New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a nonprofit organization driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within walking distance of their homes. Founded in 1995 by acclaimed actress and singer-songwriter Bette Midler, NYRP has planted trees, renovated gardens, restored parks, and transformed open space for communities throughout New York City. Today, NYRP manages about 100 acres of public parkland and owns 52 community gardens throughout the city through a protected land trust.
NYRP is continuously in motion, working with various municipal agencies, other small nonprofits, and individual residents in the community to advance its mission. One such location that NYRP maintains is the community garden in Crown Heights. This property has a community engagement team, an operations team, a capital team, and an education team. Each of these teams has a different set of relationships and activities simultaneously taking place for this standalone property, as do all other acres that NYRP maintains. NYRP desired visibility into the intersection of people and place – both from a junior staff member’s and an executive staff member’s viewpoint.
More than 15 years ago, NYRP partnered with a group using a very complex outcome and case management tool for nonprofits called Efforts to Outcomes (ETO). However, they quickly found that ETO was set up for a more traditional social services organization. As they dug deeper into their database, they realized ETO wasn’t keeping track of important data and relationships.
NYRP then transitioned to storing its data via Excel spreadsheets. Inevitably, due to staff changes and organizational growth, data became increasingly difficult to find, couldn’t be reported on, and was lost over time. The leadership team at NYRP knew it was time for a better solution.
With these challenges in dire need of being addressed, NYRP decided it was time to take root. Once NYRP had a clear vision of how seamlessly SugarCRM could work for them, they were eager to get the implementation underway. It was a straightforward process with very few hiccups.
Once the implementation was complete, NYRP deployed an internal group of early adopters to help spread the excitement about Sugar throughout the organization. They also solicited feedback from users, accepting suggestions on small tweaks that could make the system work even better for each department.
Sugar helps NYRP store all community volunteer inquiries and manage the approval process while also documenting trash removal, trees planted, community outreach, and more – all for each specific location they own or operate. Sugar has also added tremendous value to NYRP in terms of efficiencies in decision making.
NYRP uses each Account record in Sugar to manage a different park property. Under each account, they track activities related to each park. Depending on the activity type selected within Sugar, NYRP has over 70 dependent fields that populate. From there, it gets more granular, allowing them to specify that they planted oak trees, for example. This specificity level allows NYRP to run detailed reports on its various activities, providing a new level of visibility for the entire organization.
Sugar also implemented a handy integration with Bing Maps for NYRP that allows NYRP to maintain latitude and longitude GPS coordinates and display map information. This is necessary to enable NYRP to designate which portion of a larger park or garden they are referring to in different records.