Case Study: World Learning
HOW IT WORKSWhat would seem to be a simple, straightforward operation—receiving a directed donation, grant, or major gift and recording it in World Learning’s books—can actually be a deceptively complex and fluid process. The giver may want different amounts allocated to different funds and, then, may ultimately give an amount that is different than the amount pledged. The gift may be made in one or multiple payments. The giver may also want to change the amounts and numbers of programs to which the funds are to be directed. To accommodate this level of complexity and changeability, Venn created a robust solution that continually watches for and accurately tracks all such changes. It reallocates and self-verifies on the fly—backing dollars out and syncing them back in where they belong to end the nightmare of multiple, error-prone manual operations.
RESULTS80-hours-a-week of manual data entry, gone. Accurate, quality information. Spotless reconciliations.
KUDOS“Every minute saved is time we can now spend advancing the organization’s mission.” — Mersea Boku
Venn’s process expertise helps World Learning bring four departments together to collaborate on an effective Salesforce + Intacct solution that benefits one and all.
World Learning simply wanted to replace their dinosaur-of-a-system with an integration based on today’s best-of-breed CRM and financial solutions. They simply didn’t have the capacity to handle a Salesforce + Intacct integration internally, but clearly saw that it was time to automate the process to avoid endless reconciliations and errors. Then a VAR told them about Venn.
With more than $4 million dollars raised in their last fiscal year across 2,700 donations, the sheer number of changes that spanned pledges, donations, and charitable grants was virtually impossible to accurately track and represent appropriately in the accounting books.
Initially, the project with Venn was anticipated to be a simple two-month engagement with IT and Accounting involved. But as the World Learning accounting team began asking: “can you do this, too?”, the scope of work was revised upward four times as Philanthropy team was brought into the mix to have their needs represented.
“Venn came up with strategies that had all three departments liking and respecting them and accepting their suggested compromises,” said Konstantin (Kote) Lomidze, World Learning’s CFAO and SVP of Finance. “We had had the exact same process discussions internally and with other potential vendors without success. But, when we were introduced to Venn, we found pros who could fully understand our complex business processes as well as the technical side.”
Before Venn built out World Learning’s custom integration, the Accounting Team was spending 80-hour weeks trying to log donations manually and keep track of last-second changes that could have major impacts on whether pledges were correctly recorded in the books.
After Venn built out the custom integration, syncing the entire fiscal year’s donations over to Intacct took less than two days across a multi-day, phased launch. Not only did the Accounting Team get to sleep during their audit period, but they were also able to spend more time refining their processes and preparing for the next fiscal year.
According to Mersea Boku, Controller at World Learning: “Venn’s integration has transformed the efficiency, accuracy, and quality of the information we use. The data is clean, reconciliations are easy now, and we’ve saved hours in data entry. We also expect our 990 tax reporting to go much more smoothly.”
Venn is pleased to have played some small role in helping World Learning carry on its vision: “to build a more peaceful, sustainable, and just world.” The organization was founded in 1932 as an “Experiment” was the inspiration and model for John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps. Today, it offers programs on six of the world’s seven continents.
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