Big Brothers Big Sisters Selects Leverage Software's CustomerConnect To Power Online Community

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San Francisco Bay Area non-profit puts social networking to work with innovative strategy to serve over 5,000 children by 2010.

We're honored to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area by being able to provide the infrastructure needed to power their online community

Leverage Software, the leading provider of enterprise social networking and online community solutions, today announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area (BBBSBA) has selected its CustomerConnect community-building platform to power their new online community. The new community will connect volunteers, staff, Board members and donors so that they may collaborate to better serve Bay Area children from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. BBBSBA helps children (Littles), aged 6 to 18 years, reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with adult role models (Bigs) who become their friend and mentor.

BBBSBA has an ambitious goal. The non-profit currently serves over 1,000 Bay Area children and their goal is to grow services and recruit enough volunteers to serve over 5,000 children annually by 2010. One of the strategies to meet this goal is to extend their reach by creating an online community of supporters. "We were searching for a private-labeled social networking service that could provide us the software to get up and running with little IT support so that Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area could focus on doing what we do best, mentoring young children to become confident and productive adults. Leverage Software's CustomerConnect hosted service fit the bill," said Richard Miles, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area.

Miles conducted an exhaustive search of available social networking solutions to help BBBSBA build out the community function in their recently relaunched website. "I searched far and wide, and was beyond pleasantly surprised to find the CustomerConnect hosted service," said Richard Miles. "The tool is robust and had all of the features I was looking for, including being able to customize it and synchronize it with our other initiatives."

The purpose of the community is to grow the number of supporters by providing a place where Board members, staff, and volunteers can meet, collaborate, share inspiring stories, and discuss ways the community can better serve the needs of local children. Currently, these groups rarely have the opportunity to interact with one another with the exception of relying on staff members to relay messages or by attending a few events throughout the year.

"We're putting out a call to our alumni of former Bigs and Littles to join," continued Miles. "I can't tell you how many painful calls I get from former Littles who are graduating college or getting married and would like to reconnect with their Big to thank them for the difference they made. For whatever reason, the two have lost touch and the Bay Area office has no way of facilitating the reunion. Hopefully, the community service will not only allow them to reconnect, but will also reinvigorate their support for the organization."

Upon joining, community members will complete a personal profile and share their reasons for supporting BBBSBA. They will be able to create their own blogs, post requests or questions on discussion groups, network and collaborate with other members, and participate in live chat sessions. "These community features facilitate meaningful and rewarding relationships for the people that volunteer their time and money to our organization," said Richard Miles. "It's my hope that we can work together to meet and exceed our ambitious growth goals for 2010."

"We're honored to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area by being able to provide the infrastructure needed to power their online community," said Mike Walsh, CEO and Co-founder of Leverage Software. "For almost 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area have improved the lives of children by pairing them with caring mentors. I guess you could say they are matchmaking masters. Leverage Software is also a matchmaker of sorts. I started the company so that organizations could engage, communicate, and connect with their constituents and the partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area is a natural extension of our mission."

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area has been serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1958. As part of the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the U.S, BBBSBA has been at the forefront of positive change in the lives of Bay Area kids for 50 years. The BBBSBA mission is to provide positive mentors for Bay Area boys and girls and support these relationships to ensure life-transforming results. With this support, these relationships thrive and make a powerful impact. The BBBSBA vision is to make an impact on the Bay Area by growing to serve at least 5,000 children a year by 2010. To learn more or to make a donation online, visit

About Leverage Software
With innovative enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management solutions, Leverage Software provides companies and organizations with scalable services to host and foster employee, customer, and partner communities where members can meet, build relationships, contribute content, and share ideas while giving companies a way to boost revenue and glean valuable insight to increase customer and employee satisfaction.

Leverage Software can be found powering the online communities and social networks for over 170 companies including Microsoft, Sun, HP,, Charles Schwab, McKesson, Nielsen Media, InfoWorld, and The New York Times. For more information, visit


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