Web-Based Platform Facilitates Serving Others
TAMPA, Fla.—Meet the Need, an advanced Internet-based solution for uniting churches and ministries to serve those in need in the congregation, community and beyond, is launching nationwide in partnership with some of the largest churches and ministry organizations in the country, founder and president Jim Morgan announced today.
The innovative, shared, Web-based platform provides churches and ministries with best-practice solutions for volunteer management, case management, event management, charity drives and international missions. Until now, no one system existed to help organize all of the work involved in serving the community.
"Our model is different because each church and ministry can use Meet the Need to manage all of its local missions activities and easily communicate needs internally or externally, taking a tremendous amount of work off staff," Morgan said. "We make all the software look just like each organization's website and give them each complete control over the information posted and who can access it. Then we give all of this away. Because no one says 'no,' local churches and ministries in a city wind up on the same platform, connected seamlessly to serve those in need."
Mobilizing church members in the 21st century to meet a vast, rising sea of needs is a challenge that is increasingly difficult to address with last-millennium bulletin boards, sticky notes and sign-up sheets. Meet the Need greatly extends any church's effectiveness outside its four walls and even within its own congregation, such as scheduling ushers and Sunday school workers.
Through Meet the Need, local congregations can be mobilized to serve at a nearby food bank or homeless shelter or to clean up a park or relieve a fire-ravaged neighborhood. Churches and ministries can also use Meet the Need's shared case management system to avoid duplication in services they provide to families in their city.
"Not only does Meet the Need release the bottleneck at the church staff level in delivering serving opportunities to your congregation, but it empowers individuals to put their faith into action," said Kim Crosby, missions and outreach representative of Van Dyke Church, with more than 2,500 members, in the Tampa Bay area.
With a master’s degree in business administration from a top business school, Morgan had been an investment banker on Wall Street and worked 15 years as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies. As Morgan describes in an introductory video at MeettheNeed.org, he asked his large Atlanta church where he could use his skills and passion to serve God and others in his spare time.
But the church couldn't help him find a place to volunteer because it simply didn't know what the needs were in the community, Morgan said. It was then that he realized that the same business intelligence and customer relationship management solutions he was helping corporations implement could likewise help Christians find opportunities to reach out to those in need. Twelve years later, following extensive piloting, focus groups, beta testing and live rollouts in selected major cities, Meet the Need decided to launch nationally.
During Christmas 2011, Meet the Need facilitated most major church and ministry outreach activities in Tampa Bay, Fla., demonstrating what a connected community looks like. The activities included toy, food and backpack drives conducted by Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army and the YMCA, large collaborative events such as Feed the Bay, and normal holiday volunteering through local charities, such as Metropolitan Ministries and Emergency Care Help Organization.
"Meet The Need took advantage of society's growing thirst for Internet technology as a means to communicate with our volunteers' busy schedules," said Tim Marks, president of Metropolitan Ministries. "We saved almost 300 hours of time spent on the telephone signing up volunteers."
Morgan envisions Meet the Need equipping churches and ministries to lead millions more to Christ by following Jesus' example of meeting those in need exactly where they are. As a nonprofit, Meet the Need’s services are offered at no charge, but suggested donation levels are provided.
Meet the Need's mission is to maximize churches and ministries' impact in their communities by mobilizing more people to loving acts of service. Meet the Need accomplishes that by giving each church and ministry powerful tools for managing all aspects of local missions, seamlessly connecting them all "behind the scenes" on a shared platform.