United Way Bay Area’s networking group, Women United, is a leading group of women dedicating hours of time to helping low-income women and families move out of poverty. From networking and social events to exclusive volunteer opportunities, members play an active role in bettering our community.
One such member, Archana Venugopal, did just that. She volunteered her time to work on a part-time data analysis project starting in January of 2021 to July of 2021. In this project, she helped analyze our 211 Bay Area data. 2-1-1 Bay Area is a program of UWBA that offers all community members a free, way to connect with health and human services (food, shelter, child care, legal services).
Archana identified trends and gaps in the 211 referrals, and summarized the data by race, gender, county, and overall. She also compared 2019 to 2020 and analyzed the impact of COVID-19 within the data. One major find was a significant increase in call volume regarding housing and rental relief in 2020.
Jacqueline Chan, Director of Data and Evaluation at United Way Bay Area, states “Archana was able to lend her technical skills in data analysis to reveal insights that we then used to improve our 211 program. This helped and continues to help our data efforts and how we collect, manage, and analyze data, all thanks to Archana’s experience.”
Archana highlights her experience volunteering with Women United.
How did you get involved with Women United?
“I got involved with Women United about a year ago. I wanted to volunteer directly with UWBA. I got connected with a member of the UWBA staff and got the opportunity to work with the 211 data and how it can be brought out as a function of numbers.”
Can you tell me more about your volunteer experience?
“Not as a surprise, but to see the numbers helps us tell a story and how 211 has been helping the community in 2019 and 2020. Now that the numbers are quantified, we can focus our fundraising efforts on where there is the greatest need. We can use the numbers to back up United Way Bay Area’s stories, quantifying the need especially as it pertains to emergency relief. We presented the findings in a presentation at Texas Instruments, my current workplace.”
What is your favorite part about Women United?
“Our typical contribution to community service is through volunteering on the grassroots level or contributing money. With this opportunity made possible by Women United, I was able to use my core skills towards helping the community. Women and children are a core part of society. Enabling volunteering opportunities that directly contribute towards helping them, while playing to the volunteer’s strengths is what I liked about Women United experience.”
Jacqueline shines a light on the great work accomplished by stating “Archana is passionate about the community’s well-being and helping families. She came to us and said, “What can I help with?”, and to our luck, we had the greatest need for her skill set in data analysis. Our organization didn’t have the capacity at the time.”
On behalf of United Way Bay Area staff and to those we serve, thank you Archana for making a difference in our community!
Interested in joining Women United?
View our COVID-19 Community Relief Fund Impact Report to understand how data analysis helps show our impact.