Why non-profits need to hire great developers
Imagine a non-profit company as efficient or more efficient than for-profit companies. Imagine that opportunities for growth in social work attracted the best and brightest. Imagine ministries with awesome cost saving processes that maximized their capital for good.
Just imagine if we could enable employees to have clear opportunities for growth, understand their role, receive feedback, not be bogged down by cumbersome paperwork, and enjoy doing good work for society. And what if on top of that they were actually paid well? And what if they received incentives to do their work better?
I know. This just isn’t possible in social work, ministry, government, fill-in-the-blank. It’s not how those organizations work. Right?
It is time to rethink how these organizations operate on a logistical level. We have fantastic, amazing and affordable technology that can do so many wonderful things. We can now create small programs that do mundane processes not only quicker, but with less errors. These programs can do all sorts of things like track time, projects, cases, people, progress, on and on. And they can be made to give clear actionable reports. These programs can be custom built to fit the organizations special circumstances and help them avoid adding more one off processes for special cases.
Technology can make people more efficient.
But it’s expensive
Lie. A good developer or good program can save you hundreds and thousands of man hours. Time is money. Technology gives you more time. Consider this: one worker who fills out the same information on 10 different forms for one case, by hand. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. It’s frustrating for the worker. It’s repetitive and thus prone to error. It adds up fast and accumulates to lots of time. What if this takes one quick organized worker 5 minutes to do and a slow one 10 minutes. And they get 15 cases a month. For a quick worker that is over an hour, a slow one over two hours. And the organization has 10 workers, 6 slow and 4 fast, that adds up to over 16hrs a month. Multiply that by an average social worker pay package and it equals $400 dollars per month, or $4800 each year. For one small organizations team spending a silly extra 5 minutes on tedious poorly designed processes. Now imagine an organization with 100 workers, 48,000 a year. Or 1000 workers, 480,000 a year. For a silly process.
Save this money.
Buy Happiness Instead
In the above scenario, do you think this social worker truly enjoys filling out these same bad forms over and over? Do you think they dreamed during college of helping people by hand writing the same information on lots of forms? No. They want to help people, and they need more time to help them. Lets give them more time to do the work they actually want to do, and they will be happier. They will be happier not just because they are doing more of what they love and less of what they dislike, but they will be happier because their managers truly valued them and their time by putting effort into improving their work processes.
Do you think this doesn’t matter? Go ask a social worker what they dislike about their work. They won’t say the people they help, they will say the people they work for and the dumb processes and paperwork.
Lets make them happier.
Give clients Excellence
Do clients of non-profits and ministries love lower quality, less functional products and bad service? No. Duh.
We are the same people that analyze differences in our toilet paper to make sure our backends are not subjected to the slightest discomfort. People interacting with non-profits or social-work organizations often have no other choice or are committed for one reason or another. Does this mean we should do only what is necessary according to our business rules or state laws? What if we actually tried to give them excellent service all the way through the experience by communicating effectively, and quickly. By giving them relevant and timely information. By guiding them to resources. And what if by doing all this the job of the employee was actually made easier instead of harder because clients were happier. Some simple processes and tools could enable all of this. These tools could do a better job of ensuring that laws and regulations were met while also doing a better job of actually giving information in a way that was helpful. Clients would be delighted. They would tell their friends and family, post it on Facebook and maybe even desire to help out themselves in the future because their experience with the organization was so, well…organized.
This could happen.
Sure organizations can hire expensive consultants and have them spend 3-6 months analyzing the whole business, only to write a long boring document outlining how to fix things. Then they have a meeting, nobody reads it and its never heard about again.
Or they could hire a good developer. They could actually take a week to sit down and analyze their processes and talk through ways to improve. They could set clear goals and priorities and then unleash the developer to meet the goals. The top of the organization would support it and make it a point to follow up personally. The management would value the advancements, get excited and encourage the workers to be excited too. Everyone could be in it together.
This isn’t cheap. A good developer should cost you a lot! They probably will run you the equivalent of three or four workers, but every single project they do for you would save you money, make your workers and clients happier and give management clearer results to track. They would easily pay for themselves in almost any organization within a year. And your organization would be better, more efficient, happier and provide services with excellence.
It’s all possible now.
Stop wasting money, hire a developer.