Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Partnerships in a Pandemic: Managing Our Work with Asana

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Even before the onset of COVID-19, managing the many moving parts of New York Cares—volunteers, nonprofits, programs, resources—was no small feat.

Luckily, our Director of Volunteer Relations & Support, Michael Gamber—who first came to New York Cares as a volunteer—is certified in project management and has been helping us identify areas for increased efficiency since 2015. 

Together, we identified the following pressing challenges for the organization:

  • General fatigue and burnout from having too much work without a measure to quantify it
  • Limited visibility into other projects, preventing teams from planning effectively

  • Undefined boundaries that led to over commitment of resources and inaccurate deadlines on strategic initiatives 

  • Lack of clarity around project ownership and direction, which created ambiguity around who was doing what or why

In 2018, we turned to Asana, a web and mobile application built to help teams like ours successfully organize, track, and manage work. And not a moment too soon. Just two years later, COVID-19 forced us to transition from problem solving together in our downtown office to the safety of our homes. We navigated a dramatic increase in demand for new and retooled programs and experienced countless obstacles to working effectively as an organization in a remote environment.

The folks at Asana recently completed a New York Cares case study that outlined how utilizing their system is helping us to navigate a time of unprecedented need and uncertainty. 

The results?

  • Increased team efficiency by an estimated 35 percent by tracking goals, resources, and day-to-day tasks

  • Reorganized program departments into functional roles, mapping the whole process in a project

  • Gained clarity on priorities and resources, resulting in an increase and time and energy for daily work

Last year, New York Cares served 14.5 times more meals to New Yorkers—a number that shifted from 2 million to 29 million. Thanks to Asana (and our dedicated staff), we’re positioned to face whatever challenges lie ahead. 


Erin Hiatt's picture