Firm: Jabian Consulting
Type of Work: Pro Bono
Client: Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council
It wasn’t long after Angela Woods accepted the role as CEO of the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council (GSHNC), that she realized her organization serving 22,000 girls and adults in eight counties was pretty far behind when it came to technology.
In some areas, the Council’s infrastructure was cumbersome, causing internal operational difficulties. In other areas, there was no technology at all resulting in significant inefficiencies. What’s more, there was no staff dedicated to overseeing technology, so Woods soon discovered she was wearing two hats—CEO and CIO. She needed help explaining what the technology gap was, and how big it was, in order to gain support from the Board of Directors to move forward on key initiatives.
Executives at Jabian’s Charlotte, N.C. office were aware of this need and offered to commit resources at no charge through Apparo’s Skilled Volunteer Engagement program. Apparo is a nonprofit that connects local, corporate technology organizations to nonprofits, delivering solutions that multiply non-profit effectiveness for a better Charlotte.
Plenty of non-profits struggle with the technology piece of the organization and Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council was no exception, says Will Funderburg, a Senior Manager in Jabian’s Charlotte office who led the effort from the initial interviews to the presentation to their Board of Directors.
“They are beholden to donation and often those donations come in and what ends up happening is that they end up with a bunch of technology that’s been pieced together never really been aligned around the processes or goals of the business,” he says.
So Jabian sat down with Woods and talked through all the areas of the council and then sat with each department lead who talked though each of their processes. “We asked them to tell us one problem they would like technology to solve and one goal you think you could achieve if they had the right technology,” Funderburg says. “We got a really rich set of examples.”
This allowed Jabian, with Apparo facilitating, to develop a Business Process Landscape—a high-level process view of the entire nonprofit on a single sheet of paper—for GSHNC. This tool was then heat mapped to highlight process areas where the technology was inadequate to meet the business need, Funderburg says.
Having the opportunity to lead an organization that teaches girls to be inquisitive, comfortable in their own skin, servant leaders, and courageous is an awesome responsibility, says Woods. “As a new leader, I needed a comprehensive approach to identify and streamline our business processes that would in turn help us better achieve our mission.”
The gaps were grouped and prioritized in a presentation to the Board of Directors. The project was a huge success, Funderburg says. GSHNC Board and senior staff now have a detailed understanding of business processes across all departments. The assessment provided a high-level picture of opportunities for technology to improve efficiencies and allowed GSHNC to create an RFP for technology support for the agency.
Funderburg says Jabian volunteered a total of 85 project hours from senior resources to successfully complete the project. “What we do for clients every single day, we were able to do for GSHNC, as well and it feels pretty good,” he says.
From Woods’ perspective, she says she’s thankful to Jabian and Apparo for helping the council. “They were instrumental in defining the case, giving me the resources to support this, and providing me with subject matter expertise,” she says. “Thanks to you, we had a robust RFP process and selected a vendor that has been fantastic. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”