The Aunt Bertha Blog

Data On The Need for Social Program Diversity

I was recently asked why Aunt Bertha places such a high value in having a depth and breadth of free and reduced cost agencies listed in our database.  “Don’t people just need to know 10-20 really good resources they can send patients to if they have complex social needs?”

The short answer is: No. Data repeatedly shows that a small number of programs, even really good programs, do not meet the diverse needs of an entire community.

One of the great things about Aunt Bertha is that with over 25,000 users conducting over 135,000 searches and referrals every month we get a unique view of needs and search patterns throughout the country.   This real, demand side data tells an interesting story.

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We took a look at one of our client’s activity in the Washington DC area and found that in February alone 716 unique programs were clicked on or referred to and the top 20 programs only accounted for 35% of total activity.  

Of the organizations I speak with I have heard two consistent themes that may explain this:

  1. There is diversity in the population they serve which could have wide variation in income, age, and other factors that create a variety of social needs.  So a senior with mobility problems will have needs that differ from a single mom that is struggling financially.  
  2. Healthcare organizations that increasingly serve people from a wider and wider geographic area.  Many hospitals see patients not only from multiple zip codes or counties, but in some cases from multiple states.

Some medical conditions and treatments are common, but each patient is unique which is why there is a diversity of treatments, medications and specialists available.

DataTeam.jpgNot all people who need social assistance will be able to be served appropriately by the same programs. For this exact reason, Aunt Bertha has invested heavily in our data operations and will continue to do so. If we list a program that only a few people get that help from every year - it’s worth knowing about that program and it’s worth listing.

We’re constantly forming partnerships with key social program agencies in your community and have technology and strategies to support this.  Reach out to us to find out more about how we can help you help the clients you serve.

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Topics: need-based programs data social programs

You Spoke. We Listened! Helping Families Find Need-Based Programs With Ease!

Aunt Bertha got a make-over!

Not only is the site easier on the eyes, but it is easier than ever to find social service programs in your area.

In order to make Aunt Bertha great, we get feedback from our users on how to be better. The Aunt Bertha team has been working hard to make your suggestions a reality and this month’s release features some good-looking updates to the way that programs on the site are categorized, changes to the layout, and a new free-text search capability.
You’ll notice that there are now 8 categories which programs fall under. We’ve taken away “Other” and sorted every program in the directory into specific categories. 

Within these main 8 categories there are sub-categories to narrow your results further. For example, within Everyday Needs you will find FoodTransportation, and Clothing.
Now you can use your own words to find programs with the brand new search feature, find ones you may qualify for by using the Advanced Search feature, and if you notice that a program isn’t listed, you can easily let us know with the add a program feature on the homepage. 
The Aunt Bertha team is always working to make the site better, so next month’s release will see increased website speed, simplified categories, easier ways to tell us what you think, and the ability to create a profile - enabling programs you pre-qualify for to rise to the top of searches. You’ll also be able to bookmark and email programs. Stay tuned!
Let us know what you think of the new features – leave feedback in the comments below!
Topics: aunt bertha start-up building community new features social good website update search social programs