by Sabine Kortals Stein
According to Jan McHugh-Smith – CEO of Humane Society of Boulder Valley – the more she learned about how SVP Boulder County supports and advances local nonprofits, the more she realized her own organization needed help.
“One issue that kept recurring in our strategic planning was technology,” she recalls. “We’re lean and mean, with no IT person on staff – and technology challenges kept coming up.”
So Jan reached out to Jennie Arbogash – then-CEO of SVP Boulder County – who introduced her to SVP Partner Emily Hinck, a member of our technology Resource Team.
“Emily laid out an opportunity to see where we are with technology, currently, and where we could go,” explains Jan. “SVP created a map of what was working, and what wasn’t, along with a narrative.
“It was incredibly helpful to really look at our different software solutions for the first time; to recognize that we have a lot of payment systems, for example; to closely examine those payment systems and the fees we’re paying; and then identify ways to be more efficient – like developing API [Application Programming Interface] systems, where different software programs can talk to each another, and creating a paperless adoption process.
“We’re grateful to be able to turn to SVP as an affordable, effective way to get expert support.”
While Emily and the SVP tech team provided initial support to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) – including analysis of the organization’s IT systems and creating a process flow – SVP Partner Tim Rohrer has also been contributing his expertise to HSBV in recent months.
“As a follow-on project to Emily’s work, we conducted a credit card processing analysis to figure out what rates HSBV was actually being charged,” he says, noting that the organization offers a number of different services – from adoptions to class registrations – that use different credit card processors.
Tim and HSBV Vice President of Finance and Administration Steve Metzger began ferreting out the answers to questions like, “What are we paying?” and “What should we be paying?”
Continues Tim, “We looked at the total amount charged by each of the credit card services being used by HSBV, and discovered a pretty wide range. From there, we can have conversations about when it makes sense to consolidate credit card services to both save costs and streamline financial reporting. And we can confirm whether their credit card processors are giving them their nonprofit rates.”
Concludes Tim, “SVP Resource Teams have changed how SVP works with nonprofits. Resource Teams provide a way to work with multiple nonprofits to confirm that – for example – they’re getting the technology services they need at competitive rates.
“For Partners, specific and straightforward projects like these don’t require an enormous time commitment, yet they allow the opportunity for us to provide contextual knowledge that comes from having insights into many nonprofits.”
In this case, the expertise Tim’s developed in working with KGNU Community Radio as Lead Partner is being brought to bear with HSBV.