The Aunt Bertha network covers the entire state of Pennsylvania and has since 2015. From Philadelphia to the shores of Lake Erie, we are here to help. Our users and prospective customers are always interested in the strength of our network and ask us to demonstrate that frequently. They choose Aunt Bertha over other vendors because we have an engaged network that’s already in place on day one.
Because we are continually asked about our network, we publish our network statistics monthly. In this interactive map, you can drill into any county in Pennsylvania and learn more about the types of programs available on a county-by-county basis. Today, we have over 12,000 programs listed in our Pennsylvania network — that’s at least 1,600 free or reduced-cost programs in every county across the state. In addition, there are 4,499 participating program locations in our Pennsylvania network, and that number grows each month. This means nearly 5,000 nonprofit program locations have chosen Aunt Bertha to help meet their communities’ needs.
In addition to a county-by-county breakdown, you can also view metropolitan statistical areas. The referrals you make don’t stop at regional borders — and neither do we. Our nationwide network provides continuity across metros, counties, and states — a critical feature if the population you serve is mobile.
We’re dedicated to growing our network across America. Our Network Operations team is made up of 60 full-time employees — the largest department within Aunt Bertha — dedicated to researching information, entering new programs, and responding to changes across the country. This team shapes the user experience through the programs they vet, the information they distill, and the logical organization of services they tag. It would be far easier and cheaper for us to only rely on technology. Instead, we’ve taken the harder path to build a team made up of humans — not robots — because this is the only way to ensure people get the help they need, simply and quickly.
Our Footprint in Pennsylvania
Aunt Bertha is the largest free and open network in Pennsylvania. We believe it’s important to keep our library of help accessible to everyone in need. Since the platform is open to all, we have a large set of data that provides valuable insight into which communities need help and when. We regularly analyze user activity across our network to get a sense of who is falling behind and why. In Pennsylvania, we’ve seen more than 200,000 users so far.
Status of the RISE PA Platform
Every single day, across Pennsylvania, hundreds of nonprofits and social care providers we work with are serving their communities. For most people, navigating ‘the system’ to get help isn’t merely difficult, time consuming and frustrating—it’s the difference between having a chance and slipping over the edge. Every day, these searches connect people in need to resources which help them save and transform lives. This is what Aunt Bertha does.
In January, we were honored to be awarded a contract with RISE PA through a competitive process to work towards achieving the state’s goal of integration of data on social determinants of health. On May 11th, we were officially notified by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that they are pausing the procurement for the RISE PA state resource and referral tool. They informed us that their goal was to ensure that RISE PA has a sustainable path going forward and that the State’s previous plan of using an Emergency Procurement limited the scope and length of the project going forward so they chose to pause the procurement.
We have great relationships across Pennsylvania. We’ll continue our fight to make sure people know that Aunt Bertha is about access for all people during their time of need.
Read the message from our CEO about our continued investment in Pennsylvania.
The Effects of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania
The pandemic continues to heighten the socio-economic needs of Pennsylvanians. We believe everyone needs a helping hand at some point — and over the last year we’ve seen this unfold on a massive scale. The rising number of people tapping into their local safety nets has spurred thousands of nonprofits, charities, and other social care providers to come to the aid of those affected by the pandemic.
Our platform saw more than 40K searches per week from Pennsylvanians since mid-March — a 167% increase from pre-COVID times. Searches for “food,” “health,” and “housing” spiked during the pandemic.
Supporting Community Organizations in Pennsylvania
Over the years, we’ve worked hard to grow our social care network in Pennsylvania, supporting everyone involved. That work continues today, as nonprofits in the state are adapting how they operate to continue serving the communities that depend on them more and more.
Since March 2020, Aunt Bertha’s Community Engagement Team has hosted 19 events for more than 225 Pennsylvania CBOs, learning about their challenges and sharing free tools to support their work. In 2020, almost 442 programs serving Pennsylvanians claimed their listings on findhelp.org, providing the program staff with tools like eligibility screeners and reporting, and ensuring that when people reach out to these programs for help, they will be helped by an engaged, responsive staff member.
Our traction in the state has rapidly increased in 2021, with 8 events held in just the first four months of the year with 116 CBOs in attendance. We have several more events scheduled over the next few months. We are fortunate to have great partners in the Pennsylvania community helping to bring together these events, including Health Partners Plans, Highmark Health, Gateway Health, and Geisinger Health.
There is a strong interest for services like Aunt Bertha among social care providers in Pennsylvania, and we’re excited and motivated to keep building our network throughout the state.
Our Pennsylvania Social Care Network
Over the years, we’ve worked hard to grow our social care network by directly engaging with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in Pennsylvania, encompassing more than 12,000 programs today. These CBOs address a wide range of important issues — from food access to housing insecurity, financial assistance to health insurance literacy, and more.
Claimed program providers also have the option of setting up any of our free intake tools to streamline the process of connecting with new clients. The use of our one-step referrals, eligibility screener, or appointment scheduler workflow allows program staff to spend less time qualifying people and more time helping them. By partnering with nonprofits and supporting their use of our free digital intake and reporting tools, we help connect more Pennsylvanians to the best available program to meet their needs — all with a focus on dignity and ease.
Connecting with Pennsylvanians Who Serve
At Aunt Bertha, we are driven by our mission and we take time to speak with Pennsylvanians who make a difference. Resolve Magazine, a storytelling initiative funded by Aunt Bertha, recently visited Philadelphia to work on a short film about Rev. Dr. Michelle Simmons and Why Not Prosper, the nonprofit she founded 20 years ago. After her own experiences with addiction and incarceration, Simmons was called to help women facing similar circumstances. Why Not Prosper provides housing, counseling, other support services, and a strong sense of community for women coming out of prison. “Our women are human beings. They need love, just like you need love. I need people to know that they are not their mistakes, and they do recover,” Simmons said. “Their experience is worth more than a doctorate degree sometimes. These women are amazing. They’re powerful and they know a lot.”
Where Pennsylvanians are Searching for Assistance
Our users are searching across all 67 counties in Pennsylvania — in big cities and small towns alike. While high search density can be seen in metros like Philadelphia, there is consistent coverage across the entire state, including rural areas like Altoona and Bradford.
What are Pennsylvanians Searching for?
‘Housing’ and ‘food’ are the most sought-after services by our users in Pennsylvania, followed closely by ‘health.’ The chart below breaks down the top social needs of Pennsylvania, based on Aunt Bertha search data.
Beyond Search: Connections and Responds
Our platform also supports connections — when someone in need and a program that can serve that person come together because of our platform, even though they never made an official referral. This is a good thing! A connection goes beyond a search — it means the person in need is finding help and reaching out on their own time. Examples include emails to family members, texts from friends, and responses by CBOs.
We expect connections to continue growing as our network expands in Pennsylvania. On our platform, three entities can update the status, or “close the loop” on referrals: an employee of the organization that made the outbound referral, an employee of the organization that receives the referral, and the person being referred. We’ve seen significant growth in the number of “closed-loop” referrals as more of our users update completion of services on Aunt Bertha
Who Are Our Users?
Our users are people in need, workers at nonprofits and government agencies, and employees of our customer partners who serve Pennsylvanians, like large, complex organizations such as the Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh and PECO, and smaller (equally dedicated) programs like NeighborWorks NEPA, a nonprofit that revitalizes neighborhoods by supporting individuals in accessing quality housing and financial guidance.
Want to learn more?
Let us know and we’ll get you in touch with someone from our team.
By the way, who’s Aunt Bertha?
Aunt Bertha is the leading referral platform for social services in America, serving the biggest cities and smallest towns. We connect people seeking help and the verified social care providers that serve them, with dignity and ease. We make it easy for people to find social services in their communities, for nonprofits to coordinate their efforts, and for organizations to integrate social care into the work they already do. We serve millions of users and our platform is used in a wide range of industries including education, government, housing, and healthcare.