United Way Case Study

Web App Modernization for Non-Profit Helps Users Find Essential Community Services Easier & Faster

United Way’s 211 web and mobile app’s modernized user interface.


Increase in traffic to site


Access to vital information

The Opportunity Overcoming Call Center Bottlenecks with a Custom Self-Service Web Application

The United Way of Connecticut’s (UWCT) 211 Services offers free information and referrals that connect CT residents to essential health and human service providers. 211’s critical services were traditionally delivered via phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As call volumes increased, UWCT’s call center became a bottleneck, and providing services over the phone became inefficient.

Recognizing the opportunities a digital platform would create, UWCT decided to build a web application to reduce call center volume. In addition to allowing users to search for information independently, a software platform would benefit community members by unlocking new ways of connecting users to services.

United Way’s 211 modernized user interface on mobile device.

Our Response Advanced Search Capabilities and Modernized UI/UX Design

While specific service information was available as a list, it needed to be more robust and accessible for users to search based on their needs. MojoTech created an intuitive interface that allowed users to search by the type of help they needed and their location.

To create relevant search results, Mojotech mapped data taxonomies and service categories to language people regularly used to describe their problems and needs. Additionally, we made straightforward suggested searches, such as “I need a place to stay tonight.” We also added advanced filters to help users refine their search and tailor results to their specifications. 

A map was the ideal interface for displaying results so users could seamlessly obtain directions and see how far they had to travel. They could also refine their search results by shifting the map viewport, opening up a new way to discover services.

To provide an accurate, consistent presentation of relevant information across the web and call center channels, we used their existing community services database as the system of record for the online platform. The community services system did not have an API. Hence, MojoTech built a custom data importer that could consume data continuously and display it on the mapping front end.

MojoTech ensured that program information could be understood and easily consumed. We worked closely with UWCT and a test group of users to validate designs and the presentation of information. Based on user feedback, we developed a clean, elegant user interface to present program requirements, how to engage, and critical information such as hours of service.

MojoTech and UWCT continued to innovate new ways to use the platform and make it easier for users to find services. We introduced screener surveys to walk users through a series of questions to identify relevant programs. Users can also create accounts, allowing them to work with their caseworker to identify services and resources to save for later and share with others.  

They were quickly able to figure out what we needed in ways that we would have never thought of,” said Leo Pellerin, CIO of United Way of Connecticut. “That’s why I keep going back to them. They’ve been invaluable.

Leo Pellerin

CIO, United Way of Connecticut

High-level designs of United Way's modernized web app

The Outcome Increasing User Engagement and Access to Relevant, Critical Data

By embracing change and creatively deploying new technology, UWCT is providing community members in need with better access to available services and support. 

Increased Access to Services

Expanding access online accommodates more users without adding staff and costs to the call center. UWCT 211 users can search for programs and services using their device of choice. Search results, advanced filters, and surveys provide accurate, relevant information displayed on a map. Data can be saved for future use and shared with others.

Flexibility to Adapt to Urgent, Changing Needs

During the pandemic, UWCT was able to quickly add COVID information and resources such as testing locations and vaccination sites. At the height of the pandemic, the CT 211 site handled more than 800k queries per month, providing critical access to vital information.

The United Way of Connecticut 211 site is recognized as the gold standard of 211 sites within the United Way community — resulting from a long-term, successful partnership between UWCT and MojoTech. UWCT has made the site available to similar providers based on our success. The site is currently in use in Colorado and Arkansas, with more to come.

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