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Family Giving Tree
Family Giving Tree was stuck with a difficult problem.
No stranger to logistical decision-making, this 23-year-old nonprofit was more than capable of mobilizing an amazing 7,000 volunteers to sort and distribute donated school supplies to as many as 67,000 needy children each year. However, there was one complex task the organization was unable to fix alone.
Every year the Family Giving Tree needed warehouse space from mid-November to early January and again from late July to early September. The organization couldn’t decide: Would it be better off continuing to rent temporary warehouse space as needed, or rent a warehouse annually instead? Or should it launch an appeal for donation of a permanent warehouse? Then again, perhaps sharing warehouse space with another organization was a better alternative?
To help untangle the logistical knot, Family Giving Tree welcomed a pro bono team of four HP Finance employees. “They are four of the brightest people I’ve ever met,” said Jennifer Cullenbine, executive director of Family Giving Tree.
Right away, the team located a warehouse for the coming year. “Now we don’t have to spend two months looking for one,” said Cullenbine.
Then the team spent several months searching for a solution that would enable Family Giving Tree to serve many more children in the future. It undertook a full feasibility study, worked to understand the organization’s warehousing needs and processes, analyzed cost limitations and cost efficiencies, and conducted several scenario analyses.
The study completed, the team recommended that Family Giving Tree continue to seek temporary warehousing each year. Even though the best option turned out to be maintaining the status quo, the HP team gave Family Giving Tree something incredibly valuable: the confidence to move ahead knowing it made the right decision.
The volunteers were rewarded, too. Philip Vidal, a financial analyst at HP and the project’s director, said it allowed him to expand his network both within and outside HP. "My involvement with this project has added true value to my day-to-day life. When I go home, it gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing I’ve been able to give back to the community I live and work in.”
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