At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, they believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, both as individuals and as citizens—and that by doing so, they will not only lead a healthier and more productive life but will also give back to their communities.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada pairs mentors with children and youth to serve as role models. Today, more than 28,000 mentors are building positive relationships with more than 40,000 children and youth in 1,000 Canadian communities, not to mention all the positive work done by the American branch of the organization.
What was holding them back?
Prior to switching to Sparkrock, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada (BBBSC) used a generic hosted case management system. This system, unfortunately, did not support the exact workflow processes that formed the core of BBBSC’s program management. While it did meet their initial needs, it couldn’t be customized to meet more specific future needs as the organization grew and expanded. As well, because the old case management system was generic, staff members spent a considerable amount of time scrolling through extraneous questions and forms to select the fields that they actually needed.
Another challenge that BBBSC faced was that they have organizations and agencies across Canada, and with that comes different ways of doing business, looking at data, and storing information. This prompted them to find a solution that would give them one consistent way of tracking information; allow them to pull data they’d never been able to pull before; run analytics on that information to learn about their footprint as an organization, where they’re succeeding, and where their challenges lie; and help them ensure that their training materials were consistent across the board because everyone would be using the same platform.
How we helped
In June 2010, BBBSC partnered with Sparkrock to customize a Case Management solution that would help them match children with mentors. We configured the solution to accommodate for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ needs and translate it in a way that made sense to their users, giving them the ability – no matter who they are or where they are across the country – to understand what information BBBSC is tracking and how the system can accomplish this. Big Brothers Big Sisters is also now able to take data out of their system and start to use it to deeply inform business decisions, whether that’s on a daily basis or as an annual training platform review of where they need extra work. The system informs these decisions by giving BBBSC accurate data because it's being fed by users across Canada.
How they now leverage technology to serve more people
With their new solution, BBBSC staff no longer have to interpret generic software but can follow a streamlined process. Field staff also love how the system automatically generates a timeline of tasks, and the interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Exchange Online saves time because email messages are automatically documented and filed in case notes, and calendars are synchronized between online data and Outlook.
The organization is also using their solution to build interagency connections, share best practices, and improve program delivery. Malcolm McAuley, Director of Information Systems at BBBSC, created an online forum that is a monthly meeting for agencies across Canada to share experiences about how they are using the solution and how to improve it.
Using the new solution also frees up time for Big Brothers Big Sisters employees at the agency level, allowing staff to spend time evaluating the needs of children and youth more thoroughly. They are active in a thousand different communities across Canada, representing a thousand different voices with something to contribute to making Big Brothers Big Sisters a better organization. The new solution helps bring all of these voices together; that is its lasting value.