufficient, find a job and eventually move back to a home. Such an aspiring
purpose needs a growing number of resources. Traditional, offline fundraising is
still important for Thrive DC, yet direct mail fundraising channels are not growing.
As an online tool, Ad Grants has unlocked a new fundraising opportunity. “Supporters
know about us more than ever, and this is because we can advertise online for free.
Without Google, we wouldn't have the resources”, mentioned Alicia Horton, Executive
Director. Thrive DC's online giving channels are now seeing double-digit percentage
growth every year!
Impact of Google for Nonprofits
G Suite has drastically changed the way Thrive DC works, manages
volunteers, communicates, and even looks for talent! For the first time, the team
hired an employee remotely. Using Hangouts Meet for video conferencing and Google
Drive to share documents, everyone can easily and simultaneously collaborate from
G Suite and Ad Grants free of charge equal the value of more than
1,000 doctor appointments and an additional 40,000 meals a year for Thrive DC’s
With Ad Grants:
- Online donations have increased by 38% from 2017 to 2018.
- The website has become so visible that now Thrive DC receives enough
volunteer applications online and no longer spends time recruiting. This saves 40
days of work every year, and with the additional resources available, helps
Thrive DC match the cost of 5,400 doctor appointments for the community.
1Source: U.S. Census Bureau, District of Columbia,
Quick Facts, 2017
2Source: United States Interagency Council on