Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clear Sight Compliance and The Zonta Club of Cincinnati

Clear Sight Compliance offers platform agnostic consulting and services to establish, enhance, support and monitor corporate compliance programs. Clear Sight Compliance team members have skills in document management, database, business analytics and business intelligence aligning with select partners that offer compliance oriented solutions.

The Zonta Club of Cincinnati has been in existence since 1935 with just under 50 members and supports local causes as well as those from Zonta International. As a service organization, a key challenge is raising funds needed to support their local causes and strive to build a stronger community by improving women's literacy, financial independence, and health.

The Zonta Club of Cincinnati needed a way to improve communication within it's board, foster committee collaboration, and relay important information to club members and Zonta International affiliated groups. Relying on personal and work email accounts proved burdensome for the leaders, hindered collaboration and slowed down communications. Laura Delaney, the club webmaster, was also overburdened with a continuous stream of new press releases, calendar updates, and other fresh content that required publishing.

Enters Clear Sight Compliance (CSC). CSC was engaged by the Zonta Club of Cincinnati and immediately conducted an initial cost study and functional needs comparison which favored the adoption of Google Apps. After seeing a demonstration of the platform, the Zonta Cincinnati webmaster immediately presented the Board of Directors with a summary and a recommendation to engage CSC to move forward with the implementation of the Google Apps. Clear Sight Compliance was quickly able to distribute and federate content creation for the public website and provide the board, subcommittees, and members with powerful collaboration tools to enhance operations, transparency, and efficiencies.

The Zonta Club of Cincinnati had been paying an annual fee for a static website with all content updates resting on the webmaster's shoulders. There was no means by which the board of members could collaborate directly, nor a shared calendar funtion which was important for keeping this disparate group and their schedules coordinated. CSC conducted a cost and function point review to assess appropriateness and ROI.

After project approval, Clear Sight provided implementation services for the 50 member organization, along with web design expertise, integration between Google Apps components and its public web site followed by training services for select "power users". Leading "by example," is President Ellen Spaeth's philosophy with other members to be trained next.

The Zonta Club of Cincinnati was able to provide each member a email, shared calendaring, online chat, an ability to create and collaborate on documents, and more. There is a master events calendar the president is maintaining that is reflected on the public website with much richer detail as a result of Google's standard calendar functionality. The club marketing director is able to create draft press releases, then solicit input and pictures from team members without the confusing exchange of multiple emails with attachments. In addition, the press release housed on Google Docs is distributed to the list of normal press community as before, then quickly available on the public website with the simple creation of a URL link.

Essentially, Zonta Club of Cincinnati was able to dramatically increase its ability to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate its fund raising and project efforts at one-quarter the cost it was costing for a static website alone..... a big win for any nonprofit!

“Our members needed a better means by which to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and share information,” stated Zonta Club of Cincinnati president Ellen Spaeth. “I was ecstatic about an option [Google Apps] that lets us both revamp our public web site AND and improve collaboration for members."