All-Star Case Studies

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2019 Case Study - Community Partnership of the Ozarks


Location: Springfield, MO 

2018 Revenues: $4.7 million

Employees: 64

The Critical Number™: Unrestricted Revenue

Organization Background

The organization has a mission to facilitate and promote the building of resilient children, healthy families, and strong neighborhoods and communities through collaboration, programming, and resource development.


Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO) is a strengths-based agency that works to include staff at all levels into planning, evaluation, and implementation of projects and programming. But it is also an incredibly diverse and complex organization where much of their revenue is restricted to certain projects. They wanted to find a system that could help connect and engage the entire team in fulfilling their shared mission by finding additional ways to help their community.  


With the help of a 10-week jumpstart program led by coach Katie Davis, CPO looked to The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) starting in 2017 as a natural fit for their organization’s environment as a way to provide the structure to help them create an empowered team through budget transparency. “Our mission speaks of collaboration,” says Dankert, “and our goal in playing GGOB was to increase this collaboration internally through creating more opportunities to collaborate with those we don’t work with daily.”


As a result of playing Great Game™, there is a more in-depth knowledge among the team of the impact of contributions on CPO’s core budget and how that ripple effect impacts individual programs. “We have always been open and honest in our internal interactions,” says Janet Dankert, CPO’s president and CEO. “But GGOB has allowed our entire team to experience the transparency of our operations. We are also starting to talk GGOB in our everyday work as teams, programs, and divisions.  It is a mind shift, but one our team of very creative and principled individuals has embraced. It has also created ONE team working toward an overall goal for the financial health of our agency—we may only be one small piece, but we now see the connection to the entire team.”


“I believe GGOB impacted our organization by teaching us how to increase our transparency and accountability. Through coaching and support, we learned how to tell the story of our financials (core budget) and were able to share that story with all staff and help them understand the importance. Learning about the financial health of our organization and how we can make an individual impact, I believe has led to increased ownership of staff.” ~ Patricia Deck, VP of Community & Neighborhood Development


MiniGame™ Spotlight:

Over the past two years, CPO has conducted seven MiniGames, something Dankert says has had a big impact on the successful adoption of The Game inside the organization. Three of those games focused on the entire organization: “Chip in to Win,” which focused on increasing the number of items donated for their signature fundraiser’s silent auction; “Raffle to Ride,” which focused on increasing ticket sales for their another fundraiser; and “Digging Deep,” which focused on increasing the value of items donated for our signature fundraiser. They also conducted four division-wide MiniGames: “Summer Survival,” which collected summer survival items for the homeless; “Toolbelts Full of Cash,” which aimed at increasing revenue for our Springfield Tool Library; “Making a Splash This Summer,” which focused on increasing attendance at events across five different programs in the division; and “Random Acts of In-Kindness,” the goal of which was to increase in-kind donations compared to the previous year. “In each MiniGame, we met or exceeded our goal!” says Dankert.


“GGOB has made us a more intentional organization. In years past, staff might not have been as ‘bought in’ to the organization as a whole—more focused on program success than the organization.  Now, the success of our core budget translates to success for us all. And personally, I feel like I can contribute in a meaningful way, by cutting costs or by making sure any grants I write have dollars for the core included.”  ~ Dana Carroll, VP of Early Childhood & Family Development


What’s Next?

Dankert says the goal for the next year is to continue to increase the financial literacy of the team through huddles and forecasting. “We tried to do financial literacy training in our staff meetings,” she says, “but we need to be more intentional about holding sessions outside of those meetings.” Because there are more team members than lines in their budget, Dankert also plans to shift line ownership around so that everyone inside the organization can be coached on how their organization is tied together financially. “Another thing we want to do next year is to really drill down into our program budgets,” says Dankert. “While there isn’t a lot of opportunity to change budgets because we are so driven by grants and contracts, it might give us the chance to become more efficient at the programmatic level.”


“The impact of GGOB is the sense of ownership I have for making sure we hit our targets in managing expenses and bringing in income. When considering new projects, new programs, or even considering the purchase of office supplies, I stop to consider the following: 1) Is this necessary or will something we already have the resources for work for now? 2) I need this – who can I find willing to pay for it or sponsor it? 3) I can delay the gratification for this program/project/item until funds are available or it is given to me. I feel personally responsible for ensuring my department’s programs are financially sustainable and supported.” ~ Denise Johnson, Director of Financial Stability


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