Case Study - Project: VISION

Working with Impaktfel has been an incredible experience for Project: VISION. From the beginning, it was obvious that the Impaktfel team truly cared about helping us increase the impact of our organization’s work. In the exploration phase, the team took the time to understand our challenges in a holistic way and then quickly helped us identify several areas of solutions that could be worked on right away. For us as a smaller organization with limited resources, prioritization and finding ways to maximize results from time invested were very important.

The Impaktfel team helped us make tangible small changes quickly, including introducing simple technology tools, guiding us through a website redesign, implementing methods to prioritize fundraising projects, and empowering our small staff to make changes to improve their daily workflows, just to name a few. The team didn’t just give us a set of solutions; they were present all along the way, helping us with the implementation, listening to our feedback, and guiding us through tweaks to make the solutions truly work for us.

Thanks to Impaktfel, our leadership and staff teams feel rejuvenated, ready to tackle our challenges, and bring the mission to even more youth in our community. We are excited to continue working with Impaktfel and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together!

Karen Chiu

Executive Director | Co-Founder, Project: VISION

The Mission

Project: VISION, Inc. (PV) was founded in 2003 with a mission to help youth ages 12-21 of Chicago’s Chinatown, Bridgeport, and surrounding communities reach their full potentials by providing them with tools for educational, personal, and civic development.

PV currently provides over 250 middle school and high school youths with a variety of programs including after school tutoring, college and career readiness, service learning, and leadership training.

Since 2004, PV has helped more than 800 youths, who are primarily from low-income, first-generation immigrant families, overcome the challenges to becoming first generation college students by providing access to opportunities as well as guidance and support as they work toward their educational and career goals.

The Partnership

In November 2017, Impaktfel started working with Project: VISION to help address some long standing challenges that PV has faced. Their leadership and staff were eager to break the status quo and innovate.

Over the following months and to this day, we have partnered with the PV staff in several areas to deliver outcomes that has led to sustained success toward their mission.

Strategic Support Areas and Outcomes

People & Processes 

Challenge: People are the lifeline of an organization and the reasons why your mission will ultimately succeed or fail. As in other nonprofits, the PV staff was under resourced which caused many of them to wear different hats. With all the unrelenting work, it’s natural for people to put their heads down to get the work done.

This has costs in the long run where team members start to lose sight of long-term goals. To get the work done, actions become more tactical and shortcuts are tolerated in order to serve your mission. PV needed help in resetting, to focus again on strategic goals that would result in more sustainability across the organization.

Outcomes:

  • Guided PV staff in creating a team alliance based on values important to them, allowing them to identify next steps to build the culture they wanted and to address any gaps.
  • Introduced easy-to-adopt software tools to enhance collaboration and project management within the organization, increasing efficiency and productivity
  • Demonstrated methods to get to the root cause of pain points and issues, helping PV prioritize and act on its most critical work.
  • Implemented Agile into PV’s strategic and day-to-day operations, leveraging Scrum ceremonies (story mapping, Stand-ups, sprint retros) to better organize their work and time, resulting in a continuous improvement environment

Development & Fundraising

Challenge: With so many avenues to secure funding as a nonprofit, chasing money can seem never ending. Where should you focus your time and effort? Which options are your best bet for success?  The fundraising and development arms of PV were under immense pressure to secure funding with limited resources and needed help.

Outcomes:

  • Developed and implemented a proprietary scoring model that helped PV staff understand the expected return on time invested for all potential funding initiatives
  • From grants, to one off events, PV was able to evaluate all past, current and future potential efforts, and refocus their development staff on channels with higher expected returns
  • Worked with fundraising committee and executive management to develop new solutions to funding challenges, focused on accountability and maximizing their successful efforts to increase return on time invested

Technology & Data

Challenge: A website is the first impression, and often the only impression, an organization can make with people potentially interested in its mission. A great website can exemplify credibility. As with many nonprofit websites, PV’s website was simply outdated in many aspects, from design, performance, to maintainability.

Outcomes

  • Facilitated a complete redesign and upgrade of the Project: Vision website:
    • Created an exciting design that is engaging to visitors and responsive on all devices, while being fast with enhanced SEO
    • Enhanced storytelling abilities through imagery and visually appealing design to better connect the audience to PV’s mission, programs, and events
    • Implemented fully functional fundraising capabilities to turn supporters’ energy into donations and action
    • Enabled PV staff to make any changes needed on their site using a tool that requires limited technical knowledge, saving potential future costs in hiring a web developer or relying on volunteers’ time to manage the site.

Challenge: 

PV has mountains of data regarding its programs, operations, donors, and volunteers that was overwhelming them. With an influx of new data almost daily and only manual methods to try to manage the data, it was becoming increasingly difficult to make sense of it all. They needed a data management solution to help make the data they had both meaningful and useful, in order to serve their students and to report to their stakeholders.

Outcomes:

  • Developed data models for PV’s program and donor data to confirm what exact data was necessary and valuable to help the staff run programs and engage supporters better
  • Evaluated potential CRM solutions to meet PV’s data management and reporting needs
  • Implemented Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack to manage PV’s program and donor data, leading to significant time savings around data collection, operations, and reporting

Accounting & Finance

Challenge: 

With volumes of financial transactions flowing in and out of PV’s book daily, it was challenging to keep track of everything manually with spreadsheets. It was difficult to get a snapshot of their financial status at any point of time.

They needed an easier way to categorize revenues and expenses by programs, by donor purpose (restricted vs. unrestricted), and by expense functionality (program, fundraising, administration). More importantly, PV needed to efficiently produce meaningful financial reports for their different stakeholders.

Outcomes:

  • Evaluated possible online accounting solutions that could work with PV’s situation. QuickBooks Online (QBO) Plus was chosen to best fit PV’s bookkeeping needs.
  • Developed Chart of Accounts, Classes, Product and Services in QBO to precisely record and categorize financial transactions
  • With accurate categorization, producing financials for IRS 990, grant submissions, and real-time tracking of cash flow will be streamlined and accessible on-the-go