Your Process Improvement News for June 2022

Tag: community foundation process improvement

Your Process Improvement News for June 2022

June 16, 2022 | 3:40 pm

Success story: Transitioning from overwhelming growth to more capacity and invigorated employees

Situation: A community foundation CEO shared with me that her organization was growing, but the processes they had in place felt frail. She worried that employee turnover could create the risk of errors and reputation damage. Also, the foundation was moving slowly in performing essential services, such as issuing donor-advised fund (DAF) grants. This CEO knew the foundation had the opportunity for growth, but employees were burned out from regularly working overtime on both evenings and weekends. How could she lead the team to solve these challenges?

Approach: My first step was to introduce process improvement/transformation tools so staff and leadership could see what was actually happening. Then I provided a four-hour “Concepts Training” to project teams to build the foundation’s most powerful asset: their team. After that I coached a 24-hour process deep dive into the foundation’s DAF grants process.

Results: This approach enabled each project team member to learn the process. The team removed 40% of the process steps they had formerly used to issue DAF grants. In so doing, they decreased turnaround time and recaptured about 1,500 hours of staff time. Staff and leaders came to understand that every employee needed to be part of the solution. Now the team has both skills and will to replace FIMS. A delighted project champion commented that the work was done on time, on target, and on budget.

See a process deep dive happen: IPD Process Deep Dive Experience Video

What will your organization accomplish in the next four months?

Given that November marks the beginning of the big donation season, many philanthropic organizations have only the next four months to position themselves for success this year. Now is a great time to engage employees in solving pain points, creating capacity, and getting ready for the year-end donation season. Learn more: What Will Your Organization Accomplish in the Next Four Months?

Installing a new software system? A process map will create better outcomes for your organization

Recently, a software vendor told me that organizations considering a new software system would do well to supply their vendor with a detailed process map. Having such a map helps the vendor better address the organization’s needs and generate a more accurate quote. In four hours of work with your team, I can produce a process map that will help you achieve a better software outcome. Contact me to learn more.

Foundations Increase Impact through Operation

The past two years have been defined by disruption, causing some leaders to worry about overwhelming staff with process changes. In reality, however, thoughtfully examining and optimizing day-to-day organizational activities can actually help philanthropic and nonprofit organizations recapture time, improve accuracy, increase coaching, and otherwise enhance their community impact. Learn more in my article recently published in Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest. Change for good: How foundations can increase impact through operational improvements | The sustainable nonprofit | Features | PND (philanthropynewsdigest.org)

Hear Lee Speak – Lead Operations Transformation

MinnCAP Annual Conference, Willmar Minnesota
July 26, 2022, 1:30 to 2:45 pm
Minnesota CAP agencies: Learn more and register: MinnCAP Annual Conference 2022

Live, No-Cost Webinar: Your Next Operations Opportunities

May 25, 2022 | 3:00 pm

Operations—the work done to execute an organization’s mission—is critical to achieving success. Even during the pandemic, communities and foundation boards are asking for more from operations staff—more effectiveness, greater efficiency, and a higher degree of accuracy. They want faster turnaround time and the capacity to administer more programs.

Operations and process improvement are key to delivering on these increasing expectations.

In this webinar, you will learn how foundations have improved their approach to getting work done. Next, we will help you identify potential opportunities for maximizing how processes, people, and systems can lead to better outcomes and enhanced impact. Finally, we will explain the steps needed to achieve great results from operations and process improvement.

Speaker: Lee Kuntz, Certified Process Coach and CLSSBB

Date: May 25, 2022, 2:00–2:45 pm CT

Registration Link

Once you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invite. We hope you will join us for this free informational session.

IPD webinar 2022 – Next Operations Opportunities

Are you also interested in learning to transform process and outcomes?

Do you want to learn to transform processes and operations, which is different content than this webinar? Then contact Lee Kuntz at 651-330-7076 or lee @improveprocess.net to share your needs. And click here to experience our process deep dive. 

Live, No-Cost Webinar: Maximize New Software Investment and Success with Process Redesign—Three Case Studies

May 19, 2022 | 3:42 pm

When a foundation updates its software system, the purchase typically requires years of research and a financial investment that can run well into six figures. So it’s important to make the most of that purchase. The most effective way to do that is to use system upgrades as an opportunity to reexamine internal processes.

In this live, no-cost “About Process Transformation” webinar, you will hear a couple of best practices for redesigning and maximizing business processes and practices during new system implementation.

Speaker: Lee Kuntz, Certified Process Coach, CLSSBB

Webinar: Thursday, May 19, 2022; 1:00 pm–1:45 pm CT

Register in advance for this meeting:

Registration link

Once you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invite.   We look forward to you joining us for this informational session.

 

Presentation link: IPD webinar 2022 – Process Redesign to Maximize New Systems Success Three Case Studies

Are you also interested in learning to transform process?

Do you want to learn to transform processes and operations, which is different content than this webinar? Then contact Lee Kuntz at 651-330-7076 or lee @improveprocess.net to share your needs. And click here to experience our process deep dive. 

Live, No-Cost Webinar: Three Ways to Ready Operations Staff for More Change

May 11, 2022 | 4:06 pm

Is your operations staff ready for more change?

Our recent survey of the philanthropic sector found all responding foundations expect major change in 2022 and beyond. Potential changes include implementing new systems, hiring new leaders, adding new programs, or accommodating new expectations.

Yet many operations employees—the people who are most accountable for implementing new ideas—are worn out and not ready to take on the challenges that inevitably accompany change.

Over the course of 100 operations projects with philanthropic organizations, Lee Kuntz has regularly encountered employees hesitant to change how they do their work. In this live, no-cost webinar, Lee will share three ways to get operations staff ready to make positive, productive changes.

Speaker: Lee Kuntz, Certified Process Coach and CLSSBB

Live webinar date & time: May 11, 2022; 2:00–2:45 pm Central Time

Register in advance for this meeting:

Registration Link

Once you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invite. We hope you will join us for this free informational session.

Link to presentation: IPD May 2022 webinar – Ready Staff for More Change

Are you also interested in learning to transform process?

Do you want to learn to transform processes and operations, which is different content than this webinar? Then contact Lee Kuntz at 651-330-7076 or lee @improveprocess.net to share your needs. And click here to experience our process deep dive. 

Live, No-Cost Webinar: Your Next Operations Opportunities

March 28, 2022 | 1:26 pm

Operations—the work done to execute an organization’s mission—is critical to achieving success. Even during the pandemic, communities and foundation boards are asking for more from operations staff—more effectiveness, greater efficiency, and a higher degree of accuracy. They want faster turnaround time and the capacity to administer more programs.

Operations and process improvement are key to delivering on these increasing expectations.

In this webinar, you will learn how foundations have improved their approach to getting work done. Next, we will help you identify potential opportunities for maximizing how processes, people, and systems can lead to better outcomes and enhanced impact. Finally, we will explain the steps needed to achieve great results from operations and process improvement.

Speaker: Lee Kuntz, Certified Process Coach and CLSSBB

Date: March 24, 2022, 1:00–2:00 pm CT

Registration Link

Once you register, you will receive a Zoom meeting invite. We hope you will join us for this free informational session.

IPD webinar 2022 – Next Operations Opportunities

Three Ways Philanthropic Operations Create Community Impact

November 16, 2021 | 2:47 pm

Is your organization looking to make a bigger community impact? Your operations—that is, how work is done—can be a powerful contributor in accomplishing your organization’s mission.

Operate for Impact

For philanthropic organizations, the nuts and bolts of operations are what enable teams to award and deliver grants quickly, set up and service fund accounts accurately, and work effectively with their boards. Some organizations have discovered that fine-tuning these operations equips them to magnify their community impact.

These organizations function at their best when their processes, systems, and people are maximized. Here are three ways organizations can maximize to operate for impact.

Better service to the community. When an organization’s grantmaking work steps are consistently carried out as designed (including substantial error proofing), grants are issued accurately. Proactive operations staff make these grants in the manner that is best for grantees, whether electronically or with hard-copy checks. Having processes in place to verify email and postal addresses eliminates the need to reissue communications or follow up on missing grant payments. When organizations manage processes for accuracy and a high service level, everyone’s time and energy can be spent wisely.

Quicker turnaround. Most organizations spend hundreds of thousands—even millions—of dollars on technology. From my experience, few of them use more than half their system’s capabilities. Instead they rely on manual processes and system work-arounds, all of which slow the delivery of payments to grantees and receipts to donors. When payments and receipts do not go out on time, grantees and donors typically start calling to find out the status of their payment or donation. Fielding calls and tracking down an explanation takes precious time away from the main purpose of the philanthropic effort.

A grantmaker who makes best use of the available tools, such as leveraging templates in Outlook and creating system reporting rather than relying on manual work-arounds, gets grants and confirmations out the door fast. The donor or grantee’s focus on creating an impact continues without disruption.

Efficiency that creates lower administrative costs, enabling more community investment. Philanthropic work, whether related to program design or operations, is paid for by fund expenses. Therefore, greater internal costs mean higher fund expenses and less money available for making a philanthropic impact. Doing operations work more efficiently can help decrease internal costs. A key component to that efficiency is maximizing staff time.

Yet too often, operations staff are hired and then shown their desk and a pile of work. This may unwittingly imply that their role is less important than the functions carried out by program designers.
Nonprofits that support their staff by defining clear roles, providing purposeful training, and delineating business rules find that their staff gets work done faster and better. And not inconsequentially, their employees are satisfied, productive, and energized.

Improving Operations Achieves Impact

Grantmakers and operations staff working in finance, technology, human resources, and other areas have an important role to play in enhancing efficiency. By proactively managing and improving processes and making best use of systems, you can increase the philanthropic impact of your organization.

Learn more about how to enhance operation in this recently published article: Invest in your operations teams to drive your mission forward – PhilanTopic | PND | Candid

About the Author

Lee Kuntz is founder and president of Innovation Process Design, Inc. As a certified process coach, she provides process improvement training and coaching to help teams look at their work with new eyes, transform how work gets done, and create tangible results in operations efficiency and effectiveness.

Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

January 14, 2021 | 1:27 pm

Did the pandemic impact your grant payments? Are employees moving paper from location to location to get checks out? Are they working extra-long hours? Does it take more time to get checks out? What feedback is your organization getting from grantees and vendors about paper checks?

One organization looked into their busy season and decided to proactively take action to help employees and the community thrive. Here is their story:
Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments Case Study.

Virtual Training Can Increase Capacity to Help Communities in Need

May 18, 2020 | 2:40 pm

The COVID-19 health crisis has created serious needs in nearly every community, and for the philanthropic and nonprofit organizations that serve those communities it has created a unique challenge: Organizations that were already working at capacity now see even more opportunities to carry out their mission, but they are struggling to find the resources to meet those needs. Disruptions caused by a move to remote work, declines in giving, and an unpredictable stock market are all making it more difficult for organizations to meet their goals.

Employees who were already 100% committed now find they need to commit 200%. So, where does that extra 40 hours come from? Increasing your organization’s capacity to have a positive impact on targeted populations is key at this time of scarce resources; and live, online, process improvement training and coaching is the perfect tool to help build organizational muscle while keeping staff safe.

Learn more at: Virtual Training Can Increase Capacity to Help Communities in Need

Not Just Plug and Play: Look Within When Implementing New Software

October 4, 2019 | 10:03 am

Adding new software is a major investment for philanthropic organizations. While improved tools can help automate business processes and create more efficient workflows, adding a new software solution can take years of research and hundreds of thousands of dollars for implementation and system integration.

It’s a big job, and new software alone is no guarantee that an organization will improve outcomes enough to cover the cost of installation. Read more and take part in a 10 question survey on best practices here.
10-Question Survey

Maximize Business Process and Outcomes During New Software Install Survey

September 3, 2019 | 11:58 am

Has your organization brought in new software with great promise and not achieved the desired results? Has the new software failed to improve the workflow? Has implementation of new software damaged credibility?

Now you can both learn and share your experience through our “Maximize Business Process and Outcomes During New Software Install Survey”. The goal of this ten-question survey is to gather philanthropic organization leaders’ views and experiences in redesigning processes when installing new software. The survey responses will be aggregated to identify best practices.

Survey link:  Maximize Outcomes During New System Install Survey

Thank you for investing in this survey, yourself and others in the philanthropic industry!

Contact Lee today to discuss your challenge.