Purpose Beyond Profit (PBP) is an initiative launched in 2018, to support organizations that provide essential resources to our community. Each year, The Poirier Group (TPG) dedicates a portion of consultant hours to provide in-kind consulting services to a select number of not-for-profit and charitable organizations in our community. This initiative enables us to better support our community by providing organizations the services they need but often don’t have access to. As we improve the effectiveness and strategic decision making of not-for-profit and charitable organizations, we redirect a greater percentage of their annual donations from administrative and overhead costs to the actual causes they serve. This creates long-term value for their company and all the people they serve that far exceeds the amount of billable hours donated.
After being introduced in 2018, it was eagerly adopted by the rest of the team. Our consultants take pride in establishing meaningful relationships with the wonderful people who run these organizations in our community and utilizing their specialized skill sets to create value. We are now able to better support vulnerable and marginalized groups in our community by leveraging our business and operational skills sets to help the organizations they rely on to reduce waste and save time and money.
Each year, an employee-based committee selects organizations that make a difference in our community and that our employees care about. In 2020 and 2021, we increased our PBP efforts because many not-for-profit and charitable organizations are facing fundraising shortfalls. In the past year, our team has continued to provide a variety of in-kind services for not-for-profit and charitable organizations to support vulnerable populations and give back to our community.
Challenge: Long lead times to pair mentors and mentees
Solution: Work Process Improvements and Technology Enablement Tools
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) aims to build thriving communities by empowering young lives through mentorship. BBBST provides individual and group mentorship programs that provide youth the opportunity to learn and grow with the support of a mentor. TPG worked in collaboration with BBBST to help reduce wait times and boost the number of active mentorship pairs. TPG built sustainable tools for BBBST to improve their matching and case support processes.
The first of which was a Matching Tool that automatically finds well-suited mentor and mentees pairs from the applicant pool based on a variety of criteria such as common interests and shared hobbies, age, gender, and proximity.
Secondly, a Mentee Matriculation Tool was created to help identify the right level of case worker support needed per pair and monitor mentee development over time. In addition, TPG performed analytics on mentor and mentee applications by program of interest and location to identify imbalances, and focus recruitment efforts to address them.
Along with this suite of tools, TPG implemented a visual performance management system and weekly huddle process to bring visibility to key metrics and initiatives. This enabled BBBST and TPG to observe the fruits of their labour with noticeable improvements in many KPIs throughout the engagement.
“Working with the Poirier Group has been an amazing experience. They’ve not only helped us to identify areas for process improvement to create capacity and greater efficiencies in our work but also helped us to develop solutions to these issues. They’ve provided structure, guidance, and technical skills and tools that we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to, enabling us achieve our strategic direction and see growth. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and have helped BBBST to modernize our systems to better serve our mentoring matches.” – Caroline Kent – Senior Manager, Community Impact and Strategic Partnerships
Challenge: Redefining Strategic Priorities
Solution: Business Planning & Strategy Development
Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue charity with a dual mission of environmental protection and hunger relief. Through Second Harvest’s direct delivery and online platform, the organization recovers nutritious, unsold food from donors and redistributes it to a broad network of social service organizations in Ontario and British Columbia. TPG conducted strategy training workshops with Second Harvest’s leadership team and developed tools and templates to support business planning and execution.
Challenge: Infrastructure Didn’t Support Growth
Solution: Advisory Services
Youth Without Shelters (YWS) had undergone significant growth over the past five years and in June 2019 launched a 5-year strategic plan, “500 in 5”. This five-year objective is to provide 500 youth a way out of homelessness to stable living within 5 years.
YWS provides safe refuge for youth ages 16-24 who are without a safe home for various circumstances beyond their control. YWS supports youth to build confidence, life skills, and to find long term stable housing and jobs. TPG supported YWS with building more structured HR processes and policies, created roles and responsibilities for the HR role, improved onboarding, and provided YWS with recommendations for suitable HRIS system options that would support the organization’s future growth plans.
This project enhanced their HR capacity and to allow them to work more effectively. The benefits were apparent to not only the management team, but to the agency as a whole. The recommendations will improve the work environment for their dedicated staff team members.
Challenge: Navigating COVID-19 Restrictions
Solution: Process Standardization and IT Enablement
Eva’s Initiatives is a non-for-profit organization that provides shelter, transitional housing, and support/ programming to help homeless and at-risk youth (between the age of 16-24) reach their potential to lead productive, self-sufficient and healthy lives. In the midst of a pandemic, it was crucial for the organization to be able to quickly adapt to new restrictions and limitations while ensuring the daily operations of the organization aren’t negatively impacted. There was a need for the organization to transition from paper-based processes to standardized processes in an online setting.
TPG helped Eva’s Initiative standardize processes to improve daily operations and transition to a cloud-based storage solution in order to reduce bottlenecks and duplicate work efforts. This change also allowed better collaboration and communication within the organization while being connected in an online setting.
Challenge: Rising Cost of Real Estate Adding Pressure to Affordable Housing
Solution: Flexible service Model
Habitat for Humanity GTA (Habitat GTA) has built homes for working, lower-income families for over 30 years as one of the larger housing providers in the GTA. Within the last few years, the rising cost of real estate has added pressure to providing affordable housing and service to their customers. The pressure was felt in rising income level acceptance of customers and the lack of long-term affordability in the homes. In response, TPG assisted Habitat GTA with conducting a full review of the current housing model and identifying possible options to better serve families, while ensuring long term affordability of their communities.
TPG found that the needs of both families and the community were varied across the GTA, and that a singular model would not effectively serve the families and the community as well as a suite of customized models would. Out of this review, Habitat GTA and TPG have developed tools and processes for the Habitat GTA management team to use to assist in selecting the optimal housing model that serves the needs of the customer and the community best.
“Working with your team was a great experience and I was blown away by how much time and thought leadership was dedicated to our project… Thank you for helping us answer these organizational questions, it will allow us to focus less on how we need to move forward and instead focus on helping more families into affordable home ownership.”
TPG is currently looking for candidates for our 2022 Purpose Beyond Profit initiatives. If you are a not-for-profit/charitable organization who is interested in our in-kind services, please apply online below.