Scaling Nonprofit Operations with No-Code with Madeline Mazzocchi

It is important to remember that our unhoused neighbors are people to be loved, not problems to be solved. In this week's episode, we talk with Madeline Mazzocchi who serves as the Director of Operations for a nonprofit organization called Miracle Messages. Miracle Messages is a nonprofit that utilizes technology to help volunteers reconnect the unhoused with loved ones. Madeline talks about how Miracle Messages got started, the stack of tools they use to power their operations, and how a non-technical person can use these tools to create impact.

[00:00:00] Sean Pritzkau: Welcome to We Can Do This. This is Sean Pritzkau, and today I'm excited for this conversation with Madeline Mazzocchi Madeline retired from her career in IT, and then came out of retirement to take a position as the Director of Operations for a non-profit organization called Miracle Messages. Now, I personally find this organization really interesting and inspiring.

[00:00:27] Sean Pritzkau: Miracle Messages works to connect unhoused people with loved ones who they have been disconnected with utilizing volunteer digital detectives. And since starting these programs, they have reconnected over 500 people with loved ones to help bring them out of homelessness. In this episode, Madeline talks about how Miracle Messages got started, the stack of tools they use to power their.

[00:00:56] Sean Pritzkau: And we, as a non-technical person could use these tools to do more inside their existing organization or found a new lean organization. This is a great conversation with both big picture ideas and practical tips. So let's jump in to my conversation with Madeline Mazzocchi

[00:01:30] Sean Pritzkau: All right. Hey there and welcome to the podcast today. I am here with Madeline Mazzocchi Madeline retired in spring of 2019 as director of information technology to spend her time volunteering with the homeless and food insecure population in upstate. Madeline spends her time providing friendship, food, and employment assistance.

[00:01:52] Sean Pritzkau: And once you heard about Miracle Messages, she decided it was a perfect blend of her former career and her passions and added this to her volunteering. She came out of retirement in the spring of 2020 to accept the full-time role as director of operations for Miracle Messages. So Madeline, I'm really excited to have you here on the podcast.

[00:02:14] Sean Pritzkau: Thank

[00:02:14] Madeline Mazzocchi: you so much, Sean, for having me, I'm excited to chat with you today.

[00:02:18] Sean Pritzkau: Yeah. And it's really exciting to talk to someone who's also in upstate New York where a is not too far from me, which is really cool. So we're only a few hours away.

[00:02:27] Madeline Mazzocchi: Same time zone. I like it. Yeah.

[00:02:30] Sean Pritzkau: So yeah. Tell us in your bio, we kind of read about Miracle Messages.

[00:02:33] Sean Pritzkau: Would you mind sharing with us, what is Miracle Messages and kind of, how did it get to.

[00:02:39] Madeline Mazzocchi: So Miracle Messages is a small nonprofit. It's a main office is in San Francisco, but we have a footprint across the country, our mission and our vision is that no one should go through homelessness, but certainly no one should go through homelessness alone.

[00:02:55] Madeline Mazzocchi: And so we have programs that allow us to provide. Support social support through either rebuilding someone's support, social support networks through family reunification or through a virtual buddy program where we match somebody up for a phone calls, because as we all know, especially during the pandemic, when we all felt so isolated, our unhoused neighbors felt more stuck.

[00:03:21] Madeline Mazzocchi: So that's really, our mission is to try to really bring an end to relational poverty. Miracle Messages started with Kevin Adler. He's our CEO and our. He had an uncle that was homeless. He experienced homelessness for 30 years. He lived on and off the streets. But to Kevin, this was his uncle mark and his uncles did suffer from schizophrenia.

[00:03:46] Madeline Mazzocchi: And when Kevin's uncle passed away and he started walking around the streets of San Francisco, he, he realized that the people that he was walking past, that. I tend to not want to look at with somebody's uncle, brother, sister, mother. And so he kind of came up with this idea of engaging in conversation and asking, is there anyone that you would like to reconnect with?

[00:04:13] Madeline Mazzocchi: And so that was the start of Miracle Messages. Our first reunion, he was able to solve pretty quickly by putting information about the person up on Facebook and discovering that they were indeed a missing person. And the family ended up finding them through this post that Kevin made. So in six and a half, about six and a half years now, we've been able to reconnect in some capacity 515 families, which is pretty, pretty out, astounding, particularly when you think that a majority of that work is being done by volunteers.

[00:04:49] Madeline Mazzocchi: So, yeah. So that's a little bit about Miracle Messages and a little bit about how we got started and. You know, I mean, if it doesn't tug at your heartstrings and wants you to, that's what happened to me? I'm like, oh my God, how do I get involved? You know, so

[00:05:03] Sean Pritzkau: yeah. Yeah. It's such a, such a beautiful mission.

[00:05:05] Sean Pritzkau: And, we, especially over the past year or two years have been hearing a lot, you know, headlines about technology and about, large social media platforms and kind of the. The negative aspects of these platforms, because there sure are, many, but it's so beautiful to see like the actual ways that technology, social media can be used for.

[00:05:28] Sean Pritzkau: Good. And it seems to be tackling social media seems to be a huge part of what, what is involved in reconnecting people with, with loved ones? How did you personally get involved?

[00:05:38] Madeline Mazzocchi: You know, like as you, as you read in your bio, when I retired as the it director, I, you know, I knew I wanted to do something better and different.

[00:05:48] Madeline Mazzocchi: And so I, I really picked the population of our unhoused neighbors, our homeless people, because I just felt like they were just ignored. And there weren't a lot of compassionate services, you know, that were being provided to them. So, anyway, right after around, well, right around the time I retired and I was at the gym, I was on the treadmill Closed caption. And I saw Kevin Adler on CBS morning news, and he was talking about, as I was reading the closed captions, he was talking about how he has digital detectives, that use technology that use their tech skills, using different search engines to try to reconnect people with their loved one. So I was like, oh my gosh, this is like my world meshed into one, my it world and my passion to help our unhoused neighbors.

[00:06:33] Madeline Mazzocchi: So I reached out to Kevin and I became part of their case solving community. I solved my first case by using the different tools that we had access to and I was hooked. And then it just kind of evolved from there because of my background and because of my passions, I just became a really integral part of the case.

[00:06:53] Madeline Mazzocchi: Solving. And then last spring, when our miracle friends program, our buddy program kicked off, I just became such an integral part that Kevin convinced me. I should come out of retirement. And I wholeheartedly accepted that invite and I don't regret a day of working for him and for this organization. So yeah, that's kinda my story.

[00:07:15] Sean Pritzkau: Yeah. And acknowledging that we're both from upstate New York, thinking about the homeless community here, like upstate New York and get really, really cold. It's just turning right now as we're recording this. And it really makes you think about, there's gotta be, you know, better as possible when it comes to how we, how we connect and serve.

[00:07:35] Sean Pritzkau: Absolutely.

[00:07:35] Madeline Mazzocchi: Absolutely. And if we embrace the concept of family reunification across the board, it's actually less expensive as a country. To have someone reconnect with family and have that social support than it is to keep them on the streets. It's last, less expensive and there's numbers around that.

[00:07:57] Madeline Mazzocchi: And I don't remember them cause I'm bad with remembering numbers, but it's been proven that if that, if you can remove people off the streets and rebuild their social supports, it really can save our country money. But more importantly, it saves a life. You know,

[00:08:13] Sean Pritzkau: imagine that. Much longer too, when it's connected to that support.

[00:08:17] Sean Pritzkau: so I first discovered about miracle method is, sometime around the beginning of the pandemic. And I remember one, the mission just really I found inspiring, but also the way that you're embracing technology specifically, no code tools, automation tools that help you power and really, you know, bring the, this technical backbone to your organization that allows you.

[00:08:41] Sean Pritzkau: A lot with the probably little resources that you have in terms of teams and even financial resources. So do you want to tell us a little bit about like, what is the role that no-code tools and automation tools play in empowering your core messages to operate with a small. Yeah,

[00:08:58] Madeline Mazzocchi: that's a, that's a great question.

[00:09:00] Madeline Mazzocchi: And, you know, coming from an it background, right. I walk into Miracle Messages and there's literally like two staff and I'm blown away by how they're able to manage all of these cases. You know? I mean, like we, you know, I said, I said that in six years we have solved 515 cases, but we've brought in probably 2000.

[00:09:25] Madeline Mazzocchi: You know, because, you know, basically we, our case, we kind of have a metrics of half the cases get solved and half of them end up in a reunion. So we've, we've brought in over 2000 cases. And so I was really, I was like, oh my gosh. So once I started getting under the hood, I realized, you know, we, we were using at the time Trello as a way to present.

[00:09:47] Madeline Mazzocchi: The different cases, but what was driving Trello behind the scenes was Airtable. And so I was, I was like, You know, I, I left a team of developers. I left a team of, you know, SQL experts behind and I'm sitting in Airtable and I'm able to quickly add a field. I'm able to quickly present that onto a web form.

[00:10:12] Madeline Mazzocchi: That's, you know, cause we're using square Squarespace. And so like I'm able to so quickly filter, create new views, share those views with other people and. Within a couple of clicks, not only share the views with people, but give them the ability to edit Just key data pieces within that view. I mean, that to me was just like, oh my gosh, like that would have taken hours and hours.

[00:10:39] Madeline Mazzocchi: And, and, and what we were using, you know, at my previous employer, I mean, literally hours to do some of the stuff that I do within. Five 10 minutes. So the Airtable is really our underlying database structure. And so we also use, like you mentioned, we use Zapier quite a bit. We rely on Zapier quite a bit.

[00:11:01] Madeline Mazzocchi: So the way that we use Zapier is things like. If a detective picks up a case. So they come in now, we actually we've, we've upgraded from Trello. We now have a web app that was developed by our former executive director in a dollar. So we have a web app that through APIs directly pulls and feeds and changes data within Airtable, which is so much more efficient than what Trello did.

[00:11:29] Madeline Mazzocchi: But if we have. You know, if we have a detective logs in to the web app and they assign themselves a case, a zap runs. Automatically emails them. Thanks them for taking the case, reminds them of how to solve the case. And it also will CC our two, two lead individuals that manage our case solving. So that way they know who's picked up.

[00:11:58] Madeline Mazzocchi: There's so much more efficient to do it that way then for them to hunt and pack through the web app to try to figure out who took what case. So we use zap automations a lot for emails. We use it a lot. If let's say a detective hasn't updated the case in a week. We want to do a gentle reminder because, you know, they picked up the case and we want to make sure that they're continuing to work on it.

[00:12:22] Madeline Mazzocchi: So if no update form was completed, the update form is something that they can have access to. Right within the web app, they click on a form, it pulls up an Airtable. It triggers a zap when they do that. So that way we know that it's been done, and if it hasn't been done, it triggers a zap that reminds the detective to do it.

[00:12:42] Madeline Mazzocchi: So we use apps a lot to do just what I call affectionately, the babysitting of volunteers. I no longer have to do that. And I mean that in a very endearing way, but, but now the zaps allow me not to have to do that. And when you have. You know, between the two programs, a couple of hundred volunteers, you don't want to be babysitting a couple hundred volunteers because it's just, it's, it's, it's never ending.

[00:13:11] Madeline Mazzocchi: So the zaps allow us to automate all of those processes to help our volunteers kind of stay on track and, and, just to have those gentle reminders of what they need to do. Yeah.

[00:13:23] Sean Pritzkau: It's, it's a really incredible cause. Anyone listening who may have a background. In software, it, like you said, or even project management should kind of be listening with open ears to this, because I think there's ways that even like large-scale operations can benefit from some of the ways that you're operating as a, as a small nonprofit organization, right.

[00:13:46] Sean Pritzkau: These tools are putting incredible,

[00:13:48] Madeline Mazzocchi: incredible. And, and I'm right now, I'm the only one doing this work. So it's not like we have a team, you know, I'm, I'm the one, you know, in there. Managing and doing whatever needs to be done, you know, like sometimes. You know, when we, when we get funding through grants, you know, there's a lot of reporting that needs to get done to show, you know, funding and, and prove where we're using the money.

[00:14:12] Madeline Mazzocchi: And just yesterday, within 10 minutes, I was able to create four different views out of Airtable so that our executive assistant has real time access to the data that she needs so that every month she can create the report and she doesn't have to ask me for the data like. You know, I mean, it's like she's got access to it.

[00:14:31] Madeline Mazzocchi: She just does what she needs to do. And then the only time she may have to come to me is if she needs another data element and then literally quicker than it takes for me to say data element, I can update that view for her. So it's really powerful. It's, it's amazing. They're really cool tools. I mean, like I said, I didn't have any exposure to these tools with, with the work that I did before.

[00:14:56] Madeline Mazzocchi: I'm just really

[00:14:56] Sean Pritzkau: impressive. Yeah. That's one of my favorite things is to hear people that actually have the technical experience, but then choose to embrace tools that just help them move faster, and, and work in kind of a lean fashion. So you talked a little bit about the reunion program that you have.

[00:15:14] Sean Pritzkau: Do you want to talk us through kind of like, almost like start to finish, like when someone chooses to volunteer, like what does that look like and kind of the journey they go through, and then you can kind of just reference a tool as it kind of comes into play. Because one, I think there's probably people here that like you on your, I think you said the treadmill and it's hearing all this organization for the first time.

[00:15:35] Sean Pritzkau: And I was like, how do I get into. But also second, someone might have an idea and saying, Hey, I thought maybe I had to have a, you know, a team of 10 developers to help me work on this thing, but you're actually doing this by yourself with these automation tools. So I think that would help give both of these kinds of people, some context of how the program.

[00:15:53] Madeline Mazzocchi: Sure. Sure. And, and maybe someone will want to join us as a volunteer because they're always looking for volunteers. I'll make that little plug. so I'll, I'll, I think I'll focus on the case solving community where we do the family reunification. So let's say someone's on the treadmill and they hear about Miracle Messages.

[00:16:10] Madeline Mazzocchi: So the first thing they'll probably do is go to our way. Right. And so when they go to the website, we have a button that says get involved. And so a form will come up. A Squarespace form will come up. They'll complete the form. They'll select that they want to help locate loved ones. Once they submit that form, that form will feed into MailChimp and it will also feed it into a Google.

[00:16:33] Madeline Mazzocchi: Zapier sits there and looks for new records in that Google sheet, it looks for what option the volunteer selected. In this example, they selected locating loved ones once. Selected located loved ones, zap we'll send them an email and tell them what to do next to get involved. And so it'll, you know, the email will say, you know, thanks so much, you know, if you want to get involved, please join us Wednesday night at 5:00 PM Pacific time, for a quick orientation, and then we'll get you started.

[00:17:04] Madeline Mazzocchi: So really, you know, those are the couple of tools that we use there. And then once they join on Wednesday night, which we hope that they do, we would then send them a link to our web. And once they get the link to the web app, which again is an adult is created in a dollar. They'll create an account through the process of creating that account.

[00:17:25] Madeline Mazzocchi: You know, that we'll get their information, we'll get their name, their email address, and other information. It's all kind of built in through the login process. They complete. That all of that data goes back into Airtable. It all feeds back into Airtable. It's super important that we have a, you know, check box that someone completed a waiver.

[00:17:43] Madeline Mazzocchi: And then once they've completed that. Creation of that account there now in looking at our cases presented in the Adolfo web app interface. And so that's it. And then they do everything within that interface. And then behind the scenes, like I said, there's zaps and stuff. That'll run. If they solve a case.

[00:18:04] Madeline Mazzocchi: They get a you solve the case, you know, they get a cool email, just thanking them and, you know, letting us know the rest of the team know that we just had a reunion and yeah, so they just get those automations of emails, just kind of reminding them as they go along. And that's pretty much it, you know, so we, we do touch, you know, a couple of different tools to, to get all that done, but they all do really work very, very well to.

[00:18:32] Sean Pritzkau: Yeah. And I think one of the maybe takeaways for us just hearing about the process is Airtable really represents to you like this central place, kind of this single source of truth, where all your really important information is. And it seems like that allows you to say when a certain activity happens, like go to that one spot where everything is, and this is what we need to do from there thing.

[00:18:56] Sean Pritzkau: So just, you know, maybe for someone listening today to saying, how can I get all of this information in. One space, typically a database that is accessible for many different people in the organization in a way that's, appropriate. Right. As, and as you share it, like you can whip up a view in a few seconds.

[00:19:14] Sean Pritzkau: Yeah.

[00:19:16] Madeline Mazzocchi: Yep. Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. And then of course, you know, it's accessible from your smartphone. So like I will actually go into the Airtable app. Like sometimes I'm not at my computer, I'll go into the Airtable app. I can pull up a view. I can edit data real time, you know? And then when I'm presenting those views, like we have two people we just hired in San Francisco that are doing a lot of street outreach.

[00:19:40] Madeline Mazzocchi: And so they want to be able to look at their. They're cases that they've brought in and see the status. So I just sat with them. And within a couple of minutes, I was able to present them with a view. They said it was good. I texted it to their phones. They made a shortcut to their phone, and now they can look at their cases whenever they're out on the streets.

[00:20:00] Madeline Mazzocchi: And it's obviously real time because it's a direct connection back into the database. And what I really love about the views is that again, coming from that it background, I get nervous about. Releasing the keys to the kingdom, you know what I mean? And my mindset has always been, you give a little, and then you increase what they need versus giving them everything.

[00:20:21] Madeline Mazzocchi: And then realizing that they screwed something up and you got to like undo everything. So, you know, I give these out where they can't add it data, but then if it makes sense for them to add data, I can just go into that same. I give them edit access, and then they're done. I mean, it's not even like they have to get the link again or anything.

[00:20:40] Madeline Mazzocchi: It's just like, it's just done. I mean, it's really, really it's. Amazing how quickly. And I, you know, for me, I'm the director of ops. So part of my job is, is, is, is managing the systems and managing the automation. That's a small part of my job. My major part of my job is making sure all the programs are running.

[00:21:02] Madeline Mazzocchi: All of our volunteers are supported people that are enrolled in our programs, aren't left behind if there's issues with them, you know, they they're having issues with their housing and, you know, like, so a big part probably. You know, 75 to 80% of my work is around that. So having these tools not consume a hundred percent of my time is really, really important to me.

[00:21:26] because as much as I love the work that we do, we all still want to sleep and eat. And so, you know, I, I just, I feel like these tools allow me to really be able to just tackle things very quickly so that I can focus on the things that are super important, which is making sure. Our friends that are enrolled in our programs are getting the support that they need.

[00:21:47] Sean Pritzkau: Yeah. Yeah. That's so good. So talking about this, I'm just seeing in the imagining others are probably seeing the opportunities that there are for other people to either maybe adapt some of their current systems and processes to maybe some more streamlined, automated approaches, maybe using some of these tools that you mentioned.

[00:22:06] Sean Pritzkau: And then there's probably some people who are saying. Maybe I could start something that makes a real impact. And you know, the organization that you work with works primarily with, you know, the homeless community, but then there's other communities that could be served through maybe even a similar stack of tools are set up.

[00:22:24] Sean Pritzkau: What kind of opportunities do you think there are for these tools to be used for other kinds of impact?

[00:22:33] Madeline Mazzocchi: Really what I always kind of in my mind, I always think of like, what's the, what's the mission? What's the vision. Right? And so like, let's say that you want to be able to manage inventory because you're, you're, you've decided that, you know, I know I'm sticking with the homeless, but like I actually I'll, I'll flip it.

[00:22:57] Madeline Mazzocchi: Let's say that you're in a community. There's a lot of immigrants that are coming in, you're going to have a lot of refugees. And so you're going to start collecting items, donations. And so you don't want to get stuck with a whole bunch of the same thing. So with Airtable, you could very easily create an inventory.

[00:23:16] Madeline Mazzocchi: Create a list of how many items you need of each thing you could very quickly turn it into a form, throw it out onto either a webpage or a link in your social media feeds. People can click on the link and they can complete it. You can get an email once they complete it. So, you know, the items are coming in.

[00:23:35] Madeline Mazzocchi: You can even have it take inventory control. So if you only need a hundred hats, You know, once you hit a hundred, then you could say we no longer need that item and direct someone to do something else. So, I mean, I think, I think these tools are so adaptable. I feel like if you think it, you can probably do it with these tools because there's not a lot of like restrictions and limitations, you know?

[00:24:03] Madeline Mazzocchi: So if you just, you know, need to keep track of any type of data, you know, Airtable itself, even if you don't want to get into doing zap. Airtable itself allows you to do some automations as well. So if you want to start just working, just let's say with your data structure and how you can do automations with an air.

[00:24:24] Madeline Mazzocchi: You know that, that you could start there. So that way someone who's listening to this podcast is like, oh my gosh, you know, I don't have a tech background. And she just mentioned like, you know, five tools and I can't do all that. Well, don't, you know, stick with Airtable, see what the capabilities are within Airtable for us as an organization, Airtable, couldn't do everything we needed.

[00:24:45] Madeline Mazzocchi: In regards to the automations. We have probably a hundred automations that run all the time. So because of that, We went to, to, you know, to, to using zap, but it's possible. You may be able to do everything directly with an Airtable, and you may not, like I said, you may not even need Squarespace. You just, if you, if you don't even have a, you know, a webpage, we don't need webpages necessarily anymore.

[00:25:09] Madeline Mazzocchi: Right. You can put stuff on Facebook, you can put stuff on LinkedIn, you can put stuff in other places. And then as long as it's a clickable link, you know, and it renders beautifully on your smartphone. So it's not like. You know, in the old days where you used to have to do this whole responsive design and all this other stuff and try it out on all these other, all these devices, this stuff just like shows up beautifully on your phone, which let's face it.

[00:25:31] Madeline Mazzocchi: A lot of people that are going to want to get involved are on their phones. They're not necessarily at their computers.

[00:25:37] Sean Pritzkau: So I think that was a, that was a really great example because it, it really shows how some of these building blocks, like most solutions typically need to involve people. And data that's associated with these people and then tasks that these people, no matter, you know, they might be at different stages within the organization or the people that are kind of trying to serve there's tasks that go along with that data and air.

[00:26:04] Sean Pritzkau: Table's just a really beautiful way to organize information in that way. And I think people can kind of you're right. It's very adaptable, very modular. And I think there's. You know, if you can kind of think it and maybe even verbalize it, then you'll, you'll likely be able to figure it out in these tools.

[00:26:21] I particularly love hearing people that are embracing no-code tools that actually have a tech background, but majority of people I talk to are using them because they don't have the it or technical background. So it really shouldn't be too intimidating for folks. Well, I love it. I really appreciate you sharing about the organization.

[00:26:40] Sean Pritzkau: Even like lifting the hood for us a little bit and see peeking in and seeing how it works. Is there anything else that, you know, before we start to wrap up, is there anything else?

[00:26:48] Madeline Mazzocchi: I do really want to share just real quick, our miracle friends program. Cause that uses a lot more of the tech tools than even our case solving community, because what that, you know, there's a lot of automations and, and zaps with that.

[00:27:00] Madeline Mazzocchi: But what, what we do with that is we actually, our volunteers do a similar kind of sign-up process with becoming a miracle friend, but I collect a lot of data about the person they're going to be matching. So right now there's about 120 matches. So that's about 240 pieces of information that are active for both the volunteer.

[00:27:22] Madeline Mazzocchi: And then also for, for the friend who's enrolled for the weekly phone calls and stuff. And so the automations for that are even more intense because we have one week and two weeks, like you haven't completed a log. We also, when they complete a law, They have a portal that they can go to for that. So it's a different platform for that som stacker.

[00:27:44] Madeline Mazzocchi: And so that presents the data from Airtable. And then if they complete a log that's early. Again, like, think about, think about automations, right? If someone is talking to somebody and senses that they need a medical attention, and you've got two people on a phone and the volunteers, like what do I do with this?

[00:28:04] Madeline Mazzocchi: They can log that as an urgent issue and the automations automatically send that to their case manager. And so if you can imagine, if I had to manually do that, And read every one of those logs until something urgent, percolated, someone, someone could could really, I mean, we, we can, I may not even want to imagine what could happen to somebody if, if they were really sick and needed that medical attention.

[00:28:30] Madeline Mazzocchi: So there's just a lot more automations with our miracle friends, program, because. There's a lot more contact. So we're, we're talking to them every week, multiple times a week. It's one volunteer to one hour on housed person. So there's just a lot more activity in that program. Versus with case solving, we just ask them to do a log like once a week here, or they're actually engaging with the person and they're learning about them and you know, and so there's a lot more that needs to happen with that.

[00:29:01] Madeline Mazzocchi: And then with that program, we also have mentors. So there's a whole other story. Data elements and matching between a mentor, gets a volunteer and gets a friend. So there's automations around that too. So it's definitely a much more involved program, but it does go hand in hand with our other program and it does go with our vision right.

[00:29:22] Madeline Mazzocchi: To, to add social isolation. So the two programs really do work really, really well together. So, so yeah, but I, I mean, I think for anybody listening, like I said, you know, air, table's a great starting point. You know, if you, if you need to manage, like you said, data, people, anything like that. I think it's just a great tool for people to explore is to start with Airtable.

[00:29:42] Sean Pritzkau: Good. Awesome. I love it. Uh, Airtable is one of my favorite tools that I use to, and that it's funny cause I, man, it's a lot of the production for this show is all, all an Airtable and it does a lot of automated activity in it. So. It can really help scale the work. I mean, primarily one person managing this on a very, very small, part-time kind of, probably of the work that I do.

[00:30:02] Sean Pritzkau: And it helps me be able to manage work that I wouldn't probably been able to do alone if I wasn't using it. So it's, it's definitely very good shout out for a table. Well, cool. Where if, if people want to find maybe the work that you do personally, and Miracle Messages and want to get involved, where should we say.

[00:30:22] Madeline Mazzocchi: So they can go to our website, miracle, and click the, get involved icon our button up in the top. Right. And then kind of say what they're interested in. And then the automations will kick in and get them some emails. And I'd love for them to say that they heard, they heard about us on this podcast because it's just a great way for us to just kind of like tie the pieces together.

[00:30:46] Madeline Mazzocchi: And then yeah. So they can just do the get involved. And I'm always also available, Sean. So if people want to email me directly, it's just Madeline at miracle messages dot. if, you know, if someone has a question or, you know, they want to get a little bit more in the weeds about something or they're thinking of something and they're not sure, you know, I mean, I'm fine.

[00:31:06] Madeline Mazzocchi: If someone wants to, you know, shoot me an email or if they want to learn more about our programs, You know, we do have a great event coming up December 8th. It's our good neighbor awards where we're just going to highlight the work that we do. you can find that on our Facebook page, a link to that, it's, it's just a beautiful event where we talk about our volunteers and all of the different, you know, sponsors, you know, we have a lot of great sponsors that help us do this work, you know?

[00:31:32] Madeline Mazzocchi: So, it's just good for us to recognize those neighbors, those good neighbors that help us help our unhoused. So, yeah, I think that, I think

[00:31:42] Sean Pritzkau: that'd be great. Yeah, I'll definitely include, the link to the site and to the programs. And then also to some of these tools, if anyone's curious and want to do a little bit of homework and take a look at some of the things we mentioned today, but Madeline, it was really, really great talking with you today.

[00:31:58] Sean Pritzkau: I appreciate you taking time and being generous with sharing everything you did to. And I'm really excited to hear about the organization and that I hope people can jump in and one be inspired, but also, you know, to be able to get involved. So thank you so much. Yeah.

[00:32:13] Madeline Mazzocchi: Thank you so much. I love talking about what we do and it's kind of fun to be able to talk about the tech part too, because I don't always get a chance to do that.

[00:32:19] Madeline Mazzocchi: So thank you for this opportunity.

[00:32:38] Sean Pritzkau: All right. What an interesting conversation with Madeline and this idea that the unhoused are people to be loved, not problems to be solved. I just really love the approach. That miracle messages. Takes with helping people out of homelessness. I hope this conversation was equally interesting and inspiring for you both in the ways that this organization approaches this topic, but also how they actually approach running and growing and scaling their operations within their organization.

[00:33:10] Sean Pritzkau: Now, if you've personally found. What miracle messages is up to. Interesting. And you're interested in learning more. The links are in the show notes to their website and take a moment and jump on their website and learn about what they are up to. And if you're interested in volunteering, definitely jump in and fill out a form and it will be cool.

[00:33:33] Sean Pritzkau: Cause you can actually see how the operations of this organization works. In real time. I also left links to a lot of the tools that we shared with. A lot. We talked a lot about Airtable Zapier and some other tools that really power this organization's operations. Now, if you like this episode, I encourage you to share this with a friend, maybe even someone who's particularly interested and passionate about the unhoused in their own communities and would like to get into.

[00:34:05] Sean Pritzkau: After talking with Madeline, it looks like they are going to need more volunteers to really go in the direction that the organization. Going in. So if you're at all interested, I'd definitely encourage you to sign up to be a digital detective now. Thanks again for listening to the podcast and I'll see you next week. .

Creators and Guests

Sean Pritzkau
Sean Pritzkau
Sean Pritzkau is the host of We Can Do This, a podcast that connects people looking to create meaningful change with the tools, skills, and community they need to stay the course and make an impact. For those looking to start or grow their own social-impact businesses or initiative, the podcast offers stories, lessons, and practical advice from social entrepreneurs as well as experts on topics such as marketing, branding, and more. As a marketing strategist and speaker, Sean is focused on helping passionate teams overcome obstacles and do more work that matters. When not podcasting or keeping up with the latest no-code tools, you'll find Sean sampling specialty coffees, working on home renovation projects, or exploring around Rochester, NY with his wife and two dogs.
Scaling Nonprofit Operations with No-Code with Madeline Mazzocchi
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