Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Retro Article Of The Week: Agencies Aim For Back Office Savings

This week's retro article goes back to November 1st, 2008.  It was just three days before the 2008 presidential election.  This article makes no mention of politics, however.  It takes a look at how nonprofits were looking to save money by making changes to their offices.  Keep in mind that the United States was enduring the worst parts of the Great Recession, so saving money was a huge priority.  The article starts by showing how the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago saved some cash:

Stephen Cole saw a way for eight Chicago-based nonprofits to save $6 million in the first full year after a few changes. "It's just intuitive," he said. "I did it before as CEO of the Cash Station Inc."

Cole now serves as president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. "The genesis of helping the eight agencies came from what I did for banks," he said. Instead of each bank putting out 6,000 ATMs, Cole linked them all together so everyone could use them. "I've saved the industry a lot of money," he said.

"We have $300 million in purchasing power," he said. The YMCA alone maintains an $80 million operating budget with around 3,000 employees that help an estimated 120,000 people a year. "The big challenge was convincing every other agency that hadn't done this (sharing services) before that there was a business issue," he said.

The eight organizations putting this concept in play include the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Metropolitan Family Services, Casa Central, ChildServe, Chicago Commons, Kids Hope United, and Youth Guidance.

I thought this was an incredibly unique way to have an organization save money, especially considering the cost of making so many ATM machines.  What ways have your nonprofits saved money now or in the past?

Please read the rest of this article over on our website.

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