Success Story: Breathe PA develops custom app in fight against lung disease | CranstonIT - Blog

Success Story: Breathe PA develops custom app in fight against lung disease


Breathe Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization that empowers individuals to breathe better and live healthier, was gasping on its outdated technology.

The company was relying on a PC-driven FileMaker database that had not been updated in more than 10 years, especially problematic for a team dependent on fresh contacts and new fundraising opportunities.

“The old database was essentially becoming a black hole,” explained Brittany Zuckerman, Director of Development and Communications for Breathe Pennsylvania.  “Our staff was having trouble producing accurate data, and even with a second database for fundraising we became frustrated we couldn’t leverage our new contacts."

Zuckerman’s primary role is to work with her staff to streamline workflow and organize program data for potential funding resources. Producing clean data leads to increased program participants, dollars spent per program and participant crossover investments that, in turn, help to generate more funds to support medication, air conditioning units, pulmonary rehab, nebulizers, smoking cessation programs and more for the folks in PA who need it most.

But Breathe Pennsylvania’s IT environment needed a breath of fresh air — and they got it in the form of tech support from CranstonIT.

Coders, Brad Cranston and Topher Reed, both expert FileMaker developers, led the initial upgrade and redesign process.  Within a month, Breathe Pennsylvania upgraded from FileMaker 7 to 15 and migrated to cloud-based hosting.  Within a year, reporting and management tools went from slow and inefficient to rapid and robust.

"When we began working on this project, the Breathe team was using FileMaker but in a very limited fashion,” explained Reed, the lead developer.  “One of our biggest development challenges was assembling all the details and accounting for every major variable.  This is an especially difficult update process to create when some parts may have been managed manually by the user.”

Reed stressed the need for client communication throughout the project, one of CranstonIT’s fundamental priorities.

“If you are not communicating with the client about how the process will function, you can overlook key components to the whole operation,” he said. “As workflow design is critical to development, you need to determine how much of the process actually requires input from the user … and how to devise the most time-effective ways to engage that user."

Zuckerman believed that CranstonIT helped her organization create a culture change around technology.

“Where change was once feared, our small staff is now looking at ways it can help them on a daily basis, and thinking strategically how we can continue to grow," she said.

The net impact on fundraising efficiency — and on Breathe Pennsylvania’s ongoing fight against lung disease — has been significant.

“CranstonIT has dramatically improved our workflow by taking a very static database and transforming it into a dynamic and analytical tool,” Zuckerman added.  "We now base program decisions and funding proposals on the data reports CranstonIT created for us.”

If you are searching for a development company that can create and maintain a robust FileMaker solution for your business, contact CranstonIT today for a no-obligation consultation.