G.A.I.N. – powered by Lowe’s
As part of the inaugural G.A.I.N. cohort, JazzArts Charlotte has completed their first phase in Apparo’s 2-year nonprofit accelerator: a technology assessment and plan.
As a result of this Community Impact Project, JazzArts Charlotte is expected to improve their financial position, enabling them to broaden their reach, bringing the positive impact of music into more lives. The jazz patron who has not been able to enjoy jazz performances via livestream because of technical hurdles, will have her choice of in-person outdoor options JazzArts hopes to launch this spring and summer. She’ll have the joy and mental-health boosting impact of music back in her life.
JazzArts Charlotte’s mission is to connect the cultural community and develop an audience for jazz through quality education, performance and musician support. As the first phase in their G.A.I.N. journey, they were matched to a corporate volunteer team from CapTech, who conducted their tech assessment and provided a plan with recommendations for improvement. Jonathan Philips served as an Epic Change Agent, the volunteer facilitator of this project. The G.A.I.N. program is generously sponsored by Lowe’s and EY. See PDF of Project Snapshot.
The JazzArts G.A.I.N. Community Impact Project, tech plan team.We checked in with Ron Baldwin (CFO of JazzArts) and Lonnie Davis (President and CEO) to learn about the start of their G.A.I.N. experience and the anticipated impact of this specific project on their organization. Ron shared that he is “ecstatic to be part of this G.A.I.N. cohort and enthusiastic about the journey ahead. We’ve been so focused on client service that we haven’t had the time to plan for our use of technology. Our hope is to be able to step back and focus on technology planning, efficiency in terms of both operations and expenses.” Lonnie adds, “We’re so excited to be part of this G.A.I.N. cohort and honored that we were selected to receive such a big benefit. The G.A.I.N. program will be a game-changer for us. I believe it will make a significant impact on our organization and the community. The more efficient we are as an organization, the more time we’ll have to focus on our stakeholders.”
He continues, “I know we could be more efficient if we were able to improve our internal communications and data sharing processes, which hinder us at times especially since we have had to go remote. There are times when we need some information and it’s on someone’s hard drive or their own Dropbox. When we can’t access what we need in a timely fashion, it makes it taxing and stressful for us to do our work.” He is optimistic that fully realizing the functionality of Microsoft 365 and documenting file sharing and communications protocols will minimize these problems.
New protocols will not only free valuable time to focus on mission delivery, but also improve employee morale and risk.
Through implementation of key tech plan recommendations such as using their CRM to replace spreadsheets and consistent file sharing, Ron’s goal is a 10% time savings for staff. He shares, “When we have our new protocols in place, and every trained and following them, our stress will be reduced and we’ll be better at getting our jobs done. New employees will have a much smoother onboarding experience.”
New security protocols for laptop use, backup and more will help ensure the safety of their data.
JazzArts anticipates an improved financial position through improved marketing and fundraising and decreased expenses.
JazzArts earned revenue model is dependent on successful marketing of their performance and classes. Currently, their marketing team is slowed down by delayed access to photos and graphic files and often finds themselves unable to launch campaigns in a timely fashion. With improved access to the files they need, marketing efforts will launch with more optimal timing, attracting more participants and resulting in higher ticket sales and tuition revenue. Ron shared a specific goal of doubling summer camp enrollment, from 50 to 100 students once they are able to operate as normal. Other programs should be on track to return to pre-COVID annual growth rates approximately 10%.
Fundraising is anticipated to improve through better processes and more time to focus on donors. By leveraging JazzArts’ CRM more effectively, the organization will help improve their Constant Contact fundraising marketing efforts and ability to gather data needed for grants.
They will save $2,500+ a year by eliminating duplicate services such as Dropbox and Basecamp.
Leveraging these benefits, JazzArts expects to expand their reach, thus furthering their ability to fulfill their mission of enriching lives with music.
JazzArts is exploring:
- New outdoor performances will allow them to be responsive to the needs of older adults who are not interested in live streaming.
- Launching of mobile JazzMobile and other outreach programming will allow them serve communities lacking arts programming.
- Bolstered fundraising allows for more funds in the scholarship pool, open the door to more individuals in their programs.
As the project wrapped up, all participants share their appreciation for each other.
Lonnie – “I want to thank all of the volunteers who have supported us in the G.A.I.N. Program. I appreciate the time and attention that they put into helping JazzArts Charlotte, completely pro bono. The value to us is priceless. It’s going to go a long way in helping us move forward.”
Rocco Esposito, Jr. (CapTech) – “JazzArts was incredible to work with and that speaks to the caliber of the leadership in the organization. They care not only about their patrons but about their staff and mission as whole. Volunteering through Apparo is great opportunity to do work that’s really meaningful and helps the community. My knowledge of the community has been broadening and I got to flex technology and project management skills that I don’t always get to at work. I was able to get a full 360 degree view of the project from start to finish and that was very valuable experience.”
Halle Bryan (CapTech) – “This was my first Apparo project and I was so impressed by how organized it was, from setting the scope to kicking us off and throughout. Everyone was very dedicated, committed and bought in. That’s what led to our success. It was a joy and I’m grateful to have gotten to be part of this team.”
Jonathan Philips (Epic Change Agent) – “This is one of the smoothest projects I’ve worked on because of the focus, dedication and commitment from both CapTech and JazzArts. It’s been awesome hearing about how big of an impact it’s going to make. I really enjoyed it.”