Real World Examples of Proven BPM Success:

An Ultimus Customer Success Story

Compassion International Provides Greater Focus on Helping Children in Need After Automating Sponsorship Process

Background

compassion

Client: Compassion International
Industry: Non-Profit
Solution: Charity Sponsorship Process

When Compassion International, a Christian charity, realized it could support the sponsorship of more children by refining its current processes, it turned to Ultimus for a life-changing solution.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty for More Than 1 Million Children

Compassion International came from modest beginnings in 1952 when a man named Rev Everett Swanson felt compelled to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean War. Today Compassion helps more than 1 million children in 26 countries across the globe based on the original vision of Swanson.  Headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO, Compassion is a child development organization that works through local churches in impoverished countries to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty.

Giving Children Hope for the Future

The hallmark of Compassion’s work is one-to-one child sponsorship, with an inside-out, bottom-up approach that recognizes the potential of each individual. Their network spans four main regions of the world – Asia, Africa, Middle America, and South America – and each country office is staffed by  local residents who handle the daily operations for that location.  Compassion believes that changed circumstances rarely change people’s lives, but changed people inevitably change their circumstances.

Increasing Sponsorship Through More Efficient Processes

A Compassion sponsor is someone who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. Through sponsorship, children are able to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits that range from educational opportunities to health care. Each child has one sponsor who contributes $38 a month and communicates through prayers, photos, and letters to help form a special relationship with the child. This relationship is instrumental in the child’s growth and development and provides children with the message that they matter, that they are valuable and that someone outside of their family cares about them and their future.

More than 700,000 generous people across the world are sponsoring children through Compassion International. This is a staggering amount of sponsor information to maintain, service, and keep updated. On an average day, Compassion receives over 1,600 requests into their website.  These requests range from setting up new sponsors, changing credit card information or addresses for existing sponsors, and general inquiries about the program.

The majority of the requests are processed in a matter of minutes, often by the sponsor themselves through a private login and require no further action by the Compassion servicing team.  However, anywhere from 600-800 requests per day must be handled on an exception basis, a statistic that was growing and having a tremendous impact on the productivity of the Compassion servicing team.

Request Types Causing Majority of Exceptions:

  1. Delayed or lost sponsor emails. Email messages are received via the website and were not making it to the children in a timely manner, if at all. The children come to rely on the communication and words of encouragement from their sponsors and are greatly disappointed when an expected message does not arrive.
  2. New/changing payment instructions.  Any request related to payment processing, whether it be a change in credit card information or new donation information, must be handled through a Compassion servicing representative.
  3. Reconciled constituents. Sponsors have the ability to access their profile online and make updates as needed, such as a change in email address or telephone number. If this change is made and conflicts with other information already stored in the database, an exception is created and must be investigated.
  4. Profile updates. When sponsors experience difficulty while attempting to change their profile information, they must be referred to a Compassion service representative.
  5. Orders placed through online store. Compassion maintains an online store for individuals to purchase items such as t-shirts, bookmarks, and bumper stickers to show their support of Compassion. Any problems with online orders are put into the exception queue.

Compassion and Ultimus Team Up to Make a Difference

The good news was that Compassion was seeing steady growth in their sponsor base; the bad news was the subsequent increase in exceptions.  With such a large number of charitable organizations vying for a limited amount of dollars, Compassion soon realized they would need a better way to handle exceptions or risk losing potential sponsors.  The decision was made to work with Ultimus due to its flexible nature and ability to easily integrate with other Compassion databases.  Currently 40 Compassion service representatives use the Ultimus process improvement platform and find that the system is easy to work with and simplifies their daily activities.  

By utilizing Ultimus for exception handling, Compassion has been able to improve the quality of sponsor relationships by having the tools to respond and resolve exceptions in a timely manner.  Issues that in the past took days to resolve now often take just a matter of minutes.  This not only creates more positive feelings about Compassion, but also eases the burden of the Compassion servicing team and frees up their time to process more donations.  What this means for the 1 million children that are helped by Compassion is the chance to change their lives positively from an organization they can count on.

Future Plans

Compassion International has plans to extend Ultimus into many other operations, including integrating with SharePoint, migrating ESB, and new employee on-boarding.  The continued support they receive from Ultimus allows their business to operate smoothly and efficiently, which is critical when there are children waiting on the other end for food, educational support, and words of encouragement.  Ultimus is proud to be an integral part of Compassion’s vendor network and continues to look for ways to help Compassion grow their programs across the world.

About Ultimus

Ultimus has automated more key processes than any other Business Process Management (BPM) vendor worldwide, allowing companies to dedicate more time to their business and customers. Ultimus’ Process Automation Suite provides a flexible solution that connects technology systems, enabling data sharing and enhanced visibility across an organization.

Utilized by more than 2,000 customers across the globe, Ultimus accelerates the performance of organizations such as Compassion International, Chevron, Tulane University, Sony, Pfizer, Charles Schwab, Frito Lay and AT&T. The company is headquartered in North America, and has additional offices in Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

About Compassion International

Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1 million children - pre-natal through higher education - in 26 of the world’s poorest countries.

Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works holistically through local churches to address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children, enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating - four stars - for eight consecutive years. For more information or to sponsor a child, visit www.compassion.com.

 

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Challenges

  • Changes in donor information required intensive manual input.
  • Lengthy processing caused delays in cash and information flow.
  • Messages from sponsors to children were being delayed.

Solutions

  • Identify key incidents responsible for exceptions.
  • Build standardized processes and automate information flow.
  • Gain visibility into processes with the ability to track progress.

Successes

  • More efficient processing of donations, messages and payments.
  • Ability to provide a greater focus on helping children in need.
  • Enhanced service to sponsors.

Benefits Using Ultimus

  • Increased efficiency and standardization.
  • By focusing on the five exceptions causing the greatest amount of pain, Compassion gained the greatest return on their process improvement efforts.
  • Compassion servicing unit has the tools to perform their work effectively, efficiently, and devote more time to gaining new sponsorship.
  • Improved relationships with sponsors – in these economic times, this is a key differentiator with so many charities in need of support.
  • Messages to children arrive without interruption, giving them the needed sense of security that someone cares.

 

“With Ultimus, exceptions are resolved in MINUTES instead of DAYS!”