July 8, 2019

A Digital Solution to Enable a Digital Workforce: A Case Study With Goodwill Industries International

Goodwill Industries International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports a network of 162 autonomous local Goodwill® social enterprises in the United States and Canada. One way Goodwill Industries International does this is by helping the local Goodwill organizations access funding and other supports through grants and other programs from the federal government, corporations and private foundations; Goodwill Industries International applies for and receives the grants and then subgrants funds to applying local Goodwill organizations.

In the former process, Goodwill Industries International created an RFP in Microsoft Word for each grant opportunity and distributed it via email. The team would replicate that doc into a basic online form where local organizations could input their responses to each question. The process was cumbersome and time consuming, and applicants routinely complained that the forms were temperamental. Since they weren’t able to save, an errant click could require someone to restart the process. The review process was also complicated as the team would have to export responses into an Excel document, sort and break down the data into tabs, redact information reviewers should not see, and then tally the responses.

“Our reviewers score grant applications on top of their core work; when the process is clunky, they don’t have time to participate in reviews,” explained Rachel D. Stalcup, National Resource Development Manager. “When we engaged WizeHive, everything changed.”

After receiving a large grant from a major tech company with a quick timeline, Stalcup and her team moved to streamline the process. WizeHive worked with Goodwill Industries International to quickly configure their grants management platform, focusing on ensuring applicants could easily apply and reviewers could quickly see, score and award subgranted funds. To further accelerate their schedule, Stalcup organized a “scoring hackathon;” all reviewers met in a conference room for a marathon review session on the brand new WizeHive platform.

“I made a 7-minute training video that reviewers watched,” said Stalcup. “Training used to take at least an hour. After watching the video, the reviewers simply logged in and began scoring. They reported that it was far easier.” Preparing to review was so efficient that reviewers scored 43 applications, with two reviews per application, in one afternoon. Stalcup estimates that overall the new platform provided a 25% reduction in time spent by reviewers along with a 50% reduction in time spent by administrators. “Without WizeHive, we couldn’t have done this,” she said. “Being able to review and immediately analyze scores was amazing. I was able to support my reviewers effectively and keep the funder happy.”

Goodwill Industries International’s satisfaction with the platform continues. “I really enjoy having an affordable one-stop shop for all my grants information,” said Stalcup. “The history is available in one place. I have the ability to hide fields and customize what reviewers see. I like knowing WizeHive has everything we need, and they are keeping the system up-to-date.”


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