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By
April 01, 2019

2019 AWARD FINALIST SPOTLIGHT: DonorsChoose.org - Finalist in the Operational Excellence Project under 90 days Category

 

Read this article about DonorsChoose.org, one of our finalists, in the category Best Operational Excellence Project under 90 days, selected by the independent judging panel, for the 2019 Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards program. Click here to read articles on other finalists.

 

 

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At DonorsChoose.org our mission is to make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education. Our model is straightforward:

 

  • One ➞ Teachers create projects to request classroom materials.
  • Two ➞ Citizen donors and/or corporate partners donate to projects.
  • Three ➞ When funded, we purchase and ship materials to schools.
  • Four➞ Donors get thank-you letters and classroom photos from teachers.

 

To ensure integrity and a seamless experience for our teachers and donors, our Operations team is there through every step of the process. We vet all project requests, ensure teacher eligibility, purchase all items, ship materials directly to verified schools, and track and review student thank-you letters before sending them to donors. On a “typical” day, we apply roughly $400k to nearly 700 classroom projects that our Operations team fulfills and supports.

 

 DonorsChoose.org team

 

 

On March 27, 2018, we applied nearly $26 million to all classroom projects bringing more than 35,000 classroom projects to life. To the 28,478 teachers who woke up to find their projects fully funded, March 28 is better known as Best School Day. This is the true story of how DonorsChoose.org came together to make this happen—all in less than 90 days—and the crucial role of our Operations team!

 

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Project screening is typically done by teacher volunteers. In order to keep the funding a secret and complete the batch funding, we had to suspend volunteer access to screening prior to the event. So, during this black out for volunteers, full-time staff members screened 1,000+ projects in under 24 hours to ensure as many classrooms as possible would benefit from this funding. The week following Best School Day, volunteers screened 25k+ projects, which marked a 220% increase from the same time period the prior year.

 

Our 26 partner vendors in many ways feel like an extension of our staff, and our Business Relations team often keeps them informed about upcoming events that may cause inventory spikes. For this event, because supply chain management often requires second- and third-degree contacts, the risk was too high to give advance notice to all vendors. Our team worked closely with vendors days before the event, and for weeks following it, to monitor the availability of materials.

 DonorsChoose.org staff

 

In preparation for placing orders for more than 35,000 projects, the Project Fulfillment team worked to clear all ordering queues. This team also worked with Finance to increase our credit limits by $13 million. This increase made it possible to order and ship materials for all of the fully-funded projects without delay. As a result of this team’s diligent planning, preparation, and re-prioritization, 87% of all projects funded on Best School Day (31,151 projects) were ordered and delivered within one week of the event.

 

Fully funding every project and fielding associated questions from teachers, donors, and other excited members of our community led to the largest customer support spike in our history. In the two weeks following Best School Day, we experienced a 73.5% increase in support inquiries (compared to the same time period the previous year). Despite this increase, optimizations made prior to the event enabled us to reduce resolution times by 14.2% without increasing staffing.

 

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About the Awards

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards have been established to showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs. Click here to view the Press Release.

The winners for all categories and for The Platinum Awards will be announced at The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Summit & Industry Awards on Wednesday March 20th, 2019, from 6.30pm, in the Venetian Ballroom at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®. 

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards are open to all organizations, both private and public sector, across the globe, which have implemented Operational Excellence programs to deliver outstanding business results.

The 2019 Awards will be held in conjunction with the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit on March 20, 2019 in the Venetian Ballroom at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando™

 

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BTOES.com

The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, which showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.

 

Quick Links

Speakers

Agenda

BTOES19 Awards

 

There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

 

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 


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