OptML and Cox Communications skilled volunteers delivered business process assessment to Rebuilding Together – Atlanta to help bolster their ability to keep more people safe in their homes.
Rebuilding Together – Atlanta (RTA) is leading the efforts in the Atlanta area in “Repairing homes, Revitalizing communities and Rebuilding Lives.” RTA’s Safe and Housing model helps low income senior and veteran homeowners to age safely in place in their homes and communities. RTA services help ensure safe and affordable housing is accessible to all residents regardless of the zip code they reside in.
RTA leadership reached out to Apparo for help to document current state business processes across their organization and identify areas of needed improvement. They were matched with a volunteer team from OptML and Cox Communications who identified current pain points, quick wins and provided prioritized recommendations.
Upon completion of this project, we met with Mike Orum (Intermin Executive Director) and Melissa Uppleschoten (Board Member) to learn about the significance and expected impact of this work. Mike shares, “I’m so excited about it. Having been in the ED shoes for 18 months, it has been a struggle without the right tools in place. If we didn’t have Apparo, we wouldn’t have done this. We would be years down the road, doing the same thing. This is the right next step to a well-run organization.”
They explained that before working with Apparo, they had been facing challenges in several key organizational areas:
Donor engagement – Were not using their current systems to their full capabilities and did not have a real strategy in place
Social media marketing – Were not posting frequently due to limited staff bandwidth
Board engagement – Were not putting their Board to work optimally to support their organization due to a lack of processes around governance, engagement, onboarding and metrics
Human Resources – Were wasting time reinventing the wheel in every situation due to lack of formal policies and processes
Accounting – Were wasting time dealing with desktop computer they were dependent upon that often went offline or crashed and inability to run own reports
Through this project they obtained advice to improve in each of these areas. Today they anticipate:
Increased efficiency (up to 20 hours a week of time saved) and improved financial position:
- Improved use of donor engagement tools will lead to increased donations and will also save staff 5-10 hours a week by minimizing duplicative tasks
- Introduced an easier means of social media posting, which will attract new volunteers and donors
- Enhanced Board engagement will open more doors to more community partnerships and funding, not only bringing in more money, but also saving staff time they would have been spending on these. “Board engagement is the key to our successful growth,” shares Mike.
- Change in accounting software will lead to an additional time savings of 5-10 hours a week and will save the $150/hour rate they are charged for troubleshooting by their vendor
- Ability to apply for and receive more funding, as they will be able to prove their organization’s capabilities to fulfill their goals
Improved workplace environment, organizational longevity and decreased risk:
- Human resources policies will help smoothly deal with HR situations, speed onboarding and help eliminate employee burnout/minimize attrition
- Documentation of processes/organizational knowledge will help minimize any keyman risk and smooth onboarding, especially important for their organization as a new Executive Director will be hired soon
- Reliable accounting system minimizes risk of data loss
As a result, RTA will be able to expand and deepen their impact. Mike shares, “As a result of this work, we’ll be streamlined, have better process, be better at training our staff and raising money. This will all allow us to better serve our clients. We’ll also be better positioned to gain funding from our national organization so that we can expand our reach to meet more needs in more Atlanta communities.”
As we concluded, members of the project team shared their appreciation:
Melissa and Mike – “We cannot thank the OptML, Cox and Apparo volunteer teams enough! These last 3 months have been transformative for our organization. We appreciate you sharing your time and talents with Rebuilding Together-Atlanta. Your candor, empathy, expert listening skills, sage insights, gentle prodding, and overall desire to make us “better” will have a long-lasting impact on the organization and the way we deliver services for years to come. Your efforts are helping us serve more people, be more efficient and further our vision of safe homes and communities for everyone. It truly takes a village. Thank you for being a part of ours!”
Volunteer Ryan Jessup – “This project with Rebuilding Together Atlanta was a great project, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the team! It’s wonderful to be able to use our technical skills to help folks working to put some good back into the world!”
Volunteer Lee Gantt – “It’s been a pleasure working with Apparo and RTA and it’s encouraging that they care enough about those they serve to ask the hard questions and go the extra mile in optimizing the way they do business.”
Volunteer Stephanie Tysinger – “I felt like this was a wonderful experience and the perfect type of volunteer experience I was looking for!”