League Affiliate Database Network
Background/Purpose The National Urban League (NUL) requested
a database to collect, track and report on activities from their115 member
Affiliates nationwide. The database needed to be accessible by all Affiliates,
have the ability to store, share and track information on Affiliate programs
and services. In addition, NUL wanted a system that did not require them
to hire a full-time person to manage. We recommended putting the database
on the Web with built-in security and access levels.
- Time Importance the design of the database was critical
for the upcoming regional conferences which started in March. We went
to the first regional with the Beta copy. We incorporated feedback from
each regional into improving the design. The project began in January
and lasted about 3 months.
- Implementation and Design We met with key NUL program
staff and further defined the database re quirements. We also reviewed
a breakdown of program categories and determined the primary and secondary
tables database relations, and look-up tables. We designed the Access
backend first and then proceeded with the web development. Midway in the
project one key person (program staff) was designated as the main contact
for the project. During the design phase, 10 Affiliates were selected
to provide feedback on the database design, navigation, and ease of use.
The end result was that each Affiliate could update and edit their information
only and the National Urban League would have access to all Affiliate
information to generate reports. All users could query data and view reports.
- Training a training manual was designed and sent to
all Affiliates; we provided on-site staff training at NUL main offices
for selected Program Staff; and training was provided for all the Affiliates
at NULs four Regionals.
- Maintenance and Support after completion of the projectwe
provided a monthly maintenance and support agreement to provide on-going
support for the database.
- The Success of the Project the National Urban League
worked with all programs areas to define the various categories and groups
for selection in their database; this was done in advance of the design;
putting the database on the web created a central location for all Affiliates
to share information and there was no need to purchase software for the
- Challenges keep the project on track while working with
new staff who were brought on late in the project; how to increase Affiliate
use of the database; keep abreast of staff changes at the 115 member Affiliates
and provide them with timely training on the database program.
- Long Range Plans provide ongoing training at Regionals
and Workshops, develop and design specialized reports by downloading the
database from the web; and design a new module that will include an Events/Meetings
module to keep the Affiliates coming to the site more often.