MOVING AN ALL-VOLUNTEER MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION INTO A FULLY FUNDED AND STAFFED ORGANIZATION
Due to external forces, this essential national membership organization of philanthropic organizations could no longer sustain itself purely on partner and volunteer support. It needed to increase its member dues structure to hire staff support, and it needed to foster member support for that change.
Working with a committee to create a member dues structure, we first developed a survey to obtain an understanding of the dramatically different funder structures, budgets and missions, and to understand the value proposition of the member organization to its members. Working with the resultant understanding of programmatic needs, we facilitated a second committee to identify the best staffing solution. After analyses of a variety of options, we ultimately helped the client identify hiring an association management company as its best option. We then developed the RFP and orchestrated the selection process.
Choy Consulting worked with leadership to manage the entire process – from strategic design to assess the needs, analyze the options, and communicate with the members – down to the details of modeling alternative dues structures and developing a complicated fillable self-calculating membership dues form (and individual follow-up). With our support, the client exceeded its “member-join” expectations, and has successfully transitioned to its new staff model, providing vibrant and relevant services to its members.
ASSESSMENT OF GRANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO INCREASE AND IMPROVE GOVERNMENT GRANT APPLICANT POOL
This established government agency wanted to understand why it was receiving a significantly reduced number of applications for one of its grant programs. The client had a clear understanding of some of the challenges, but despite outreach, funding was not reaching intended populations. Choy Consulting outlined an assessment process to understand the reluctance to apply for grants, including interviews of grantees, past grantees who declined to reapply, eligible grantee who never applied, grantee partners, and members of the selection committee. These interviews surfaced significant insights that resulted in recommendations of tangible solutions to streamline administration – including evaluation and recommendation of online grantmaking software options – and other considerations such as a rubric to focus on relevant criteria in the selection review process. Working closely with staff to manage change, the client greatly reduced grant paperwork and addressed other challenges that limited the number of applicants. The client reports significant improvements in the administration of the grant program. It may take time, but the client anticipates the dollars will reach a broader community with the help of Choy Consulting’s analysis, expertise and the resulting recommendations.
INTERIM MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO GUIDE NEW MANAGERS IN STAFF RECRUITMENT
When this growing bilingual early education client was awarded a contract to operate an afterschool program on short notice, the Executive Director was engaged in a number of other priority areas, but the opportunity to expand the organization into a new arena was too important to pass up. He hired new program coordinators, but those program coordinators became overwhelmed with the job of building a new program, while substituting as teachers to meet State teacher-to-student ratio standards, and still trying to recruit to fill multiple vacant positions. Exacerbating the problem, hiring afterschool teachers is notoriously difficult to do nationally, but particularly difficult in San Francisco where the cost of living is high, and the split schedule to cover before school and after school shifts is unappealing and inadequate to cover living expenses.
Choy Consulting stepped in and provided interim management support and guidance to the new program coordinators, first, reviewing literature on best practices for recruiting and retention in the afterschool space, then revising the job descriptions to attract the right candidates, and finally expanding the networks and communication channels for outreach. Because Choy Consulting was able to provide mentoring and practical support to help the new program managers, the client was able to integrate the new program into its operations, to the satisfaction of the school leadership, parents and in the best interest of the children.