Category Content: External

How can MTN’s Scheduling System help with running multi-organization food/toy/backpack drives?

Not only does MTN track and report to other organizations where families have already been and to record the current visit and what they were given, but it also shows where the families are scheduled to be going and what items they will be receiving.  The Scheduling System allows the Key Contact of each charity, church or school participating in the drive to set up a calendar for the days and times when they will be providing items or services and the number of families that can be seen at those days and times.  Then, staff or volunteers are given access-controlled passwords they can use to access the Scheduling System to book families into specific days and times until the number of slots available at each day/time has been filled.  Families will not be double-booked for the same drive at different distribution sites because you’ll see that family is already scheduled elsewhere. Once the family is booked, they are given a bar-coded summary sheet with the details about when they are to return and what they will be receiving (for each member of their household too) to provide a rapid check-in process on the distribution day(s). When the family returns that day, the organization simply scans the barcode, which identifies that family and that particular visit in the system, and “checks” them in.

How does MTN prevent people from walking from church to church or charity to charity asking for the same things?

MTN tracks and report to other organizations in the community where families 1) have already been and what they received, 2) to record a current visit and what was given to the family, and 3) where families are scheduled to be going and what items they will be receiving. When the person walks into a 2nd MTN church or charity, the Key Contact loads in whatever information the family will provide (e.g. phone number, address, Driver’s License, SSN#) and the system searches the entire local MTN database.  If it finds that person, then the Key Contact will see what church or charity they’re already assigned to, all of their household members who have been entered into the system, what needs are currently listed in the system for their household, other organizations that have helped that household, and what they did for them (e.g. gave them $100 or bag of groceries), even if it happened 1 hour ago. The church or charity can then respond, “you’re already part of the giving network that we use so your needs are already showing up on the web sites of many local organizations.”  Sharing a common platform allows churches to work together in unity to meet local family needs and prevents potential “abusers” from taking advantage of anyone’s generosity.

Who can post a need?

Only administrators of registered and approved churches, charities or missionary organizations can post needs. No individuals or families can post needs onto MTN. We want all needs to be qualified by an organization that has been approved to join the MTN network.

Why do we have to search the local “offers” every time we try to post a need?

Every time you post a need the system will ask you to search any offers that have been made by your members, volunteers or others in the community to provide that same item or service you were going to request.  There is no reason to post a need if an offer has already been made to provide the exact same thing your church, charity or a local family needs.  If you review the offers that have been made and do not want to accept one of them, you may bypass the offers and continue with posting the need.  Searching offers is not an additional step because MTN uses your search criteria (for the offer) to prepopulate the category and subcategory automatically as you then post the need. The fact that MTN is a closed-loop system is of value to you. It encourages people to post offers when they cannot find a need and we remind you to search those offers before posting a need.

Can people post offers for goods or services they want to provide?

Yes, organizational administrators or approved members of churches can post offers. Meet The Need is a “closed loop” system in that we require that volunteers search local needs before posting offers (because there is no need to post an offer if a local needs exists for that same item or service). We also require that administrators search offers before posting needs (because there is no reason to post a need if a local offer exists for that same item or service). If an offer is posted, when an administrator of a nearby organization goes to post a need for that same item or service, they will find that offer and be able to match with the offer.  The person who made the offer will receive an automated e-mail indicating that their offer has been accepted, giving them the contact information for the church or charity who accepted your offer.  An automated e-mail is sent to that church or charity as well.  Their offer will also be converted to a “Pending Commitment” and will be listed on that person’s Personal Dashboard.

What other reporting capabilities does MTN provide?

MTN enables administrators to see the status of needs, to audit volunteer activities (who showed up, how long they stayed, and how many people they brought with them in their group), to calculate volunteer hours, to determine the quantity of items provided to families, to view the number of families scheduled for drives, etc. – all over any time period or within any team/division in the organization.


What information do administrators see about those who have signed up to meet their needs?

Meet The Need provides Open, Filled and Expired Need reports showing contact information for each individual, including church/company affiliation, number of items or volunteers promised, group details, status of the commitment (Pending, Completed or Cancelled) and testimonial (if that person has “completed” the commitment and entered a testimonial). That data is retained indefinitely on the organization’s Dashboard so it can look back and analyze all past volunteer and resource giving activity.


What information is provided through MTN to track our organization’s impact in the community?

Key Contacts (administrators) get a complete view of every need ever met by anyone, regardless of whether that person or group signed up to meet that need through a church’s/company’s web site or through a charity’s web site. The organization can calculate volunteer hours, the number of volunteers, number of items, and services provided during any timeframe across the whole organization or for specific types of internal or external needs.

Can my church use MTN if we have no web site?

  • Yes, a church can point members to current opportunities to serve the community by directing them to the web site of another organization in the local area that uses MTN to show needs (Note: Many cities have “connector” organizations or denominational associations that utilize Meet The Need to show local needs to those who visit their site).
  • By joining Meet The Need, a church with no web site will still have access to all of MTN’s software where it can post needs for its members, the church or its charities. The church can also form teams for its internal ministries to empower lay leaders with tools to manage their ministries (i.e. ushers, greeters). Members of the church (and those internal ministry teams) can be emailed automatically when new needs are posted.
  • Churches can also attach links to their Facebook pages (if they have one) showing their own (or local) volunteer, resource and family needs.