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Game-changing technology helps New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association reach more riders and change more lives

NZ Riding for the Disabled Association

“This is a game changer for us. What started out as a search for a data repository has turned into the heart of our organisation where we can track and monitor everything that we do. We can now focus on telling our story through data, gathered in real time, for the benefit of disabled people, saving time on outdated, unnecessary manual processes that we no longer need.”  

Jill Laplanche, CE, NZ Riding for the Disabled Association

THE SITUATION

About NZ Riding for the Disabled

NZ Riding for the Disabled (NZRDA) is a registered charity made up of 54 affiliated Riding for the Disabled (RDA) groups located across New Zealand. Working with more than 3,000 Kiwis every year, RDA provides specialised therapeutic goal-based riding activities that increase the ability, strength and confidence of people with physical, intellectual, emotional and social challenges.

RDA relies on donations and volunteers to provide safe and effective goal-based riding activities for children and adults with a disability.

With an overarching goal to reach more riders and change more lives, NZRDA is driven to raise awareness of NZRDA and its important work, to build engagement and to continue to develop its fundraising capability to ensure a strong future for the organisation and riders across the country.

 

THE CHALLENGE

NZRDA sets the standards, certification and learning for the 54 individually operated RDAs nationally and provides support to these RDAs either face to face or through telephone and email. Until late 2019, RDA had no visibility of interactions between head office and the RDAs, and no ability to report on the volume or category of issues, which meant there was also no way to see where staff were spending their time.

NZRDA CE, Jill Laplanche explains, “As a not-for-profit group, we had under-invested in systems forever. We didn’t have any useful data, nor did we have any consistency in our ways of working. Operating 55 sites across New Zealand including the national office, we have really specific and unique operations with multiple layers of information.

“We thought starting with a blank page should have been easy and we expected to be able to ‘buy’ a system that would give us what we needed. The biggest problem was that we didn’t know what we needed, or what would work – and that’s where Davanti came in.”

 

THE SOLUTION

The first implementation phase of a Salesforce solution for RDA began in November 2019, with a focus on collecting relevant donation, stakeholder and case information in one system to provide NZRDA with a single source of truth.

Fast-forward to early March 2020, shortly before New Zealand moved swiftly to Alert Level Four, NZRDA and Davanti agreed plans to embark on the next phase in the customer engagement project, expanding core functionality with further automation, tracking of riders and RDA profiles, with future plans to allow RDAs nationally to self-manage their data.

Timing was everything, Jill explains. “We were fortunate to have the first phase implemented before lockdown. If we hadn’t, we would have been forced into closure. There would have been no remote working for NZRDA, as we had nothing to work on remotely. With the solution Davanti delivered, we not only kept all staff fully engaged and working remotely during lockdown; we also increased our outputs to our member groups and have a huge amount of evidence to demonstrate our achievements throughout that period.”

 

THE JOURNEY

During the lockdown period, an agile approach allowed NZRDA and Davanti to move at pace, working in one-week sprints across the seven-week project, focused on the most valuable items, and constantly reviewing progress against NZRDA’s priorities.

Jill says, “Davanti took the time to scope out what our biggest needs were. It was an enlightening process, as the things that we wanted most weren’t really the things we thought we needed. The process was guided by defining the outcomes we wanted, rather than the processes we were following. Our priorities changed. This scoping was critical to the success of the project.”

The value of a configuration-only approach was clear, Jill says, helping NZRDA “cut down on so many unnecessary steps and save a lot of time.”

The project was also a journey and a learning curve for everyone involved. Throughout the delivery phase, Davanti trained and empowered NZRDA project members so they could confidently take over the solution that was delivered. At the same time, Davanti team members, specifically a grad and intern, had a huge learning opportunity and progressed tremendously during the seven-week project.

 

THE RESULT

The result, Jill says, is a system that “is so much more useful and fit-for-purpose than we could have ever imagined. This unique solution will guide the way we work for many years. We are now able to focus on telling our story through data, gathered in real time for the benefit of disabled people, using the time saved on outdated, unnecessary manual processes that we no longer need.”

“We genuinely can’t imagine life now without this technology in place. Without it we simply couldn’t have made the huge strides that we have – and not to mention in such a short space of time and in such unusual circumstances, where we were fortunate to not just survive but to shine. Ultimately, this solution makes the services we provide significantly better for our riders.”

For more information about NZ Riding for the Disabled, please visit: www.rda.org.nz

 

THE TECHNOLOGY
    •  Salesforce Not for Profit Success Pack (NPSP), expanded with:
      • Custom fields
      • Custom objects
      • Process builders
      • Flows
      • Layouts
      • Reports
      • Dashboards
    • We used to Jira to guide us through the different Sprints and consolidate requirements in a backlog

 

“This is a game changer for us. What started out as a search for a data repository has turned into the heart of our organisation where we can track and monitor everything that we do.

We can now focus on telling our story through data, gathered in real time, for the benefit of disabled people, saving time on outdated, unnecessary manual processes that we no longer need.”  

Jill Laplanche, CE, NZ Riding for the Disabled Association

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