Tech Therapy time for Apparo!
When our very own Development team realized that one of their business processes was slowing them down, they reached out to their Client Services teammates for help. They were matched to a volunteer team from Centric Consulting to help put a new process into place.
Adrienne Craighead, Apparo’s Director of Financial Development, explains, “Our ConnectivIT Series of events is normally three in-person events. Because of the pandemic, we replaced our Host Reception with a series of one-on-one virtual meetings between our sponsors and our CXO Tech Council Hosts. These meetings are mission-critical to Apparo because our sponsors provide nearly 90% of our funding.” She continues, describing the challenges her team faced, “We were doing all of the matching and scheduling analog and it was a time-consuming, logistical nightmare, with lots of room for errors.”
Volunteer Kevin Anderson, Manager at Centric Consulting, observes, “After just a few minutes of looking at their multiple spreadsheets and tabs, I could see why they needed something else. I’m glad we could help streamline these administrative tasks that can be a strain on their enthusiasm for their work.”
Cerys Humphreys, Development Associate, says that the process took about 50 hours of time: collecting availability from each of the Hosts and then coordinating the meetings with the sponsors. The team agrees that once the new process is fully integrated, it will take approximately half that time.
Adrienne shares that the Centric Consulting Team, Kevin Anderson and Whitney Fraser, “Really heard us. They listened closely and understood the friction and pain points of our logistic nightmare and were thoughtful in researching and bringing back suggestions to improve our process. This experience with Centric has led to an approach that not only eases the time commitment and struggle for our staff, but also improves the experience for our sponsors and Hosts.”
Cerys described the positive experience of working with Centric, “The process we had was very complicated and they patiently walked through all of it with us, asking all of the right questions so that they could understand us and our challenges. I’m very grateful for the work they put into finding solutions to recommend to us.”
Cerys explains that they have begun to implement their new process, based on Centric’s recommendations, for a similar event which will take place in May. “We are using a shared email account, a shared calendar and Calendly to streamline the process and our communications. This saves us and our sponsors time in the scheduling process.”
Vickie Wixon, Sponsorship Manager, is optimistic that the new process could enable expansion of the core ConnectivIT series. “Our sponsors see a lot of value in this type of event. With this new process in place, I think we could add a virtual event as the fourth event in our series and that will help secure future sponsorships.”
The Development teams shares that they look forward to using their saved time to nurturing existing relationships, build new ones and also work on developing new revenue streams. As a result of their work with Centric, Apparo revenue will be bolstered, providing critical fuel for pushing our mission forward.
Kevin shares his thoughts on his experience, “When working with Apparo, it’s always a great experience. The enthusiasm percolates and everyone gets excited, regardless of the topic or needs. It was so good to see how excited the Apparo staff was for these improvements. We were happy to help out with our technical expertise, so that we could help improve their process, keep their costs down and open their eyes to other ways they might be able to use these solutions. Given their enthusiasm, how could you not be enthusiastic to help them? At Centric, we are always looking for ways to give back to the community. Working with Apparo is a win-win situation and we look forward to more opportunities to pitch in and make a difference.”
Volunteer Whitey Fraser, Consultant at Centric Consulting, reflects on embarking on skilled volunteer with Apparo. “It always feels good to give back, but when using my skills, I can contribute in a more meaningful way. Volunteering with Apparo is a great way to meet other people, expand their skills and put my skill set to use. It’s also a great way to add variety into my day, to take a step back and help in a totally different way. That helps fulfill me and makes me feel more whole.”