Susie Garcia is the Executive Director of On The Move—the leading community-based, disaster relief organization in Napa County, California USA. Susie and her team of volunteers are experts at managing disaster response and unfortunately have had far too much practice in California wine country over the last few years due to climate change, wild fires and other devastating natural disasters.

Due to the increasingly frequent nature of disasters in the area over the last few years, On The Move created a new initiative they call the Napa County Recovery Center to coordinate all disaster response and management under a single entity which is being administered using the Claris FileMaker software platform. 

Using a Claris FileMaker-based custom application called ResourceAce, hosted in the cloud, and working closely with a veteran software developer named Mark Lemm—Susie and On The Move have been able to rapidly adapt ResourceAce to address a variety of disaster response needs.

“We would not have been nearly as effective in our disaster response without using the Claris FileMaker platform,” Susie said, “Like all non-profits, we use a lot of off-the-shelf products like PDFs and Microsoft Office, but none of these allowed us to rapidly spin up a distributed, always-on app that was easy to build and customize to meet the precise needs of the Napa County Recovery Center and On The Move’s mission.

The Right Tool For The Job

The core of ResourceAce’s original functionality is to help family-based social service agencies manage the families who depend on them and the services they provide in an easy-to-use and comprehensive way. ResourceAce manages programs, program participants, activities, surveys, agency staff and more. The software includes comprehensive reporting and charting tools as well as many other features.

“We were able to customize ResourceAce for On the Move to [INSERT HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED IT FOR DISASTER RESPONSE HERE], ” said Mark Lemm, ResourceAce’s lead developer. “What may have taken months using other software tools took us only a few weeks using FileMaker.”

What is Claris FileMaker?

Claris International Inc Vector Logo | Free Download - (.SVG + .PNG) format  - SeekVectorLogo.Com

Anyone (even non-programmers!) can make their own app unique to their business with Claris FileMaker—a so-called “low-code” platform that runs on Macs, Windows, iOS devices and in a Web browser—to build custom apps that streamline manual processes, reduce costs, and create new efficiencies for your team. Claris FileMaker is a true “rapid development tool” that you can use to easily whip up sophisticated (though easy to learn and use) apps for your organization in a matter of days and weeks rather than months and years. And you can host your app in the cloud and access it from whichever device you have with you using FileMaker Pro 19, the free, FileMaker Go iOS app or in any modern browser.

Claris FileMaker apps can be used to manage everything you do in your organization including but not limited to volunteers, budgets, projects, tasks, documents/contracts, customers, members, invoices/purchase orders/invoices.

Claris FileMaker comes with many built in templates to get you started, and there is a vibrant Claris FileMaker Community and Claris Marketplace where you can find even more templates and pre-built solutions.

Claris Connect is another product you can use to link and sync (by simply dragging and dropping!) your custom FileMaker app to all the other products you use everyday like Dropbox, QuickBooks, Google Maps, UPS/FedEx, MailChimp, Trello, Slack, Shopify…if you use it, chances are your FileMaker app can link to it. A list of only a few of the apps that Claris Connect can link your FileMaker app to can be found here.

Claris International (an Apple Company) offers significant discounts for its products to non-profit organizations and public schools. FileMaker Pro (the latest version being 19) has been available to TechSoup members in its product catalog since [ENTER YEAR HERE]. You can read more about the Claris FileMaker discount program on the TechSoup Claris FileMaker page here.

Build Your Own Custom Claris FileMaker App With Help From Pro Bono Developers


So what if you think that Claris FileMaker is “just what the doctor ordered” but you don’t have the time, experience, interest or expertise to design, test, build and deploy your own custom Claris FileMaker app yourself? No problem! TechSoup has partnered with join::table, a non-profit organization that connects non-profits and public schools with Claris FileMaker developers all over the world who wish to donate some of their expertise and consulting time to help non-profits of all shapes and sizes flourish.

join::table volunteers—who live in work on almost every continent on Earth—have donated literally thousands of cumulative hours of pro bono development time to build disaster response apps just like yours. Everything from apps to help rebuild communities faced with wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters to managing pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in church parking lots…join::table volunteers have built an app to meet the need.

Find Out More

If you’d like to find out more about Claris products or the Claris discount program at TechSoup, follow the links included in this post.

If you’d like to apply to receive a free custom Claris FileMaker app built be a lovely, able-bodied join::table volunteer developer, fill out the non-profit application here.