Unleashing Innovation:Using Everyday Technology toImprove Nonprofit Services
Introductions  Laura Quinn, Idealware   Amy Wagner, MAP for Nonprofits
Session Objectives   S ae eerho h w in eoa o po s r     h r rsac n o M n st n n rf ae                              it    ...
Research Process
Research Process   Definition Phase: Expert    Interviews, Literature Review   Broad Survey: 179    Minnesota human serv...
Research Process   Follow-up Interviews:       C o ntacte d 31 p e o p le       C o nd ucte d in-d e p th        p h o ...
Key Findings
Innovating with Everyday Technologies                     People often think of innovation                     as futurist...
Innovation Can Be Low CostMany Minnesota nonprofitssuccessfully use existingtechnology to innovate inmore subtle ways,impl...
Innovating Services Is Within Reach    picture                           Innovation through                           tech...
A Framework for Innovation
Case Study: Domestic Abuse Project“Those were oftenlast-minute phonecalls saying, ‘I need   D AP p ro vid e s th e rap y a...
Case Study: Domestic Abuse Project  They modified the  organization’s existing  case management system  — an online databa...
Diving Into the Framework
A Framework for Innovation
Identifying Needs   Five of the 13 nonprofits    used a formal planning    process to define the needs   “It was never a ...
A Framework for Innovation
Understanding Technology                       Five mentioned that                        knowledge about existing       ...
POLL[Add Readytalk Poll]Do you feel that you’re generally aware of thetechnologies that could help your organization?-Yes,...
W and Email eb
Reporting and Evaluation
Emerging Technologies
Case Study: HOW Family Center               A“We’d alwayscommunicated with      H O W A e nriche s live sthem by email, bu...
Case Study: HOW Family Center               A  The program manager  noticed that the          “It’s definitely  students r...
A Framework for Innovation
Connecting Needs and TechnologyThe majority were inspired orsupported by something outside oftheir organization. For examp...
POLL[Add Readytalk Poll]W hich of these have most inspired you with new ideas inthe past?-Conference-Conversation with pee...
A Framework for Innovation
Effecting Change in the OrganizationIt’s not enough to just have an idea.Six organizations  defined innovationsthat requi...
Effecting Change in the OrganizationFour intervieweesmentioned a culture ofchange or generally positive   “We’re always   ...
Case Study: United W of Olmsted County                    ay“O ur d e sire to g e tco m m u nity-le ve l info    Th e y wo...
Case Study: United W of Olmsted County                    ay                         By creating a shared                 ...
A Framework for Innovation
W does success look like? hat                  All 13 organizations said they saw at                  least some noticeabl...
W does success look like? hatThere was more effect on quality of                                       “It’s over-and-abov...
Case Studies: Lifetrack Resources“A lot of thesefamilies are at home,or can’t travel… Weknew they neededthe information we...
Case Studies: Lifetrack Resources“The trainer came upwith the idea ofhaving a blog topresent anopportunity for         As ...
W Does It All Mean? hat
Recommendations for Nonprofits   Sat it yu n e s     t wh o r ed      r   I nifeis gt h o g s    d t x t e n l ie     e ...
Recommendations for Funders   E c ua e ra iztn t c nid rh ir     n o rg og n a s o o s e te                  io    n e s ...
To learn more…   Find the fu ll re p o rt at    m ap fo rno np ro fits.o rg /inno vatio n   Th ank yo u!
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Innovation in Service Delivery - Idealware and MAP for Nonprofits

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Nonprofits are under unprecedented pressure to produce better results with more clients, for less money. To shed light on how organizations are meeting this challenge, MAP for Nonprofits commissioned a study by Idealware to investigate how Minnesota service providers are using technology to innovate their service delivery, with an eye to factors that foster innovation. Based on a survey of 180 nonprofits and in-depth research with more than a dozen innovative organizations, we've developed a four-part framework as to how nonprofits can define ways to use existing and affordable technologies to address their own organization's needs. We'll present the framework, case studies on how organizations are currently innovating, and give participants an opportunity to brainstorm innovations for themselves.

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  • In late 2010, MAP received a multi-year gift from the ADC Foundation to research and support increased nonprofit innovation and evaluation of impact through the use of technology. In early 2011, MAP conducted a local and national search for a research partner. MAP choose Idealware. Research kicked off summer of 2011.
  • All seven people interviewed said the research sounded useful. They saw particular opportunities in: Sharing stories of what’s working Helping nonprofits find things that will work within their budget Encouraging the sector to do more with technology Encouraging funders to fund more technology projects Literature review showed great opportunities. The existing quantitative research was very general, and There’s a number of great case studies and examples of technology for human services, but very little on resources needed or the process of creating, implementing and maintaining such technology. Survey to determine how Minnesota 501(c)3 human service organizations are using information and computing technology to innovate—substantially improve the effectiveness or efficiency—the services available to their community. The survey was distributed throughout the state of Minnesota by MAP for Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits, and the United Ways of Minnesota using their own email lists.
  • Idealware and MAP for Nonprofits reached out to 31 specifically selected because we felt their survey responses indicated that they were using technology to innovate service delivery. Ultimately, we interviewed staff members at 13 nonprofits. From these, nine were selected as case studies, and contacted for further interviews. Know there are many more great examples, in the room, on the call, etc.
  • Quick description of organization – take from slide DAP was finding that they were spending a deal of time providing information to other organizations and probation and parole officers vs. providing service Many of the people receiving DAP services are court-ordered to attend programs and the probation officers rely on DAP to provide up to date information on their attendance. SLIDE - Some of the requests for information would come at the last minute just before the probation officer was going to court DAP learned that a nonprofit in Michigan had created a system to let external case officers access the information they needed
  • DAP set out to create a similar way for probation officers to access their system Their only investment was DAP staff time and some trail and error while modifying the organization’s case management system SLIDE - Now probation officers can access the attendance reports on the attendees under their supervision only, and if someone is behind they can find our why and address the issue SLIDE - Now DAP staff are able focus their time on service delivery and the relationship with the probation officers has improved dramatically They’ve also seen the average tenure of participants in the program drop from 45 to 18 weeks
  • CHAT IN NEEDS – OTHER PERSON SUMMARIZES AND RESPONDS LATER The research provides strong evidence that – in order to innovate – nonprofits need to step back and look at their operations to better understand the gaps or opportunities in their day to day work. A strong understanding of an organization’s needs ensure that any technology solution will really address the issues that the organization faces and open the door to innovative solutions.
  • Quick description of organization – take from slide One of HOWA’s programs – the Cross Age Mentoring Program - pairs students in grades 4 – 8 with student mentors in high school. The students form friendships, meet during lunch periods at school, and do after school activities together. Jane, a program manager at HOWA, began having difficulty reaching the high school mentors. In the past they had mainly communicated by email, but the mentors basically stopped responding She learned that the student mentors were increasingly using text message for communication When one of the mentors texted her, she took their lead and started communicating with the mentors via text messaging. She said it wasn’t a board decision where they sat down and looked at communication models – it was just a way to meet a need. And it works. Now she communicates with the mentors by text messaging and they are quick to respond. This solution didn’t cost anything more than their existing data plan. HOWA says that has definitely increased the quality of their services. They are able to communicate quickly with the mentors, sometimes even setting up mentor/mentees meetings on that same day.
  • SUMMARIZES RESPONSES TO NEEDS
  • ALSO ASK PEOPLE TO CHAT IN ON OTHER IDEAS
  • If other, can you chat in your thoughts?
  • FEEDBACK ON OTHER IDEAS – CONNECTING NEEDS AND TECHNOLOGY
  • UW of Olmsted County works to mobilize resources and volunteers, and advocate for those who need it. They serve more than 14,000 constituents and that number is growing. They wanted to get community level information and track unduplicated numbers. That drove them to look for a technology solution. One of their staff members was at a conference and learned about a system that lets multiple organizations in a community access a database that’s stored in the cloud. The shared database lets each individual service provider significantly reduce client intake time. If one organization does intake, the others don’t have to. After using this system, the Comm Info Sharing System, for awhile, the UW of Olmsted innovated a step further by creating the Olmsted Connect Card – a scannable photo id card given to users that further reduces intake time The nonprofit service providers using the system don’t need a lot of technical experience because the whole thing is housed in the cloud. All they need is access to the internet and a scanner. And the UW has been funded to provide the scanners at no cost to the 20 participating agencies. Overall the clients of the agencies get a higher quality of service. Reducing the time required to with clients for intake has the positive effect of increasing the time available to talk with clients and provide services.
  • UW of Olmsted County works to mobilize resources and volunteers, and advocate for those who need it. They serve more than 14,000 constituents and that number is growing. They wanted to get community level information and track unduplicated numbers. That drove them to look for a technology solution. One of their staff members was at a conference and learned about a system that lets multiple organizations in a community access a database that’s stored in the cloud. The shared database lets each individual service provider significantly reduce client intake time. If one organization does intake, the others don’t have to. After using this system, the Comm Info Sharing System, for awhile, the UW of Olmsted innovated a step further by creating the Olmsted Connect Card – a scannable photo id card given to users that further reduces intake time The nonprofit service providers using the system don’t need a lot of technical experience because the whole thing is housed in the cloud. All they need is access to the internet and a scanner. And the UW has been funded to provide the scanners at no cost to the 20 participating agencies. Overall the clients of the agencies get a higher quality of service. Reducing the time required to with clients for intake has the positive effect of increasing the time available to talk with clients and provide services.
  • REPORT BACK ON IDENTIFYING NEEDS
  • Lifetrack Resources, located in St. Paul, develops the strengths within those facing the greatest challenges so that all people are strong, healthy and productive members of the community. Lifetrack Resources has used technology to innovate and improve their service delivery in a number of different ways. The organization provides autonomy for innovation and technology, and a culture for it. Here are 2 examples: 1. MN Hands and Voices program provides a support network for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and their families. Though they offer speakers and presentations, they had some challenges reaching their audience. SLIDE - Some were at home, couldn’t travel or the distance to in-person events was too great. They found that they could successfully reach their audience by recording presentations and making them available as closed-captioned webinars. Lifetrack uses Google Analytics to track website usage, and have seen very positive results.
  • Analytics to track website usage, and have seen very positive results. Lifetrack has also found success utilizing technology in their employment and economic opportunity services. Specifically from their Customer Service Training Program. SLIDE - They came up with the idea of creating a blog that provided their program participants to opportunity to practice writing, learn about the internet and work on networking. The blog, named At Your Service, is open to comments, and the feedback is helpful to participants to gauge the effectiveness of their posts. Participants can also attach their resumes to their posts.
  • Recommendations sections should be handouts
  • Recommendations sections should be handouts
  • Innovation in Service Delivery - Idealware and MAP for Nonprofits

    1. 1. Unleashing Innovation:Using Everyday Technology toImprove Nonprofit Services
    2. 2. Introductions Laura Quinn, Idealware Amy Wagner, MAP for Nonprofits
    3. 3. Session Objectives S ae eerho h w in eoa o po s r h r rsac n o M n st n n rf ae it uin t h o g t d le sr e s g e n l yo e r ev s c o iv ic Poid a rm wr f uin eeya t h o g rv e f e oko s g vr ye n l y a r d c o t in oa a dim rv sr e o n vt n poe ev s e ic H h h sm ea p s fu cs ig l t o e xm l o sces ig e
    4. 4. Research Process
    5. 5. Research Process Definition Phase: Expert Interviews, Literature Review Broad Survey: 179 Minnesota human service nonprofits
    6. 6. Research Process Follow-up Interviews:  C o ntacte d 31 p e o p le  C o nd ucte d in-d e p th p h o ne inte rvie ws with 1 3 o rg aniz atio ns  Id e ntifie d nine case stud ie s
    7. 7. Key Findings
    8. 8. Innovating with Everyday Technologies People often think of innovation as futuristic, cutting-edge technology, but our research found that many are innovating with straightforward technologies.
    9. 9. Innovation Can Be Low CostMany Minnesota nonprofitssuccessfully use existingtechnology to innovate inmore subtle ways,implementing solutions thatare often both low-cost andeffective.
    10. 10. Innovating Services Is Within Reach picture Innovation through technology is within the reach of any nonprofit.
    11. 11. A Framework for Innovation
    12. 12. Case Study: Domestic Abuse Project“Those were oftenlast-minute phonecalls saying, ‘I need D AP p ro vid e s th e rap y andto go to court, me,’” ad vo cacy fo r p e o p le whoand I need thisinformation to take h ave e x p e rie nce d d o m e sticwith me.” ab u se , and wo rks clo se ly with p aro le o ffice rs.
    13. 13. Case Study: Domestic Abuse Project They modified the organization’s existing case management system — an online database— to allow probation officers to look up program attendance for themselves.
    14. 14. Diving Into the Framework
    15. 15. A Framework for Innovation
    16. 16. Identifying Needs Five of the 13 nonprofits used a formal planning process to define the needs “It was never a they ultimately addressed. board decision where we sat For the others, innovations down and looked were a solution to day-to- at communication day issues rather than models or needs identified out of anything like that. It was just a way planning projects. to meet a need.”
    17. 17. A Framework for Innovation
    18. 18. Understanding Technology  Five mentioned that knowledge about existing technology was a major factor in their innovation.  Another seven mentioned that lack of knowledge, or lack of effective technologies, was a difficulty or hurdle for them.
    19. 19. POLL[Add Readytalk Poll]Do you feel that you’re generally aware of thetechnologies that could help your organization?-Yes, definitely-Probably most of them-Some of them-No, not really
    20. 20. W and Email eb
    21. 21. Reporting and Evaluation
    22. 22. Emerging Technologies
    23. 23. Case Study: HOW Family Center A“We’d alwayscommunicated with H O W A e nriche s live sthem by email, but thro ug h m e nto ring fo rthey’d more or lessstopped responding.” ch ild re n, fam ilie s, and co m m unitie s. O ne o f th e ir p ro gram s wo rks with h ig h - sch o o l ag e m e nto rs.
    24. 24. Case Study: HOW Family Center A The program manager noticed that the “It’s definitely students responded increased our quality quickly to text of services. Sometimes.. A mentor messages, making that can even see their a cheap and easy way to mentee that day.” reach them.
    25. 25. A Framework for Innovation
    26. 26. Connecting Needs and TechnologyThe majority were inspired orsupported by something outside oftheir organization. For example: Work of a similar nonprofit “A fund ing  Speaker at conference o rg aniz atio n ch o o se u s as an inve ste e ,  Formal or informal peer and alo ng w ith th e ir conversations d o llars cam e e x p e rtise .”  Funders  Technology expert/consultant
    27. 27. POLL[Add Readytalk Poll]W hich of these have most inspired you with new ideas inthe past?-Conference-Conversation with peer(s)-Reading about other organizations-Consultants-Classes
    28. 28. A Framework for Innovation
    29. 29. Effecting Change in the OrganizationIt’s not enough to just have an idea.Six organizations defined innovationsthat required very little financial support.However, few interviewees said theirinnovations required very little staff time.Staff training and support were also keyfactors mentioned to help a projectsucceed.
    30. 30. Effecting Change in the OrganizationFour intervieweesmentioned a culture ofchange or generally positive “We’re always asking if there’s adisposition toward better way of doinginnovation as helping things, if someonefactors for implementing else is doing something we cantheir projects. replicate, or if someone on staff has an idea we should be pursuing.”
    31. 31. Case Study: United W of Olmsted County ay“O ur d e sire to g e tco m m u nity-le ve l info Th e y wo rk to uniteand track u nd up licate d p e o p le and re so urce snu m b e rs re ally d ro ve and im p ro ve live s in the iru s to lo o k fo r a co m m unity.te ch no lo g y answ e r.”
    32. 32. Case Study: United W of Olmsted County ay By creating a shared community database with a scannable photo ID for clients, they dramatically Connecting a speeded up intake forProviders each organization, and allowed them to track data across organizations.
    33. 33. A Framework for Innovation
    34. 34. W does success look like? hat All 13 organizations said they saw at least some noticeable benefit as a result of technology solutions they’d recently implemented. W categorized the benefits as e substantial for nine of these.
    35. 35. W does success look like? hatThere was more effect on quality of “It’s over-and-aboveservices than cost savings. changed the way we12 reported some positive impact on instruct people. It’s made them feelthe quality of their organization’s better aboutservices. themselves, andSix reported a cost savings. improved the quality of education and training we provide.”
    36. 36. Case Studies: Lifetrack Resources“A lot of thesefamilies are at home,or can’t travel… Weknew they neededthe information wewere presenting butwe needed a way to By recording and close-get it to them.” captioning seminars, they were able to provide their information for parents of deaf children to a much wider audience.
    37. 37. Case Studies: Lifetrack Resources“The trainer came upwith the idea ofhaving a blog topresent anopportunity for As part of their support for jobstudents to practice seekers, Lifetrack set up a blog,their writing skills… named “At Y Service,” to let ourand work on students share their ownnetworking.” experiences in the area of customer service.
    38. 38. W Does It All Mean? hat
    39. 39. Recommendations for Nonprofits Sat it yu n e s t wh o r ed r I nifeis gt h o g s d t x t e n l ie e y in c o F miaiz yusl it aaa l a ilre o r f h vil e ew b t ho g s e n l ie c o P l o t e es u in us id a l id C nid r t tgs a os es ra in m l l G t u- f ms f n b ad e b yin r t f d o r o aa B d e f b t c s a ds f im u g to oh ot n t f e r at M aue n b ilo sces esr a d ud n u cs
    40. 40. Recommendations for Funders E c ua e ra iztn t c nid rh ir n o rg og n a s o o s e te io n e s s u h s eh o g s ed a m c a t n l ie c o H log n a n u d r a deis g e ra izt s n es n x t p io t in t h o g sF miaiz yusl it aaa l e n l ie. a ilre o r f h vil e c o ew b t ho g s e n l ie c o S p ot o sl gs u trs oh l u p rc nuin t c e t e t r u p og n a n in oa ra izt s n vt io e Poid cosp l a n p otnie rv e rs- oin t o p r its l io u E c ua e n vte ss f x tg n o rg in oa ue o eis iv in t ho g e nl y c o
    41. 41. To learn more… Find the fu ll re p o rt at m ap fo rno np ro fits.o rg /inno vatio n Th ank yo u!

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