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Inspired Design meets Dynamic Technology

Inspired Design meets Dynamic Technology

Why Community Foundations Should Operate Like a Well-Run Kitchen

Foundation software helps expedite processes.

If you think about it, community foundations are a lot like a busy restaurant kitchen. It takes considerable planning, well thought-out processes and coordination to deliver different entrees to you and each of your dinner companions at the same time.

Why is this so difficult? Each entrée probably uses different kitchen equipment, requires varying cook times and contains diverse ingredients, yet it all seems to come together seamlessly when you are sitting in the dining room.

This flawless delivery doesn't happen by chance. A well-run commercial kitchen take a lot of planning and coordination to simultaneously manage the different processes for each entrée. It all works because an effective kitchen has a centralized system and processes that everyone uses.

In a restaurant, the kitchen is divided into cooking stations that only focus on a few dishes such as salads or grilled meats. Cooks assigned to each station understand how to prepare these dishes and how they connect to the different entrées. In a way, these cooking stations are like key functions in a community foundation: customer relationship management (CRM), grant making, donor and gift management. There are certain requirements and processes to follow with each one.

The cook at each cooking station must have a high degree of communication and coordination with the other stations to make sure all of the dishes come together at the same time. Similar to a kitchen, it is also important for community foundations to connect and coordinate their functions to make sure information is properly recorded, tracked and connected to each other.

The executive chefs bring everything together in a professional kitchen. They oversee all of the activities and makes sure the right processes and ingredients are in place and that the station cooks are communicating with each other. You could compare the role of an executive chef to that of an executive director in a community foundation.

The bigger the kitchen and more complex the dishes, the more challenging it is to connect all of the activities, and that is when a head chef brings in an expeditor. A restaurant expeditor helps consolidate and connect a multitude of order information between the waiters and cooks. They ensure quality and makes certain everything is timed and connected correctly to the order. This keeps the kitchen running smoothly and patrons satisfied.

Think of foundation software as the expeditor for community foundations. Software designed specifically for community foundations incorporates key functions into one solution that provides seamless integration. Fund accounting can better reflect individual activities, contact and donor information is in one place, and grants can be more effectively managed. Like a well-run kitchen that delivers a wonderful dining experience, a community foundation that employs integrated software can effectively deliver on their organization's mission.

Read our case study on how Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation used community foundation software as their expeditor for more effective foundation management.

Flexible Community Foundation Software to Manage Complex Processes

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