Success Story | How a Needs Assessment Allowed Stonewall Alliance of Chico to Focus On Their Strengths
“JCA was one of the best consultants I have worked with over my 30+ year technical career and I highly recommend their services!” – Andrea Mox, Executive Director
When it was founded in 1990, Stonewall Alliance of Chico (Stonewall) was one of the first rural community centers of its kind in the U.S. Based in rural Northern California, Stonewall focuses on education, advocacy, and other resources for LGBTQ+ community members and their allies. In 2022, Stonewall Alliance realized their technology and systems were not supporting their mission. Their legacy system was too large to fit their needs, and lack of business processes left staff members feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and unable to gather the data they needed to support their community.
Stonewall engaged JCA to guide them through a needs assessment to identify and document their unique business requirements and begin the path toward a new system to better fit their specific needs.
Aligning on Values
For the project to be successful, Stonewall knew that building a relationship with JCA was going to be fundamental. After past experiences left staff feeling drained and wary, Stonewall leadership wanted to go into the needs assessment with a partner who would not only understand their technical and operational needs, but would also understand and respect the mission of their organization. Stonewall leadership collaborated with JCA to carefully plan each step of the project and consider the “people” element, from learning personal pronouns to considering the sensitive nature of the services provided by the organization.
Identifying Opportunities with a Needs Assessment
It quickly became apparent to JCA that Stonewall’s staff was unified in their desire to keep their client work as the central focus of their decision-making. Through the entire assessment process, staff consistently returned to their clients as the primary focus of all considerations in a new system. Through a series of interviews with Stonewall staff members, JCA discovered a critical need for centralized constituent data management. A central “source of truth” would enable Stonewall to not only access and utilize their data for key grants and funding, but would also enable them to balance their organizational needs with protecting private client data.
Like many organizations, Stonewall has limited resources and must rely on processes and technology to streamline their daily activities. Through the needs assessment process, Stonewall leadership realized that the staff could also benefit from additional guidance in creating—and sticking to—new business processes. Stonewall worked with JCA to develop a series of business process workshops to encourage their admittedly “process-averse” staff to openly discuss the factors that comprise several of their key business processes, such as streamlining gift processing and communications. Through the business process workshops, Stonewall staff learned the value of having internal processes in place to enhance the services they provide to their clients.
By working with JCA to expose and analyze their technology and operational processes, Stonewall Alliance took a leap of faith to overcome some of their internal challenges. Stonewall partnered with JCA to establish a relationship founded on trust and respect, allowing them to dedicate their full attention to turning their operational weaknesses into organizational strengths. After assessing their needs and refining their processes, Stonewall was in the position to successfully select a system that was less costly and a better fit for their size and unique needs.
“As a former CTO, I understand the importance of Business Process Mapping and the RFI process to deliver the best outcome when selecting a new system. The JCA team was excellent in navigating our not very technical staff through a very technical project, and everyone was happy with the outcome, and even better, understood the importance of why we went through this exercise, and we are almost ready to put our new system to work. JCA was one of the best consultants I have worked with over my 30+ year technical career and I highly recommend their services!” – Andrea Mox, Executive Director
Enhance Your Productivity with a Needs Assessment
Resolve the operational inefficiencies that frustrate your teams and slow progress. At JCA, we partner with you to deliver proven advancement solutions from unbiased experts, helping you to become more streamlined and successful, and your staff less stressed.