Skilled volunteers supported an Atlanta-based nonprofit, conducting a business processes assessment of their overall programming
Sponsored by Datum Technologies Group
Raksha, meaning “protection” in several South Asian languages, is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization for the South Asian Community. Founded in 1995, Raksha addresses social issues within South Asian communities such as family and sexual violence and divorce, as well as issues concerning children, senior citizens, and new immigrants. Though they primarily serve the South Asian community, they provide services to all those who face similar barriers to justice, regardless of ability, country of origin, race, religion, caste, socioeconomic status, gender identity, age, immigration status, or sexual orientation.
People, processes, and technology are the three primary areas that power an organization. To ensure that Raksha was maximizing the use of each of these components, they worked with a group of skilled volunteers who reviewed and documented current state business processes across their organization. Areas of focus in this business process assessment included client programs and services, donor data and management, fundraising and development, accounting and finances, volunteer engagement, and high-level customer experience with a technology lens. Through this Community Impact Project, the team identified pain points to provide prioritized recommendations for both quick and longer-term improvements. Volunteers suggested a timeline and communicated the costs of implementing each recommendation. Recommended changes created through this work will be a foundational step to give Raksha a clear picture of their organization and a better plan for the future.
In the realm of people, volunteers recommended that Raksha utilize volunteer support to help conduct research for grant opportunities and create training on how to manage grant information. Additionally, when considering processes, volunteers suggested implementing and creating training around a virtual grant calendar to track key dates and milestones and developing a robust volunteer guide to assist with onboarding. In the area of technology, volunteers recommended considering software research and creating training around financial software.
Raksha, Inc. expects to experience numerous enhanced efficiencies and positive impacts as they fully implement the recommendations, with some of these improvements already underway during the project work. Carter’s volunteer Zandra Davis-Taylor shares, “It was a great experience to be partnered with the Raksha and Apparo team, and fellow volunteers. Raksha definitely saw the value when we began the project, and it was incredibly rewarding to see the recommendations being implemented in real-time before we even finished“.
They anticipate fewer manual and paper processes, which will decrease their environmental impact, decrease the risk of information loss, and save them 5 hours of staff time per week (260/hours annually). Through the recommendations that will streamline and integrate processes, they anticipate bolstered onboarding processes and volunteer engagement with stronger and more consistent communication practices. Raksha sees this work as a solid foundation that they can continue to build upon, enhancing their ability to fulfill their mission to bring justice and healing to survivors of violence.
Business Process Assessment Project Reflections from Raksha, Inc. Leaders:
“This project was a really great experience. This is the first time I was involved in work like this and it allowed us and led us to delve deeper and look at our processes from a very objective point of view. We collected a lot of information that has created a solid starting point to build resources internally. This helped us look at things in not only an objective way but a graphic and visual way as well, which we anticipate being able to use in onboarding processes. I learned quite a bit and I‘m extremely grateful to Apparo and all of the volunteers. We‘re leaving with great resources that we can build upon in the future.” – Gouri Shukla, Community Engagement and Communications Manager, Raksha, Inc.
- “This work really helped us focus on aspects of our processes that deserved more time. We’re so often in the mode of putting out fires that we don’t always have the time to strategize about our processes. I appreciate the volunteers recognizing that we are already implementing, or are on the path of implementing the recommendations, and now we feel confident about prioritizing our needs.” – Aparna Bhattacharyya, Executive Director of Raksha, Inc.