“Because all kids deserve to experience a little Christmas magic, and just be kids”

This week ClearPoint along with Tech for Good New Zealand won the ICT-enabled community programme award at the 2020 CIO 50 Awards, recognising leadership in harnessing technology for social good.

The Story:

When Deanne Rawle and Shannon Beech, co -founders of Kids Christmas learnt that kids at Tamaki Primary in Glenn Innes were going to school with no food, no breakfast, no school bags or drink bottles, they wanted to help.

Seeing Christmas as the perfect opportunity they spoke with the school about gifting presents.

The approach was basic – Each child would write a letter to Santa asking for one thing they wanted, and one thing they needed.

 

 

They then gave that letter to a ‘Santa Sponsor’ who would go out and buy for the child – the letters to Santa were asking for every-day basics like clothes, shoes and pillows, as well as a toy each.

Despite the simple approach, behind the scenes Deanne and Shannon were left matching kids and donors on excel spreadsheets, and communicating with them through a mixture of emails, txt messages, facebook messages and phone calls.

It was easy to lose track of who they’d spoken with and when, there were times that they missed messages from sponsors and their biggest fear was that a child would miss out, due to an error on their behalf.

The laborious and manual duty of matching donors and communicating to them through multiple platforms, while working full time jobs also meant that Deanne and Shannon were unable to scale. Helping one school was all they had capacity to do – despite the need, and the desire to do more.

ClearPoint x Tech For Good – The Solution:

After learning about ClearPoint and Tech for Good, Shannon and Deanna presented their Kids Christmas story at one of the first meetups for Tech for Good NZ, at ClearPoint.

They shared what they had been doing over the past few years and explained the manual process they had been using. The desire to help from the Tech for Good community was immediate, with the ClearPoint team setting up a working group.

“ClearPoint has always had a strong value around giving back to the community” says Phil Pietersen, MD of ClearPoint. “We offered resource, catering and a venue for the group to meet at every month. Our team spent time to map out the process and create a visual representation. This work was imperative, to ensure nothing was overlooked.”

ClearPoint began by process mapping the current state to identify all the major issues in the current process.

There were 7 key pain points identified (red star)

These were generating a huge amount of time in handling and communication.

Primarily the issue was the manual processing and management of the letters and present drop offs, as well as a lot of room for human error, which in turn lead to mistakes and confusion to work through.

To solve these issues the Tech for Good working group wanted to build a system that used off the shelf software, talking through off the shelf connectors. This was important because there was no money available for maintenance and support of the final system.

It was also important that the system be easy to use and require little maintenance.

Taking this approach meant that the end product would be:

  • Cost effective both in its use and ability to scale down in the non-usage months
  • The components would be supported, secured and maintained by professional development teams
  • The interfaces would be understood immediately by users including the school
  • Delivered and adapted quickly

Tech Points:

 

According to Mike from All Teams the final result wasn’t ‘particularly complicated’, however it’s been life changing for the Kids Xmas team, and in turn the kids of Tamaki Primary.

Mike adds “the trick was in knowing what tools were available and merging them together.

According to Deanna, ‘this year has been amazing’ and surpassed all expectations.

The tech solution also means that next year, Shannon and Deanna are working towards scaling up and helping another school.

 

 

The Outcome and Metrics

  • The tech solution executed by ClearPoint, All Teams and Tech for Good, enabled Kids Christmas to deliver 240 Christmas presents to kids at Tamaki Primary
  • The time to manage the process was halved
  • They are now in a position to scale up and help a new school based in South Auckland in 2020
  • Sponsors saw great benefit from the new system, with clear communications and faster response times.
  • Teachers and the school principal were blown away by the ease of the new process and generosity of Tech for Good

The key to the success of the ClearPoint, Tech for Good and Kids Christmas working group was a close collaboration and monthly catch ups to ensure the project was tracking in time for its Christmas deadline. The team had clear goals of what needed to be achieved and within what time frame.

Being a charity, there was little to no budget aside from what could be fundraised – this also informed decisions made around tech, opting to use off the shelf software, talking through off the shelf connectors.

The Kids Christmas team were also keen to ensure they could grow (and help more kids), so the solution had to be simple, scalable and again, cost effective. But what is clear is that the right mix of technology solutions and cross-functional expertise has made a huge difference in the delivery of this particular community programs – the future is bright for giving more kids some Christmas magic!

 

 

See how we helped social enterprise Eat my Lunch scale to feed more kiwi kids.

By Amanda Campbell-Teed, Marketing Manager