A Better World participated in Apparo and Accenture’s Mission Possible Program in hopes of becoming more effective in their ability to reach West Charlotte children in need of academic and emotional support. That hope has become a reality.
When A Better’s World (ABW) applied for the Mission Possible Award, they shared: “Data, both past and present, is essential to the success of any organization. It is imperative that we establish a system that not only tracks various components, but provides a numerical insight into the progress of our organization as a whole. ABW is a results-driven organization with a passion for cultivating upward mobility in our community. In order to track and reach more children, families, volunteers and donors; ABW is in need of an online data management system that measures and stores all metrics and performance indicators for the organization.”
As winners of Apparo and Accenture’s 2020 Mission Possible Award, A Better World received $50,000 of pro bono consulting and $10,000 in cash from Accenture for the selection and implementation of this data management system.
Wes Slocum, Managing Director at Accenture and volunteer for this project shares, “At Accenture, we are passionate about improving the way the world works and lives, which is why partnering with Apparo is so important to us. We are proud to enter our 14th year as sponsor of Mission Possible: The Economic Opportunity Award.”
Through their participation in the Mission Possible Award program, A Better World will be able to both deepen their impact through increased personalized services and expand their reach. This means, more West Charlotte students will receive personalized academic support, helping to ensure their academic success and path to a bright future.
Upon completion of their Mission Possible Award journey, we checked in with Beyonka Fulton, Administrative and Fundraising Director, Anthony Panciocco, Communications and Program Director, and Cathy Purvis, Board Member, to learn about the significance of their participation in this program and their work with Accenture. See printable one-page project overview.
Beyonka shares what they hoped to overcome when they decided to participate in Mission Possible 2020. “We didn’t have a system for storing and organizing our data and files and were still using paper for many things. It was slowing us down and stopping us from being able to truly depict our impact.” Anthony adds two additional areas of concern, “We also had issues with losing files and accuracy. These are students and their families that we’re dealing with, so these are very important issues that we knew we needed to address, but weren’t sure how to do on our own. We were also putting barriers to enrollment because it had to be done online. If a family could not come in in-person during the business day, their child could not participate. And it’s the families that are struggling the most that are the least likely to be able to stop by in the middle of the day.”
Implementation of their new system is anticipated to save A Better World staff 500+ hours a year.
Anthony shares that he anticipates that he, Beyonka and the new admin they will hire will save approximately 10 hours per week through easier access to the data they need. Beyonka explains, “Our admin will have an easier time with attendance and collecting volunteers’ information at the door upon arrival.”
Freed time and improved access to data will help A Better World enhance their fundraising and expand their reach.
Beyonka shares, “When we can get the data we need efficiently, we can focus on mission-related work.” She adds that her ability to fundraise will be bolstered, “I’ll use this data for grants, for donors, for collaborative partners. We talk about impact, but this allows us to truly depict the impact.” With less time needed to focus on basic administrative tasks, the new admin will also have bandwidth to support Beyonka with fundraising and event planning.
She explains that this will help her reach her goal of expanding their virtual programming through other student-support agencies six-fold, to six new partner organizations by the end of the year. “Now, I can easily pull the information to show them the impact of the work we’ve been doing. That will help us expand our programming to more students.” Anthony adds, “We’ll be more nimble and have more bandwidth to enter into these partnerships.”
Anthony also shares that he looks forward to the impact on enrollment, “With online enrollment, we’ll provide easier access for families and, as a result, we’ll reach more people. In years past we’ve been at capacity (65 kids), but it would be good to also have a waiting list because families do move and then we could immediately get the next child into our program.”
A Better World will also be able to deepen their impact on students in their program.
Anthony explains that while expanding reach may be through partners only, this work will help deepen impact on the 65 students they serve. “We’ll have more time to specialize our approach for each child and to plan ahead for what they’ll need when they are back in person this summer.” Beyonka adds that they’ll also make better decisions around needed program adjustments, to help deepen impact, through access to data for management analytics.
Anthony describes an impact benefit that has already been realized, “Since we’ve had this up and running, I don’t have to think so much about attendance and tracking data. I’m now able to pour more time into a volunteer program that I didn’t have the bandwidth to do before. I’ve had the time to work on volunteer procedures, recruiting and matching for a new reading buddies program. The volunteers are provided with specific tools and strategies to use, based on what the child needs. It’s an effective program and something that is happening thanks to our work together.”
Risk will also be mitigated.
By replacing manual/paper-based processes, the following will all be reduced:
- Mistakes in attendance
- Errors in applications that can make it hard to reach a family
- Mistakes related to medication and private issues about a child/family
- Paper related risks, like ease of loss and damage
Members of the team shared their appreciation for the program and each other.
Cathy Purvis (Board Member, A Better World) – “We would never have gotten this project in place efficiently without Accenture and Apparo’s efforts. Your help was invaluable in the overall project management. We now have a way to measure our program goals, which will help us now and in the future to serve our families and to know that we are meeting their needs while increasing our efficiency.”
Anthony Panciocco (A Better World) – “I don’t think we would have reached this destination without the Apparo and Accenture team and their support. We would have been directionless, we would have been implementing a software that we didn’t understand. When they told us that there wouldn’t be a communications built in (as promised), we would have just accepted it. Having someone to empower us, to say that’s ok to go back to them and say that is not what we were promised, that support was invaluable to us.”
Mike Flanagan (Volunteer, Accenture) – “What a privilege to help ABW bring up a new system that will free up more time to serve the West Charlotte community.”
Wes Slocum (Volunteer, Accenture) – “A highlight of every week over the last several months has been working side-by-side with Anthony and Beyonka on Mission Possible. The team at ABW is top notch and our community is extremely lucky to benefit from their leadership, passion and care.”
Impact Update: Cayen AfterSchool is making a “tremendous” positive impact on the way A Better World works, enabling considerable growth.
One year later, we checked in with A Better World’s new Program Director, Taylor Justice to learn about the sustained impact of this project and were thrilled to learn that Cayen AfterSchool has been making a strong positive impact on the organization. As Taylor shares, “Cayen AfterSchool impacts my work tremendously.”
ABW has been able to:
- Save time by replacing manual, labor intensive and paper-based process, including attendance and student progress tracking
- Improve access to data for reporting and grants, which should drive increased revenue – As Taylor shares, “We are creating an 8-page impact report for the first time. Now our data is organized and streamlined. We could not have done this before.”
As a result of these improvements, staff has more time to spend with students and were able to support double the number of students in their program this summer (40 in school year v. 80 this summer.) That’s twice as many students receiving the academic and emotional support they need for a brighter future.