Vibe of Portland fills an important gap for children in the Portland area. 15 years ago, when founder Laura Streib finished her Masters in Music Performance, she realized that there were limited music teaching jobs because many of the schools had removed music education from their curriculum. Laura strongly believes children should have access to quality art and music education, saying “If kids don’t have art and music, they don’t get to make deep connections with their peers.”
Laura started Vibe of Portland to give children the opportunity to express themselves freely and creatively. In the beginning, Laura and her team struggled with the overwhelming amount of information that they kept on various spreadsheets. She tried to finagle donation platforms to take registrations and researched various one-size-fits all software options, but nothing was right for the specific needs of her children’s activity business. That is, until Laura found Sawyer.
Sawyer provided Laura with everything that she needed to run her business smoothly, freeing up her time to work on curriculum, raise funds, expand their space, scale offerings, and more. Laura explained, “Sawyer has all of the different things that we need! We saw 3x growth filling up all of our camps and day off workshops that first year. There is no way we could have handled that with a spreadsheet nightmare.”
Laura and the Vibe of Portland team was trying to keep track of their many summer camps and school break workshops at different locations around Portland using spreadsheets. They needed a centralized registration and class management software that could keep them organized, automate manual processes, improve staff experience, and grow with the business.
In 2017, Vibe of Portland signed up for Sawyer and Laura finally got a full night of sleep without staying up until 2am working on spreadsheets. In their first year with Sawyer, Vibe of Portland went from offering 2 after school, 2 Saturday, and 3 summer camps to after school programming 5 days a week, 2-3 classes on Saturdays, birthday parties, and 8 different summer camps. As of this year, Vibe of Portland runs 25 summer camps at 4-5 locations around the city!
Vibe of Portland offers camps year round, but ramps up during the summer months, making the season an extremely busy one for her team. Laura loves how user-friendly Sawyer is for her instructors. “Being able to have my teachers take ownership - they can look up classes themselves, check students in, and find waiver forms - has been so helpful.” Plus, Laura and her team love using the internal notes feature so that instructors can write important information about their students to help one another and make the experience better for each child.
As Vibe of Portland grows, Sawyer’s waitlist feature helps Laura track which camps are popular and determine if additional sessions should be added to meet that demand. With the messaging feature on Sawyer, Laura can easily email all of the families on the waitlist and let them know that a new camp session is open, allowing Vibe of Portland to capture registrations and revenue that they would have missed.
Before Sawyer, Laura and her team used to get a down payment from a family and then have them pay for the rest of the camp session by check or credit card on the first day. With Sawyer, that is a thing of the past. Laura said, “It has been great to be able to automate everything. We don’t need to go through and make sure they’ve paid. It just happens automatically. I don’t have to track people down for payments anymore. It saves a ton of time!”
Now that Laura and her team can rely on Sawyer instead of spreadsheets, they have time to make meaningful connections with other nonprofits and schools in Portland, expanding their reach and helping more children experience the magic of art and music education. “Sawyer has made such a huge difference in what we can offer. It has grown our nonprofit organization more than we EVER could have done prior to having this platform.”