Winning funding through Outcomes Measurement

November 30, 2016 Blackbaud Pacific

Cystic Fibrosis WA Case Study with Apricot


Cystic Fibrosis Western Australia have grown from their humble beginnings of a parent-founded self-help group, to a $2.2 million charity, dedicated to enhancing the lives of people living with Cystic Fibrosis.

In 2016 they realised that things ‘just weren’t working’ and bravely set about revolutionising their approach to funding.

The Challenge

CWFA faced several internal and external influences, which drove their decision-making.

External challenges

  • The state government’s decision to move from an output-based to an outcomes-based funding model
  • Growing uncertainty about the impact of the NDIS
  • The impacts of a boom bust economy on thesector overall

Internal challenges

  • Administration had become unsustainable
  • Structure and strategy had become misaligned

“There was lots of double handing, analysis of timesheets & allocating people to the different activities.  It just wasn’t working”

The Solution

The first step was accepting that one organisation on its own cannot solve a social issue, but can contribute to the solution.  This realisation enabled CFWA to work collaboratively with the Health Department of WA and create realistic Outcomes measures that aligned with the government’s.

They then set about finding the technology to bring their new Strategic Plan to life.

“We needed a software solution that provided real-time reporting, accountability, transparency, an audit trail…& something that could reduce the administration load”

Their introduction to Apricot case management software was a turning point.

“Within half an hour of seeing Apricot my Services Manager was saying ‘Can we have it?!’…. it really did just answer all of our prayers”

Because of the low entry cost (and associated risk) CFWA were able to trial Apricot as a replacement for their existing manual processes.

Homecare workers were supplied with tablets which meant they could enter timesheets directly into Apricot in the field, in real time and get immediate client authorisation, providing an audit trail and great transparency.

The system also meant they could now segment stakeholders and review donations to inform their communications strategy.

“To suddenly find an off-the-shelf that required so little modification …& was so affordable, meant there was very low risk”

The Results

Despite requiring a huge paradigm shift, the move to Outcomes-Based funding has proved to be an incredibly successful and flexible way for CWFA to access funding.

With instant insight into program Outcomes, they now have the freedom to modify activities if they aren’t having the desired impact, and do more of the things that work well.

And the results speak for themselves.

  • Helped secure $4m Outcomes-based funding contract indexed over 5 years
  • Reduced admin time by at least 25%
  • Eliminated all double (and in some cases triple) handling of paper records
  • Reduced travel expenses (through Google map integration)
  • Reduced costs in terms of postage, stationery and error correction
  • Ability to produce detailed statistical reports in seconds
  • Improved stakeholder engagement
  • Ability to provide the crucial qualitative data to funders (through online surveys & feedback forms)
  • Winner of the 2016 Telstra Business Awards WA

Just 6 months after implementing Apricot, CFWA received a phone call saying that through the reports they’d provided, the Health Department had identified that they were over servicing one client group and needed to negotiate a variation to contract to provide additional funds.

Unsurprisingly, Apricot is now here to stay.

“Apricot is the only software I have ever introduced into an organisation where 6 months down the line, staff are still saying ‘I love this’…& even the health department are now saying they wished they had it!”

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