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Quicker donation processing at Marie Curie

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Results & ROI

  • Total time taken to process a donation has reduced from up to 14 days (usually 7 days) to just 1 day
  • Processing credit card donations has decreased from up to 2 days to a matter of minutes (as the payment will be taken on the call)
  • Reductions in credit card payment processing time has released capacity amounting to 2.6 FTE within the Supporter Relations Team and 2.2 FTE in the Community Fundraising team

The client

Marie Curie (MC) is a national charity that provides end-of-life care and support for people with cancer / terminal illnesses and their families. The charity runs a network of 2,000 MC nurses and 9 MC hospices (providing care to over 38,000 people a year). Having centralised a number of back-office fundraising processes, MC wished to undertake a project to achieve further efficiencies and effectiveness within the Supporter Relations Team.

The challenge

Managers felt that some back office processes had become large and overly-complex. The project’s objective was thus to reduce waste and improve processes for key activities undertaken by the Supporter Relations Team. Diagnostic work identified that income processing was not only the bulk of the work for the team, but was also a process that relied on other teams and the main source of failure demand. Individual items of work or income received were only processed once they had been batched, ultimately causing a delay in processing those transactions and thanking supporters.

The approach

A diagnostic was completed of 3 key areas – income processing, fulfilment (sending items to supporters taking part in events) and analysing demand coming into the team. Due to its multiple points of failure, the project focussed on income processing before looking at fulfilment and demand. After identifying the diagnostic findings, representatives from all teams involved in income processing attended a redesign workshop to collaboratively design an improved process. By generating redesign principles and establishing what supporters value, the team developed fundamental changes to make
the process quicker, simpler and more efficient. Further workshops were used to add detail to the process and clarify other changes, including clarity on roles / responsibilities and the development of tools to be used during the new process.

The benefits

Key outputs were moving from batch processing to single piece flow and having one process for all the different avenues that supporters donate. Transactions being dealt with individually and reduced hand-offs means the probability of errors occurring will significantly reduce. Supporter donations are being more accurately processed, with thank you communications sent out in a more timely manner. For the Supporter Relations Team, they are now providing a higher standard of service to supporters, but doing so with less effort.