Seconds count when a runaway teen makes a call for help -- be it for food, shelter, medical assistance or transportation.

So, when the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) recognized its call center volunteers were wasting precious time with four or five clicks to find the information they needed when responding to those calls for help, the group turned to NetSuite’s employee volunteers.'s contributions to charities and social enterprises go beyond simply providing software grants and sending people on their way. One of the most important components of our corporate citizenship program is SuiteVolunteers, our pro bono program, pairing skilled NetSuite employees with grantee organizations to provide mission-critical customizations and services. I'm particularly enthusiastic about SuiteVolunteers because it not only gives grantees access to the most skilled and experienced NetSuite minds in the world, but it also gives our team members an opportunity to participate and take personal ownership and pride in the spirit of giving.

It’s a program that worked out well for NRS. The organization operates the 1-800 RUNAWAY hotline and Web site, which provide a range of services to runaway and at-risk youth and their families. NRS has over 10,000 resources for runaways and their families in its database, including food, shelter, medical assistance and transportation. That depth also created a significant challenge, because call center volunteers typically had to go through four to five clicks in order to narrow down a search enough to provide useful information.

NRS wanted to provide information as quickly as possible. To smooth out the search process, the organization asked for a probono volunteer to enhance the search process which would support NRS’s complex taxonomy of runaway resources and speed the search. One of our developers, Philip Chiu, took on the project and delivered a customized search screen which has significantly reduced the time and effort necessary to complete a search while on a call.

All of the technology necessary to customize the search was available to NRS and any other NetSuite user, but organizations like NRS often lack access to the skilled resources needed to fully unlock the power of the NetSuite platform. Tapping into the SuiteVolunteer program makes it possible for NRS and other grantees to solve their business problems with the aid of skilled experts, often with just a few hours of project work.

Want to see if a SuiteVolunteer 2013 project might be able to help your organization? Visit
the SuiteVolunteer site to apply, or let us know your needs online @NetSuiteorg.