Your nonprofit uses technology to do more, better. We’re talking about efficiency. We’re talking about capturing your nonprofit’s relationships. We’re talking about your organizational memory.
Spice up your next staff meeting by reflecting as a team on your processes (no kidding!). Think about how you used to do things and how that has changed. Hopefully your current processes have improved the way you live out your nonprofit’s mission.
What We Learned from Workers Defense
Julia Kranzthor, Executive Projects Manager from Workers Defense Project, sat down with Wanna Pixel and provided a window into how their technology has improved their day-to-day work. Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing, and strategic partnerships. The nonprofit is part of a national movement of organizations that seeks to provide low-wage workers with the resources they need to improve their working and living conditions.
How do members join your organization?
We asked her to explain how WDP manages the member application process.
“Members are connected to us through three different departments: our Employment and Legal Services Department, our Adult Education and Training Department, and our Community Organizing Department,” Kranzthor explains. “Everyone was working off different paper forms. Every team was collecting slightly different information and doing different things with that information once they had it.
“This meant that data regarding new members was disorganized and hard to extract. A seemingly minor database issue revealed a larger organizational problem. Our departments were working in silos.”
What did it take to change your member application process?
We wanted to know what it took to get from before to after.
“We pulled key staff from each department and got everyone together to create one form,” Kranzthor says. “This process allowed everyone to see what information they were collecting and how that information was benefiting the organization as a whole.”
How did your organization benefit from the change?
Kranzthor calls the whole process of re-imagining how data is valued at WDP a “love story.”
“Changing just this one thing really improved our efficiency,” she explains, “allowing us to be a lot more effective. While revising the form, all three departments were forced to work together to improve the intake process and identify the necessary information we needed to collect. Because of this, the new form reflects the most up-to-date information needed for member intake.
“This process significantly enhanced our data collecting and analyzing ability. It also created buy-in for our CiviCRM database generally. All told, we improved our organizational culture about the importance of technology.”
Why we love this
This is such a great example of why celebrating and taking notice of the “little” things is so important. It’s also a reminder that the details really do matter, and we only succeed when we work as a team. Rah-rah!
If Kranzthor would have tried to propose a new form on her own, she may have missed the value of certain data being collecting. It also would have forced a process that likely would have decreased buy-in and adoption.
By convening the departments in the same room with the same information, everyone had a voice in the process and ownership of the outcome.
What are other nonprofits doing?
If you like this, check out what other nonprofits Wanna Pixel works with are doing in regard to their technology: