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Office Prodigy eliminates nonprofit back-office chaos

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WATERVILLE - Executive Directors Tom Davis and Frank Knott are pleased to announce the launch of Office Prodigy, a nonprofit company created by nonprofit experts that streamlines nonprofit back-office operations. Office Prodigy offers concierge-style coaching and tools to meet administrative, technical and compliance challenges, enabling smaller, mission-driven organizations to focus on doing more good in an era of diminishing resources. Unique to the nonprofit arena, Office Prodigy combines customized consulting with systems tools to help agencies understand their own challenges and create their own systems to address compliance, accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, IT, case management and a host of operational issues. More staff time can then be devoted to mission-focused work.

'In small nonprofits, it's almost the norm for leaders to be fixing what's broken in the office day to day rather than leading people to make change for their clients and communities,' said Tom Davis, executive director of Office Prodigy. 'With Office Prodigy, organizations have expert, hands-on guidance to find the right solutions to ongoing challenges so that all staff can do the jobs they were hired to do.'

The launch of Office Prodigy follows more than a year of piloting with 10 organizations of various size. Dedicated coaches and IT experts help organizations identify how back-end operations can be improved and streamlined to efficiently support staff as opposed to consuming executive attention or, in the worst case scenario, create compliance risks. Their goal is to help clients learn how to create their own systems and address challenges through a systems approach that makes sense for them. Only then do they discuss any additional IT tools.

Office Prodigy coaches are experienced nonprofit operations executives who begin every prospective client relationship with a complementary '360 degree' organizational status review. In initial meetings, consultants listen carefully to an executive director's 'pain points' and determine whether Office Prodigy is a solution. If an organization's need are very specific and outside the scope of Office Prodigy, the consultants will make another appropriate recommendation to address the challenge.

Megan Gendreau, executive director of St. John Valley Associates, a nonprofit serving adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities and autism in Madawaska, Maine, had little time to actually lead her organization. 'Personally, I was spending countless hours on IT. I was fixing computers or looking for new software that was affordable and user friendly. I was the head of IT more than the executive director of the agency. When there wasn't an IT issue, I was the head of payroll and time sheets,' she recalled. Working with Office Prodigy coaches, SJVA fixed computers and upgraded to useable software, improved and systemized time tracking and payroll and implemented objective documentation to support client goals. Office Prodigy helped SJVA prioritize needs and risks and find solutions that worked for the staff and that will meet needs going forward.

Megan Gendreau contributes to a users' blog which tracks customer challenges and the development of solutions.

Tom Davis and Frank Knott, developers of Office Prodigy, realized through their community volunteer and board service that many small nonprofits spend twice as much of their budgets on back office operations than their larger counterparts, putting them at a major disadvantage when competing for grants and funding. Understanding that most lacked back-office savvy and had limited resources to hire experts, Davis and Knott developed and launched Office Prodigy after conducting interviews with 2,400 nonprofit leaders in Northern New England. Office Prodigy is now at a scale to benefit larger organizations and is available worldwide.

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