Feasibility_Study__Handed_In_Version_ by arvinross

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									The Caribbean Children Foundation
                                   A Feasibility Study

Group 22: Arvin Ross,   David Vuong, Jordan Whyte,   Lee Liu,    Vatché Otajian, William Steed
Course: ITM 800           Professor: Dr. Jim Tam                Date Submitted: March 31, 2006
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                        ITM800 - Group 22

Table of Contents

Executive Summary                                                                      iv

Acknowledgements                                                                        v

1.    Objectives and Background of Study                                                1
     1.1    Introd ucti o n a nd P urpo se o f Fea sibi lit y S t ud y                  1
     1.2    Industr y a nd Co mpa ny Prof ile                                           1
     1.3    Infor ma tio n S yst e ms Prof ile                                          2
     1.4    Opp ort unit y A nal y sis                                                  3

2.    Feasibility Study Methodology                                                     4
     2.1    Orga ni z atio nal Fa ct ors a t TCCF                                       4
     2.2    Alt ernati ve Me t hod olo gies                                             4
     2.3    App li cati o n o f E UI S                                                  5
     2.4    Limita tio ns of Curre nt St udy                                            7

3.    Analysis of Existing System                                                       8
     3.1    Busi ness Pro ces s a nd Ap pli ca tio n Port fol i o                       8
     3.2    De scr ipti o n o f S upp orti ng S ys te ms                                9
     3.3    As ses s me nt of Curre nt Sy ste ms                                      10

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4. Analysi s and Design of th e New System                                      12
    4.1     Sc ope o f t he New Sy ste m                                       12
    4.2     User F uncti o nal Req uire ments                                  12
    4.3     Busi ness Pro ces s Re des ig n                                    16
    4.4     Infor ma tio n Te c hno log y Alt ernati ve s                      18
    4.5     Infor ma tio n S yst e m Sp ec ifi ca tio ns                       20
    4.6     E val ua tio n Cri teria                                           21
    4.7     Req ues t for I nfor mati o n                                      28

5. Feasi bility Analysi s of Proposed Solutions                                30
    5.1     Ve nd or Pro fil es                                                30
    5.2     Feasi bili ty A na ly sis                                          31
    5.3     Fina nci al Fe asi bili ty A sse ss me nt                          35
    5.4     Ris k A sse ss me nt                                               38

6. Recommendations                                                             40
    6.1     Co mpara ti ve A nal ys is o f V e ndor Sol utio ns                40
    6.2     Rec o mme nde d S ol uti o n                                       41

7. Implementation Plan                                                         42
    7.1     Imple me ntat io n P la n                                          42
    7.2     Pla nni ng                                                         42
    7.3     Insta lla tio n a nd Co nversi o n                                 43
    7.4     Ac ce pta nce Te sti ng                                            44
    7.5     Trai ni ng                                                         45
    7.6     Do c ume nt ati o n                                                45

8. Concluding Remark s                                                         46

9. Refer ences                                                                 47

10. Appendices                                                                 48
    App e ndix A – RFI – Do nat io nSol ut io n                                48

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    App e ndix B – RFI – Gi ft Work s                                    53
    App e ndix C – RFI – I n-Ho use S ol uti o n                         57
    App e ndix D – To Be O ver view Diagra m                             59
    App e ndix E – As Is O ver vie w Diagr a m                           60
    App e ndix F – Lege nd                                               61
    App e ndix G – Fe asi bili ty M atrix                                62
    App e ndix H – TCCF ER D                                             66
    App e ndix I – Fi nanci al Cal c ula tio ns Det ai ls                67
    App e ndix J – Proj ec t Log                                         68
    App e ndix K – RF I Se nt to Ve ndors                                71

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

Executive Summary
         Based on the Ross et. al. (2005) strategic              These categories were each given weights
analysis of The Caribbean Children Foundation           based on their importance in ensuring the success
(TCCF), this feasibility study posed a                  of this project. The financial feasibility category
recommendation based on thorough analyses of the        was given the highest weight followed by
information gathered such as the requirements of        functional feasibility. Since this may be one of the
TCCF and the details of vendor responses. This          first major technological investments of TCCF, it
report targeted the key process of “managing donor      was important to ensure that the system will
relationships” for improvement since it was             provide the capabilities desired without significant
identified as the best candidate for such a task in     cost. This is a function of the potential resistance
the strategic analysis. As a result, the most           to adopting such a technology as well as a function
appropriate solution was a donation database since      of the non-profit nature of the organization.
it was determined that the existing manual                       The recommendation was made for the
processes would not be sufficient to handle the         adoption       of    the       system   offered     by
expected growth of the charity while maintaining        DonationSolution. This system proved to have a
positive relationships with its donors.                 superior offer in the financial and technical
         The end-user information systems (EUIS)        feasibility categories without any compromising
approach to managing this project was adopted.          issues in the remaining criteria. While it may be
This methodology was chosen because its structure       implemented immediately since it is a packaged
helps manage timelines and its                          solution, recommendations were made otherwise to
emphasis on the softer side of                                               ensure satisfactory data integrity
project management (people and                                               and adoption rates.            An
processes) helped to build a                                                 implementation       plan     was
better understanding of the                                                  developed to help TCCF
application         development                                               transition from their existing
process for both parties due to                                               systems to the recommended
the overall lack of experience                                                solution. This plan described
with projects of this nature.                                                  details     such  as    process
Requirements were gathered from a                                              changeover, communications,
combination of interviews, correspondence, and          acceptance testing, and training. The approach
observations. These requirements then formed the        recommended in the implementation plan follows a
basis in developing a request for information (RFI)     phased approach that suggests only incremental
that was sent to five potential vendors. The            change of the existing system to ensure that users
potential for an In-House custom solution was also      will be fully trained before the application is
considered.     Since two vendors replied with          implemented. This was noted to help minimize the
responses that were adequate for a detailed             potential for inconsistent practices. Throughout
analysis, three possibilities were considered, having   this transition process, it was also recommended for
included the In-House solution.                         leaders at TCCF to emphasize the charity’s need
         Numerous criteria that included factors        for this system in order to ensure mutual
such as friendliness of user interface and vendor       understanding and maximize user acceptance.
history were used to analyze the three different                 Although challenges were encountered in
possibilities were set out and fell into five major     this feasibility study, the analyses, evaluations, and
categories:                                             decisions were based on solid information and
         • Organizational Feasibility,                  logical approaches. The authors of this report are
         • Technical Feasibility,                       grateful for the opportunity and time that TCCF has
         • Functional Feasibility,                      provided.
         • Financial Feasibility, and
         • Risk Feasibility.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                               ITM800 - Group 22


The authors of this report would like to thank:

Members of The Caribbean Children Foundation: Jay Brijpaul, Kumar Singh, Teekah Ramnauth,
Roger Hosin, Vidyia Persaud, and Elbert Ross for their time and commitment in building a thorough
understanding of the organization for this study

Dr. Jim Tam for his comments and guidance

Natasha Strantz for her comments and insights

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

1.       Objectives and Background of Study

1.1 Introduction and Purpose of Feasibility Study
         This paper presents a detailed feasibility study regarding the possible
deployment of information technology within The Caribbean Children Foundation,
a registered charitable organization based in the Greater Toronto Area. This study
builds on the findings of the detailed industry, company, and information systems
analysis of TCCF that was completed in November, 2005. The major conclusion
of this initial report was that success in the fundraising industry was determined
by four key success factors:

        •   Excellent relationships with donors
        •   Excellent relationships with volunteers
        •   Efficient use of funds, and
        •   Strong leadership

         Regarding future information systems projects, it was concluded that TCCF should focus on
making improvements to the business processes that develop and maintain excellent donor relationships,
since this success factor was determined to have the largest impact on TCCF’s growth.

         In order to take the investigation further, this paper presents a thorough analysis of the current
state of operations within TCCF, with a focus on how donor relationships are made and developed over
time. With input from key stakeholders in the organization, the functional requirements for the potential
information system were gathered and analyzed, with the resulting specifications sent to vendors from the
industry. The vendor responses were analyzed and compared, and the best solution formed the basis of
the final recommendation. The goal of this study was to determine the most effective way to deploy
information technology, while respecting the unique organizational factors that make TCCF a successful
and growing charity.

        The following section will give a more detailed introduction to TCCF and its current situation,
and outline the specific opportunities being investigated in the study. The report will then present the
methodology used to conduct the study in section two, and continue in section three with a detailed look
at the current state of the processes that support donor relationships. The framework of a proposed IT
solution will be developed in detail in section four. Vendor responses to the proposal are reviewed and
evaluated in section five, with the analysis and recommendations comprising section six. A detailed
implementation plan is presented in section seven, with final conclusions following in section eight.

1.2 Industry and Company Profile
         TCCF is a Canadian-based charitable organization, part of an industry that collected over $6.5
billion in donations in 2003, the most recent year for which data is available (Statistics Canada, CANSIM
II, Table 111-0001). The charitable industry is comprised of many different categories of organizations,
ranging in size from extremely small community organizations that collect several thousand dollars per
year to large national organizations that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. Regardless
of size, all of these organizations share a competitive environment that has several major differences from
that of for-profit companies. First, charities must rely on volunteers for a substantial portion of their total
labour force. While the larger organizations can afford a full-time staff, this is an exception. In the vast
majority of situations volunteers perform all the work in a charity, from the executive leadership all the

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

way down. Second, charities tend to cooperate with organizations that, in the for-profit world, would be
considered direct competitors. This does not mean that there is no competition between charities – there
most certainly is – but the level of direct competition is much lower than that experienced in the corporate
world (Phills, 2005, p. 78). Third, charities must ‘sell’ their service to two groups of customers, both
potential donors and users of the service, each with completely different expectations and needs. This
situation only occurs in a few for-profit industries, most notably in print and broadcast media, but almost
all charities must deal with it. Finally, charities almost completely rely on discretionary income of
donors, which makes retaining donors over time very difficult to achieve. Donors are free to select the
organizations they give to each year, or even whether they choose to give anything at all. This places an
onus on charities to continually attract new donors and retain existing ones by managing donor
relationships, often on a personal level.

         TCCF originated from an initiative to help one child from the Caribbean in 2000. The founders
of TCCF created a mandate to provide medical treatment for ill children from the Caribbean regardless of
race, religion, colour, or creed. TCCF has recently adopted a chapter structure that has seen the
establishment of several chapters in different areas across the Greater Toronto Areas. Each chapter is
accountable to the central organization, led by a board of directors comprised of each chapter leader and
several top managers. Chapters have considerable autonomy and are responsible for planning and
executing their own fundraising events.

        In order to qualify for financial assistance from TCCF, children must meet several criteria:
        • The child must be under the age of 19 years old and reside in the Caribbean
        • The operation needed must not be available in the child’s home country, and
        • The child’s family must not have the means to pay for the operation themselves

         TCCF has a close working relationship with The Hospital for Sick Children (THSC) in Toronto.
The hospital assesses the children that TCCF suggests as well as other children who meet the above
criteria. It conducts the necessary background research to determine which candidates have the most
urgent need for medical assistance (Ross, et. al., 2005, 13).
         TCCF relies on volunteers to provide all of its labour, including all top management and chapter
leaders. Also, TCCF benefits from the tightly-knit Caribbean community, receiving donations-in-kind
from various community-owned businesses in the form of products and services required to execute
fundraising events. These are both important factors in TCCF’s ability to keep administrative costs
extremely low, generally about 3% of total donations. This low overhead is a source of pride for the
organization, and many donors respect the organizations ability to spend 97 cents of each dollar donated
on the children. Considering that the organization has only existed for just over five years, its success has
been remarkable. Since the first child was helped in 2000, they have assisted more than 35 additional
children from across the Caribbean (Ross et. al., 2005, 13).

1.3 Information Systems Profile
         Currently, information technology being used by TCCF is limited to personal computers owned
by the volunteers. A standalone application, ACCPAC accounting software, is used for accounting
purposes. At this point, no electronic donor or member information is stored, and there are no technology-
based information systems in place. Other uses of technology are basic day-to-day necessities such as e-
mail, telephones, fax and word-processing software. The members who make up the organization are
typically not technology-savvy, which will make the introduction of new technology more challenging.
The limited use of technology makes it possible to implement a wide ranges of new systems to assist the
organization in its operations.
         TCCF has several key strengths. Due to its volunteer-based structure, the organization has very
low expenses and is therefore able to make extremely efficient use of the funds it collects. As an ethnic-

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

based organization, TCCF is able to serve a niche market via its close ties with the Caribbean community.
Strong leadership, expertise in event planning and a good working relationship with the Hospital for Sick
Children also help TCCF accomplish what it does.
        Despite TCCF’s many strengths, there are also some areas that can be improved. High volunteer
turnover and the absence of a full-time or paid staff can create gaps in organizational memory when a
valued member leaves the organization. Additionally, TCCF is currently able to communicate with its
supporters via personal interaction; however, this level of attention will not be sustainable as the
organization grows. The lack of technology creates a significant opportunity cost; processes, such as
accounting and the production of tax receipts, are mostly manual and require a substantial amount of
volunteer labour. Furthermore, there is no central repository for donor information and history, which
prevents the organization from developing performance measures that could be used to aid in donor
retention and managing donor relationships.

1.4 Opportunity Analysis
         This study will look at ways that information technology can compliment TCCF’s ability to
create and sustain excellent donor relationships as the organization grows into the future. The processes
involved in maintaining donor relationships have many tasks that are repetitive, labour-intensive, and
taxing on the limited amount of volunteer labour available to TCCF. This strain on volunteer
commitment is felt most at the highest levels of the organization, where volunteers must perform both a
managerial role as well as take on a large share of these time-consuming lower-level tasks. It is hoped
that IT can help alleviate some of this strain through automation. Donor relationship management was
chosen for this study over the other important success factors for several reasons, including:
         Maximum potential for impact on TCCF’s growth. If the system is able to improve donor
retention rates, it could have a significant impact on long-term donation levels
         Ability to realize both short-term (automation) and long-term (data analysis) benefits, which is
fitting with such a major investment
         Technical simplicity. The types of systems envisioned for this business process are those that
require the least amount of technology, which makes them suitable for TCCF’s first major technological
         Financial constraints. It was assumed that the types of systems envisioned for this process were
likely to be cheaper on average than the system concepts for the other processes, fitting well with another
key goal for TCCF in keeping costs down
         Time constraints. Some other processes required systems that had much more abstract purposes,
which would have required much more detailed research, analysis and design than could reasonably have
been done in the three-month window available for this project.

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2.       Feasibility Study Methodology

                     2.1 Organizational Factors at TCCF
                              Studies like this one must be designed to respond to the specific
                     environment of the client organization. Factors such as the client’s values and skill
                      sets, the nature of the problem, and the analysts’ abilities are examples of what can
                      make up this environment.
                                For this study of TCCF, a few outstanding characteristics needed to be
      taken considered in order to determine the project’s methodology:

        •   The client was generally unfamiliar with the properties and impact of technologies,
        •   The project’s tight time constraints (four months from start to finish)
        •   TCCF’s limited financial resources
        •   The analysts did not have significant experience with a project of this nature or scope,
        •   The analysts would not be involved beyond designing the system, and
        •   The analysts had previously produced a strategic analysis report, which made several
            recommendations for the potential use of information technology—forming a starting point
            for this analysis

         The methodology for this project needed to overcome the lack of experience of both the client
and analysts. This can result in the production of poor product documentation, which is a common cause
of project failure. In order to prevent this, the users should be involved more, to continually ensure that
prepared documentation reflects the organization and the actual system requirements (Satzinger, Jackson,
& Burd, 2004). In addition to this, the methodology needed to be able to handle a switch of project
leadership mid-project, from the analysts to the system implementation owner and, possibly, back to
TCCF. While certain methodologies may be stronger in the planning stages, this strength did not play a
significant role since the planning stage had already been completed.

2.2 Alternative Methodologies
      The choice of methodology for this study needed to support several aspects of project
management (Marchewka, 2003):

        •   Integration Management,
        •   Scope Management,
        •   Time Management,
        •   Cost Management, and
        •   Quality Management.

        An appropriate methodology is one that supports the adequate development and effective
execution of the project plan. Project scope is an area that must be guarded carefully to ensure that scope
creep, the late addition of new requirements not in the initial plan, does not occur. To ensure that this
does not happen, the methodology can be formalized, which also helps to contain costs and ensure
consistent quality. Quality management depends greatly on how well the methodology fits with the
organizational environment. A structured methodology can be inappropriate if a situation is of
considerable scale while an iterative approach may not be suitable for projects that resist logical
breakdown. The following presents some examples of different systems development methodologies.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

2.2.1   Systems Development Life-Cycle – Waterfall Method (SDLC)
         In the Waterfall Method, the project is broken down into several logical steps that build upon the
previous one (Satzinger, Jackson, & Burd, 2004). In this approach, an entire phase must be complete
before the next one can begin. This is beneficial in cases where change must be tightly controlled and/or
the project is very large. The system issues must be handled well before development begins, since the
cost of an issue rises as development progresses. Each phase should be complete and perfected before the
project can move forward (Hallows, 2005).
         However, this method requires the analysis and design to have a comprehensive understanding of
the client’s needs, the development costs and challenges, and any external factors that may impact the
system’s development.
         This methodology is strict and formalized, which would help keep the project on time and budget,
however since the requirements were so specific, defining them often required back-and-forth dialogue
between the client and the analysts

2.2.2   Rapid and Joint Application Development (RAD/JAD)
         The rapid application development paradigm involves an iterative approach to application
development (Davis & Yen, 1999). A working ‘prototype’ of the system is developed as soon as possible
based on what is currently known about the system requirements. This prototype is evaluated by the
client and revisions are made based on their feeback (Bennett, McRobb, & Farmer, 2002). This allows
developers to overcome any ambiguous requirements that may arise from discussions with the client. It
also helps to ensure user acceptance since changes can easily be made at any time during the development
process. The process of consistently involving users, analysts, and technical experts in the project is
known as joint application development. This paradigm is very useful when attempting to tackle
ambiguity in a project, such as that experienced with TCCF. Since this was TCCF’s first exposure to this
technology, their primary concern was with the functional requirement. This method also required the
development to be underway immediately after the initial discussions, which does not suit an organization
making an initial use of IT. RAD/JAD would have helped to alleviate the ambiguity of the requirements.
However, this method would not be suitable due to the inability to manage time and scope. Also, it was
difficult to coordinate the meetings with TCCF that are required for this methodology.

2.2.3   End-User Information Systems (EUIS)
         EUIS attempts to balance both the need for a sequential approach that controls project costs with
a client-oriented approach (Regan & O'Connor, 1994). The structure of this development methodology
closely mirrors that of the waterfall method since it also calls for a linear progression. However, this
method greatly involves the end-user. Its goal is to maximize user-acceptance while ensuring adequate
structure in the processes.
         Given the specific ambiguities of the requirements, the EUIS was well suited for the context.
Challenges with timing and information were mitigated with the adoption of this methodology. However,
the risks associated with an inexperienced team still had to be monitored carefully since “the usefulness of
the EUIS project methodology depends on the … previous experiences in managing project” (Regan &
O'Connor, 1994, p. 461). The process-orientated perspective of the EUIS, contrasted with the
application-orientation of RAD/JAD and the waterfall method, proved to be the most appropriate in this
context since the language used would be easier for TCCF members to understand.

2.3 Application of EUIS
        The End-User Information Systems (EUIS) approach to the Systems Development Life Cycle
was employed in this feasibility analysis. Since the goal of this methodology is to maximize system
acceptance and requirements accuracy by involving the end users of the system in many steps of the
development life cycle, it aligned well with the objectives of this project. The methodology also fit well

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with the tight timelines faced by this project and the relatively low technical complexity of TCCF. The
EUIS has eight stages; steps 1 through 4 and part of 5 were completed as part of this study.
Recommendations for the remaining steps were also included in this report. The eight EUIS stages are:

2.3.1   Define Project Scope
        The purpose of this step was to establish well defined boundaries for the project. This process
helped alleviate scope creep and establish clear expectations for the objectives (Marchewka, 2003). This
helped to ensure that TCCF did not pay for features they did not require.

2.3.2   Plan the Project
        As a deliverable from this stage, the project plan was an important tool, helping the team meet its
desired timeline projections. The project deadline was a function of the relationship between the analysts
and TCCF and could not be negotiated. Therefore, EUIS helped to ensure that the final assessment would
be available on the date agreed. A RAD/JAD methodology would not have guaranteed that the project
team could deliver what was required by its deadline.

2.3.3   Assess the Requirements
        In assessing requirements, a waterfall method would have fallen short of ensuring that the
information gathered was complete, correct, and consistent. The EUIS method called for thorough
involvement with the end users in the development of requirements. Its people and process orientation
helps to support an iterative and multi-pronged approach to collecting requirements. Although the
waterfall method may imply this as a possibility, the explicit discussion of this in EUIS helped to guide
the project team to evaluate solutions based on requirements that were more precise.

2.3.4   Describe the Proposed Solution
         Closely mirroring the design phase of the waterfall method, this stage involved the development
of formal requirements documents and solicitation of quotations from vendors. While it was not
particularly distinct from the waterfall method in this stage, the EUIS methodology helped to give
structure to this process, especially when compared to the RAD methodology. Since RAD incorporates
both analysis and design into one iterative process, it would have been very difficult to enact upon if the
solution was not developed in-house or, even more so, if there is a change-over in project ownership such
as there was in this study.

2.3.5   Select or Develop the Solution
         This step of the EUIS involves a working version of the system as a deliverable. In order to
accomplish this, conversion materials, procedure manuals, system controls, and other documents involved
in a change-over needed to be developed. This report covers the materials involved in selecting and
transitioning a solution. The recommended vendor would be responsible for the remaining materials for
the control and maintenance of the new system.
         The EUIS methodology allows for the communication of a distinct exchange in ownership of this
project, due to the separation between the selection and development of a solution and the implementation
of it. It was crucial to ensure that the client as well as the project team understood where the transition
points were. In the waterfall method, this stage would have been incorporated into the ‘implementation’
phase and a further discussion and breakdown, risking miscommunications, would have been necessary to
indicate where the responsibilities of the analysts end.

2.3.6   Implement the Solution
       The goal of this stage is to have the system installed and fully operational. This is the stage
where new work processes and redesigned jobs need to be accepted by the client organization. A

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

weakness with RAD is that documentation often suffers, since it tends to be oriented towards quick
development. As a result, the client may not have complete documentation making future maintenance
and upgrades difficult
        Although the selected vendor would be responsible for this stage, it
remains important for TCCF to ensure that all of the users are on-board with the
new system. This stage of the EUIS almost completely mirrors that of the water
fall method and so no significant improvements can be seen.

2.3.7   Evaluate the Results
         This is a stage that is unique to the EUIS. Neither the waterfall method
nor RAD/JAD describes any post-mortem evaluation of the project, so this task
is usually left to the discretion of the project manager. By dedicating an entire
stage to this process, an adoption of EUIS is able to further solidify the
acceptance and success of the project while facilitating the processes of
measuring the success of the project and eliciting potential improvements.
         This unique stage is important to help ensure the success of this project
since members of TCCF will likely not be familiar with project management
techniques. By stipulating specific deliverables, the methodology helps give
TCCF guidance and direction in the management of this important aspect of
project management.

2.3.8   Modify and Institutionalize the Results
        Contingency plans and proposals for possible future changes are also
deliverables of this stage whereby the purpose is to determine how there may be
improvements in the future. Discussions may be held between TCCF and the
vendor in which future efforts may be planned. By explicitly describing this
step, TCCF is able to understand what direction needs to be taken in order to
ensure continual success of the system. Neither the waterfall method nor
RAD/JAD explains this process in detail, since those methodologies are
primarily focused on exclusively the software development portion of a project.
                                                         Figure 1 - The general form of the EUIS methodology

2.4 Limitations of Current Study
         The feasibility study can be considered a success in spite of the fact that some information was
not available. Due to the relative youth of TCCF and the nature of its processes, donation data was not
available on a level that was optimal for this analysis. Although annual donation figures were available,
detailed data such as donor retention and monthly donation levels were absent. This will make it more
difficult to illustrate quantitative benefits that a proposed solution may bring to the charity since the
change in these levels cannot be measured accurately.
         Vendor responses were also limited. A number of vendors responded with limited information or
failed to respond at all. Therefore, an accurate picture of vendor offerings was affected by this outcome.
The limited responses forced an analysis of those proposals to make assumptions based on other related
information which may have also impacted the accuracy of this analysis.
         Uncertainty regarding the requirements of TCCF also impacted this project. The available budget
was open-ended but had a grey limit. That is, although there was expressed desire to keep costs to a
minimum, a ceiling was never specified which made financially-related analyses difficult. This may be a
function of the unfamiliarity with technology that the users have. Not knowing the potential of certain
technologies and what their costs were hindered members of TCCF from having a thorough
understanding the what kind of functionality to expect with a given cost.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

3.       Analysis of Existing System

         In an effort to minimize overhead and administrative costs, TCCF does not
own any technology assets. Instead, volunteers use their personal technology
assets to help the organization accomplish its goals. For example, chapter leaders
and other volunteers will compile contact lists and send emails from their
personal computers. The organization does not have a central head office from
where operations can be streamlined. Operational tasks, including accounting,
issuing tax receipts, organizing events, and event promotion are carried out on
an ad-hoc basis.
         While the administration of TCCF has discussed the benefits of
technology at several executive meetings in the past, the organization does not
have the necessary competencies to plan and implement a system that will
address their needs. Recently the organization has experienced significant growth in both their donor
base and volunteer pool. The executives recognize the need for, and the potential of an IT solution to
accommodate current and future growth. The manual approach that has worked in the past is quite labour
intensive and will not be sustainable if the current growth rate continues.
         TCCF’s supporters are part of a community, a network of established Canadian-Caribbean adults
and their families. These demographic groups enjoy the personal-touch approach and strong feeling of
community that the organization offers. Supporters have the benefit of receiving communications
through face-to-face or over the phone conversations. This is perhaps another reason why TCCF has
shied away from adopting technology, the fear that IT would replace organization’s warm presence with a
cold facade. The senior members of the organization have confirmed that email is becoming an
acceptable means of communication within the organization and are slowly adapting to a technological

3.1 Business Process and Application Portfolio
        Relationships with donors are not maintained through a structured organization-wide process.
Communications are carried out on a very personal and infrequent basis. It is difficult to define a single
process that is carried out when it comes to maintaining donor relationships because each member of the
organization has their own way of thanking donors and promoting TCCF events.
        Donor management is accomplished by executing three key processes. Although the methods are
not formally documented, through interviews with long standing members of the organization it was
possible to determine the steps that are involved in these processes:

3.1.1   Solicit donations
        The goal of this activity is to raise funds for the child or children that TCCF is currently
sponsoring. The success of this process is a key factor in determining how much money the charity
raises. Donation solicitation mostly involves keynote speeches at charity events that highlight the
successes and challenges faced by the charity. However, in order to first raise awareness of an event,
TCCF must communicate news of it to existing and potential donors. Due to the dichotomy between
these two donor groups, the processes involved in communicating to potential donors (defined as those
who have never donated or have not donated over a long period of time) are included in this category
while existing donors are separated into their own category.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               8
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

3.1.2   Accept donations
         The activity of accepting donations is divided up into three distinct categories based on the
method of payment. The first payment method is cash, a simple exchange of money and a simple hand-
written receipt is all that is involved in this process. The second possibility is a donation in the form of a
cheque. While very similar to the cash donation process, this activity involves the additional tasks of
handling bounced cheques, although this occurrence is very low. The final option for an individual to
make a donation is for them to make a pledge. While this will eventually become a payment in the form
of either cash or cheque, the pledge is noted by a volunteer. A receipt is not issued until the cash or
cheque is received. All donations are ultimately deposited into a central bank account that belongs to
TCCF and exceptions that arise from this process are handled on a case-by-case basis.

         At year-end the treasurer consolidates the receipts against the annual account statement to ensure
that all donations and transactions are accounted for. The final tally of donations for which tax receipts
were issued as well as the donations that do not have corresponding tax receipts are transferred to TCCF’s
income tax return forms.

3.1.3   Communicate news and upcoming events
         The goal of communicating news and upcoming events is not only to maintain positive
relationships with donors but also to pave the way for soliciting donations. By illustrating why the
charity needs funds and the effectiveness of donations, TCCF is able to demonstrate the justification and
need for individuals to donate. Coupling this with information about upcoming events provides recipients
with a course of action to meet this need to donate.

3.2 Description of Supporting Systems
         Before defining a solution, the existing processes need to be analyzed in order to have a
comprehensive understanding of the interdependencies and intricacies of the processes. This was a
prerequisite to determining which areas of the existing system could be improved. The solicitation of
donations involves two separate aspects: a passive method and an active method. The passive solicitation
of donations currently employs a website maintained by a volunteer on a third-party hosting service. This
website presents basic information about the nature of the organization, its mission, and its current events
and goals. Additionally, it contains a printable pledge form with which individuals are able to mail-in
their donation. This website is updated by a specific volunteer whose responsibility is specific to this
tool. This is done on an ad-hoc basis in that the website is updated only when the volunteer receives
instruction from a chapter leader or executive. Active solicitation from TCCF can sometimes, given the
structure and nature of the community, involve simple face-to-face dialog and phone calls but it also
involves sending emails that detail recent successes and current challenges. These emails are created by
individual volunteers with consultation from chapter leaders and include news from all chapters. Within
these mailings, notifications of upcoming events are often included. Ticket sales are handled in a very
informal manner. While volunteers would be responsible for the correspondence of ticket sales via mail,
tickets can be sold face-to-face at community gatherings such as at a church or community event.
Proceeds from ticket sales are collected into a lump sum that will be noted in the accounts after an event.
         Each event is sponsored by a specific chapter and is often run exclusively by individuals from
that chapter. Since food, drinks, and entertainment are all always donated, the charity does not take on
any expense. Therefore, almost all of the revenue from these events can be realized as profits. During
these events, further solicitation occurs when an executive or leader of the charity delivers a speech that
usually focuses on the specific child or children that TCCF is trying to sponsor. Events that TCCF hold
are always casual in nature so the itinerary often varies. However, there are two aspects that events often
have in common: a cash bar and a donation box, both of which are tended by volunteers. As part of the
booth that is set up with the donation box, the capability for last-minute ticket sales is also facilitated by

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                   9
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

volunteers. Aside from ticket revenue, these are the two avenues through which the charity is able to
raise funds at an event. While receipts are issued at the donation box where donations follow a relatively
more formal process, drinks sold at the cash bar do not get counted as donations since they are purchases
of goods, a separate revenue category. At the end of the event, all of the proceeds from the cash bar are
collected into one lump sum along with the ticket sales lump sum for accounting purposes. The treasurer
or assistant treasurer is responsible for handling this money and depositing it at the end of the month into
the main account of TCCF. The receipting process for a donation is relatively straightforward. If an
individual donates cash or a cheque, a written receipt is issued by a treasurer or chapter leader to the
donor as confirmation, and a copy is retained in the books of TCCF. Again, the handling of these
donations is the responsibility of both a treasurer and a chapter leader. At events attendees receive a
pledge form on which they can commit a certain amount to the charity. These forms are then collected by
a volunteer who makes note of the pledges. Volunteers are also responsible for following up with the
potential donors via phone. The treasurer is responsible for handling exceptions, such as bounced
cheques, during this process. In the event of a bounced cheque, the treasurer will notify the donor,
usually via phone, and determine an appropriate solution. TCCF has a special arrangement with its bank
and no additional fees are incurred in this situation.
         At year-end the treasurer consolidates the donation receipts against the annual account statement
to ensure that all donations and transactions are accounted for, handling any issue that arises. The
treasurer is then responsible for filing the taxes for the charity with the federal government.

                                       Figure 2 – Donation Process

3.3 Assessment of Current Systems
         The current systems at TCCF, although nearly devoid of technology, support the immediate needs
of the organization fairly well. The processes within the charity fit well with the organizational culture
and thus explain their success to date. By nature, automation requires formal and structured processes to
be introduced into an organization. For example, since all donations must be recorded, a contribution
may involve a chapter leader accepting it from a friend at church; with automation, it may require that
executive to go through the official channels and procedural formalities in order to ensure data integrity in
an automated system. The culture of TCCF being casual and community-oriented is intrinsically opposed
to this aspect of introducing a computerized system into the operations of the charity. This was
demonstrated in some of dialogue with the organization. The desire for an informal and casual
atmosphere was very apparent based on the information gathered. Therefore, a thorough discussion about
how to effectively introduce automation should be incorporated into the implementation plan. While the
current systems are currently working relatively well, there are still some weaknesses that must be noted.
The current process will not scale well as the organization expands. A selling point to management could
outline how the current lack of an ability to capture donor information presents an opportunity cost in
how the organization should direct itself. It should also be made clear that a vertical shift in workload is
possible. That is, there is currently excessive work at the top level that other volunteers can do. For
example, entering donations into a computer system is currently the responsibility of the treasurer, but
since this is a task that requires few or no decisions, a more junior volunteer can be made responsible for
it if a system facilitated this process. Following up on pledges is another process that can also be

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 10
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

improved since it is currently entirely manual and informal. This risks potentially lost pledge forms and
excessively long intervals between making a pledge and realizing that pledge. Since producing mailings
is currently a completely manual process, there also exists room for significant time savings because mail
merging lists can be generated with an automated system. Mailings will also be consistent in their
appearance and content as they will originate from a central source.
         The issue with introducing automation to the organization at this stage is that it may incur a
temporary, but immediate increase in labour requirements. For example, if donor information is tracked
by a new system, the data entry duties resulting from that will add on to the existing amount of work that
volunteers undertake.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               11
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

4.      Analysis and Design of the New System

4.1 Scope of the New System
       The primary focus of this project is to provide TCCF with the ability to effectively and efficiently
manage the relationships with its donors. The project scope will include:
       • Collection of donor information
       • Automated mass communications with donors (through various channels)
       • Automated issuance of tax receipts for donations
       • Simple and accurate year end donation income reporting
       • Management reports designed to enhance understanding of TCCF donors

       The system has the potential to be expanded to include volunteer tracking and many other
important features in the future. However, the scope of this project will not include:
       • Detailed event planning information
       • Volunteer tracking
       • Donor event attendance
       • Organizational expenditure tracking
       • Any function not directly related to analyzing and maintaining donor relations

4.2 User Functional Requirements
        Over the past several months, meetings with key stakeholders have helped create a framework of
requirements for the proposed system. At this stage, the requirements will remain functional in nature,
meaning that the technology and other implementation details will be ignored at this time. Detailed
technical specifications will be derived from these requirements and presented later in this section of the

         During the analysis activities, it became useful to break the various requirements down into
several tiers based around core functionalities. The tiers build upon each other, and are therefore arranged
from most to least important. For example, the functionality discussed in tier 2 must be in place in order
for the tier 3 functions to be possible. The four tiers are as follows:

        1. Basic Donor & Prospective Donor Information: Store all personal, contact, and other
           information on all donors and donor prospects with as much detail as possible
        2. Donation Transactions and Pledges: Logging all donation activity and pledged donations to
        3. Automation and Operational Reporting: Automating tedious and repetitive tasks currently
           carried out manually, such as donor mass communications, tax receipt generation, donor
           recognition, etc.
        4. Management Reporting and Decision Support: Higher level views of the organization as a
           whole, including chapter reports, trend analysis, and other information to help the
           management evaluate performance and make decisions

         Each of these tiers of requirements will be discussed in a subsection below. Each subsection will
provide definitions for important TCCF business rules, detail the specific functionality required, and
establish, at a high-level, the data that must be stored by the system.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 12
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                                 ITM800 - Group 22

4.2.1    Basic Donor & Prospective Donor Information
        Since the primary business benefits of the system revolve around improving donor relationships,
the system must do an excellent job storing information about donors and people identified by the charity
management as being prospective donors (hereafter, prospect).

Business Rule Definitions
         •    Record: All information stored in the system regarding a specific donor or prospect.
         •    Donor: A person or organization that has already made a donation to TCCF in the past.
              Donor information is only stored at the point which the first donation is processed. It is
              important to note that donors can be organizations such as school clubs, corporations, or other
              groups representing multiple people. In these situations, the name of a contact person should
              be stored along with the group name. Donor records should be as complete as possible, but
              must include at least basic contact information (name, address, and telephone) in order to
              issue a tax receipt for donations.
         •    Prospect: Any person or group identified by the management of the charity to be followed
              up with about the possibility of making donations in the future. These records may not be as
              complete as those for donors. In the event that a prospect does make a donation, this
              information will be used to create a new donor record. Additionally, if an individual or
              organization provides information to TCCF but does not make a donation, this information
              would be stored as a prospect.

Specific Uses of the System
         •    Charity employee enters new donor/prospect information
         •    Charity employee searches for an existing donor/prospect in the system
         •    Charity employee retrieves information on a specific donor/prospect (after searching)
         •    Charity employee changes/adds to existing donor/prospect information (after retrieving)
         •    Charity employee adds a comment to an existing donor/prospect record

Specific Information Stored by the System1
         •    Full name (whether person or organization)
         •    Complete mailing address (street address, city, province, postal code, country)
         •    Multiple phone numbers/fax number (home, work, cellular, etc.)
         •    For groups/organizations the name of a primary contact person
         •    Email address
         •    Comments detailing previous interactions with TCCF personnel
         •    Donor preference for receiving TCCF information (mail, phone, email)

4.2.2    Donation Transactions and Pledges
         In addition to basic donor information, the system must also track donation transactions for all
donors in the system. This is critical because it supports higher level reporting functionality, and provides
the basis for the customization of support activities and communications based on donation levels—
crucial for helping manage and improve donor relationships over the long-term.

Business Rule Definitions
         •    Pledge: A promise by a donor or prospect to make a donation of a specified amount in the
              future. Pledge forms are generally filled out at TCCF events, and are followed up with

 Note that this is only the basic donor information required to meet the functionality of this section, later sections
will add to this to meet more advanced reporting requirements, etc.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

            contact from a TCCF volunteer. Most pledges are followed with donations of the same
            amount, but sometimes the promised funds are never received.
        •   Donation: Once funds are received from a donor or prospect, a donation has been made.
            Note that for donations made by cheque, they are not considered donations until the cheque
            has cleared the bank and the funds are in the TCCF bank account.
        •   Transaction: Any financial entry tracked by the system. This includes all pledges and
            donations, and any other entries required to correct previous entries, make reversals, etc.
            Note that financial transactions aside from donations (expenses, payments, etc.) are outside
            the scope of the project.
        •   Processing: All necessary steps taken to place donated funds into the TCCF bank account
            and link them to the appropriate donors in the proposed system.
        •   Event: Any TCCF gathering at which funds are collected. Events are organized by TCCF’s
            chapters and are linked to the appropriate chapter.

Specific Uses of the System
        •   Charity employee searches for existing donor/prospect record
        •   Charity employee converts existing prospect record into new donor record
        •   Charity employee links existing donor record to a new transaction
        •   Charity employee modifies details of an existing transaction
        •   Chapter leader defines/modifies a new fundraising event in the system

Specific Information Stored by the System
        •   Transaction amount and method of payment
        •   Transaction date
        •   Receipt related status of donation (non-receiptable, receipt sent, receipt not sent, etc.)
        •   Transaction type (pledge, donation, reversal, adjustment, etc.)
        •   Relevant event for donation transaction

4.2.3   Automation and Operational Reporting
         One of the primary value offerings of any new system must be the automation of several tedious
manual processes at TCCF. These functions will build on the functionality required for the previous two
categories. This category of functionality will allow TCCF to provide effective mass communications
with its donor community.

Business Rule Definitions
        •   Tax Receipt: Legal statement to a donor that a donation of specified amount was received
            and processed by TCCF. The tax receipt policy at TCCF is to issue receipts on a per-
            donation basis, it has been decided that with the proposed system this will continue.
        •   Contact List: A list of donors/prospects meeting certain pre-defined criteria which selects
            them as recipients for a mass communication. The contact list will be separated into sections
            according to the preferred communication medium for each donor (mail, phone, email).
            These sections will be a mail merge list, a phone list, and an email list.
        •   Mail Merge List: A list of donor/prospect names and full mailing addresses used to
            customize a form letter and print mailing labels for a mass mailing campaign. These can be
            generated to send notices of upcoming events, to thank past donors, or any other TCCF
            marketing activity. The donors on the list should be able to be selected by any combination
            of criteria stored in the system.
        •   Phone List: Similar to the mail merge list, but a list of donor names and phone numbers.
            This list is to reach donors who have specified that they would prefer to be contacted via

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                14
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

        •   Email List: The email equivalent of the mail merge list. Some donors prefer to be contacted
            through email. This would be a list of donor names and appropriate email addresses, used to
            customize a pre-defined email message to be sent to many donors.

Specific Uses of the System
        •   Charity employee filters donor/prospect list based on any criteria available
        •   Charity employee creates a contact list (after filtering)
        •   Charity employee prints customized form letters and address labels (mail merge)
        •   Charity employee prints phone call list
        •   Charity employee sends mass email to appropriate donors
        •   TCCF Treasurer generates and prints tax receipts for recent donations with address labels (tax
            receipts must be mailed)

Specific Information Stored by the System
        •   Tax receipt date, amount, address mailed to (to preserve audit trail)
        •   Link from tax receipt to appropriate donation transaction
        •   Donor preferences regarding TCCF communications (phone, email, mail)

4.2.4   Management Reporting and Decision Support
        This final category of functional requirements builds on all the lower levels to allow TCCF’s
management to gain insight into the activities of the charity and a deeper understanding of the donors and
donation activities. This category mainly consists of the ability to produce various reports to break down
and analyze data stored by the system. It is important that any final solution be flexible and allow new
reports to be defined and added in the future as TCCF’s management gains familiarity with the data
stored by the system and the potential of this type of analysis.

Business Rule Definitions
        •   Child: Any child chosen by the TCCF management and approved by the Hospital for Sick
            Children in Toronto to receive support from TCCF. This support is raised by the chapters at
            various events.
        •   Event: Any fundraising event run by one of TCCF’s chapters.
        •   Chapter: A group of TCCF volunteers based on geography. Currently chapters exist in the
            Greater Toronto Area (Brampton chapter, Scarborough chapter, etc.). Each chapter runs its
            own events to raise funds for TCCF.

Specific Uses of the System
        •   Chapter leader views event summary report after an event
        •   Chapter leader views monthly chapter comparison report to compare his/her chapter to the
            others (in terms of total donations over the period)
        •   TCCF management views annual fundraising report
        •   TCCF management views donor trend report, showing which donors had made multiple
            donations in the past, but had not made any within the past year
        •   TCCF management views donor recognition report which extracts lists of donors who had
            made significant total donations over the past year
        •   TCCF management views donor behaviour report showing average donation amount, number
            of donations and other statistics for a specific time period
        •   TCCF management creates report linking individual donations to the specific children
            assisted with those funds (this link can be made by way of the fundraising event the money
            was raised at)

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               15
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

Specific Information Stored by the System
        •   More advanced donor information (birth dates, demographics, nationality)
        •   Basic information on each TCCF child (name, nationality, fundraising goal)
        •   Basic information on each TCCF event (date, type of event, chapter, etc.)
        •   Link from each event to one or more children that the event is raising funds for

4.3 Business Process Redesign
         With the implementation of any new technology or system, companies must adjust related
processes in order to ensure that the technology is fully incorporated into the organization. In the
previous section, three business processes were identified as being particularly important to the task of
establishing and maintaining donor relationships. Those processes were soliciting donations, accepting
donations, and donor communications. The following sections will closely examine each of these
important processes and expose areas which must be changed once technology is employed in the
organization. The goal of this analysis is to better understand how TCCF must change its internal
processes in order to better take advantage of the technology available.

4.3.1   Soliciting Donations
         Implementing technology would allow this important process to become much more structured
and defined. As defined in section 3.1, this process consists of promoting events to the general public,
then presenting the charity’s message at these events, which are usually held in the support of a specific
child needing medical assistance in the near future. These activities would likely not change materially
after the system is implemented. However, the
system will allow these activities to be
supplemented and extended to include a variety
of targeted and direct communications to existing
donors and prospective donors. The following
list captures some of the possibilities in this area:

        •   Sending a personalized letter to
            prospective donors, introducing them
            to TCCF, and inviting them to an
            upcoming event
        •   Having a volunteer telephone a
            person who had made previous
            donations, but not any in the past
            year, to thank them for their past
            support, and invite them to an
            upcoming event

         Since these types of activities are so
different from the current practice, TCCF’s
leadership must be made aware of the
possibilities that the system allows through
training as the system is introduced. Additionally,           Figure 3 – Donation solicitation process
some of the roles of the senior management of TCCF may need to become more defined to separate some
of these responsibilities. Each chapter should explore the possibility of appointing an individual to take
on this type of role for their chapter.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                              16
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

4.3.2   Collecting Donations
          This process stands to become much more complicated with the introduction of technology, since
this is the place where the bulk of the operational data required by the system is gathered. If this process
breaks down, and the system is ignored by the charity staff, it will be of no value to the organization since
the data will not be consistent. The key difference in the process is with an information system in place,
all donation transactions must be entered into the system after each event. This has the potential to be a
time consuming and tedious process, mainly due to the fact that donors will not be issued account
numbers (since this would likely be met with an
unfavourable response from the donor
community). A sample procedure to enter a
donation transaction would look like the

        1. Search for the donor in the system,
           by last name
        2. If a match is found, ensure that it is
           the correct donor by checking
           additional information (such as first
           name and address), skip to step 4
        3. If no match is found, create a new
           donor record with all required
        4. Enter the transaction information
        5. Confirm the transaction

         Considering that each event can have
hundreds of transactions, this data entry job will become a               Figure 4 – Bargaining Power
sizable effort on the part of the TCCF volunteers. What
this will mean for TCCF is a need for a different type of volunteer labour. In the Strategic Analysis of
TCCF prepared last year by the analysts, a model was constructed to look at the bargaining power
between a charity like TCCF and its various types of volunteers (Ross et. al., 2005). The model looked at
two factors of volunteer labour (skill level and commitment) and their effect on bargaining power with the
charity. The volunteers with the highest bargaining power were those with both a high level skill and a
high level of commitment—these are the high-level administrators of the charity. If the proposed system
were just dropped into TCCF with no changes made to the organizational structure, it would place an
administrative burden on this ‘expensive’ type of volunteer, and possibly contribute to burnout among
this group. However, TCCF could mitigate this possibility by recruiting different volunteers that need not
come from the high skill/high commitment group to perform these tasks on the new system. The new
volunteers would spread out the administrative workload. It is worth noting that if TCCF were a for-
profit enterprise, such a system would allow the company to shift work from highly paid employees to
lower paid employees and realize considerable cost savings; however since all TCCF employees are full
volunteers anyway this cost savings is not a factor. That said, TCCF employees have mentioned that they
feel that the high-level volunteers are forced to take on too much responsibility for day-to-day operations
which causes a high rate of turnover in these roles—it is possible that having the new system in place
could reduce this burden by shifting it to a different group of volunteers.

                                Figure 5 – Donation collection process

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

        However, while the data-entry task will add labour to the organization, this will allow some
labour savings in the form of tax receipt generation. Currently each tax receipt is produced manually as
each donation comes in. With the proposed system, these receipts could be generated automatically and
printed ready to be mailed. It is possible that the system could generate mailing labels to expedite the
process of sending the receipts to the donors.

4.3.3   Donor Communications
        Currently at TCCF, all efforts to
communicate with donors use informal ‘word-
of-mouth’ connections between friends and
other acquaintances within the organization, so
this process will get overhauled once the
system has been implemented. This is not to
say that the current informal communication
channels be replaced—they are very important
to the community-based nature of TCCF as a
whole – however more formal communications
channels have the opportunity to significantly
increase the quality of donor relationships,
hopefully leading more donors to make regular
contributions to the charity in the future.
Similarly to the soliciting donations process,
the overall success of any new system at TCCF
will depend on the ability of the TCCF
management       to    recognize    the                    Figure 6 – Donor communication process
opportunities `presented to them by
the new system and make use of them to improve the quality of donor relationships. One key outcome of
this process will be to ensure that all donors are quickly thanked for their support. Studies have shown
(Burnett, 2002, 52) that thanking donors quickly after receiving the donation is the best way to start
building a long-term relationship, and this process could be automated with the use of technology.

4.4 Information Technology Alternatives
         There are many possible technical implementations for the proposed system. These systems vary
by their degrees of technical complexity, the features offered, and the associated costs. While there is no
limit to the number of specific implementation options available to create such a system, most of these
would conform to one of several high-level architectures. The two main variables to consider are how the
information in the system is stored and how it is manipulated and accessed by the users. The following
sections look at each issue and suggest several high-level options.

4.4.1   Information Storage Options
Offline System
         A manual approach to meeting the system requirements would begin by creating a set of
standardized forms and paper spreadsheets. For example, lists could be created to track donors in a donor
book, and transactions could be listed in another place. This approach has negligible start-up costs but has
significant on-going costs, which include physical costs (cost of paper/copying and cost of storage),
labour costs (data entry clerks spend more time entering data, year-end accounting may take longer than

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

before), and opportunity costs (nearly impossible to find trends/patterns). This approach would not meet
all the tiers of functionality defined in section 4.2 above. Most importantly, this system would have
difficulty meeting most of the tier-three functionality, and would entirely ignore forth tier. This system
could be made more sophisticated by using electronic spreadsheets (such as Microsoft Excel) to store the
data. However, even this enhancement would not ensure that data entered would be of consistent quality,
and most reporting would involve significant manual effort.

Relational Database Systems
         The most likely way to organize this information is through a relational database system. Due to
the transactional nature of much of the data, other types of databases would not be ideal (such as
dimensional databases, which are discussed below). A relational database system offers the ability to
define appropriate relationships between data elements, and provides an easy platform for generating
reports. There are many possible ways to setup a database system in terms of the application software
built around it, and how it is delivered to the users. Possibilities include a central storage location on a
fileserver or a distributed system offered over the internet, allowing various stakeholders to make use of
the system from any location. The advantages of this system include the proven reliability and
extensibility of database systems, one central storage location to prevent conflicting data, and the ability
to implement nearly any data storage and reporting requirement. However, these systems would almost
certainly have higher costs than other alternatives.

Dimensional Database System
         While the relational database model does an excellent job of preserving data integrity and
consistency, there are situations where this feature becomes a liability. Some complex reports can be
heavy on calculations and would take a very long time to execute on a normal relational database system.
For many organizations, the answer is to construct separate systems that conform to a different database
design standard, the dimensional database model. These systems are not as rigid in terms of how the data
is divided up and stored, so some duplication of data can occur. However, in exchange for this occasional
redundancy, the dimensional database is much faster at executing the most complex reports. These types
of systems are extremely expensive, and work best when supported by a series of relational database
systems which become sources of data.

4.4.2   Information Manipulation and Access Options
Stand-alone Application
         This type of application consists of a software program running on one computer, typically a PC
workstation. The application is only accessible from this one location, and all of the data stored within
the system is located there as well. This type of system is usually less costly than the other options, and is
ideally suited for one primary user of the system, or when it is convenient for multiple users to share one
workstation in order to access the system.

Client-server Application
         The client-server architecture has been dominant for many years. It divides the responsibility for
the system into two separate programs, the client and the server. The server is responsible for core
functions, such as accessing the database and authenticating users. The client part faces the users, and is
responsible for formatting and presenting the data extracted from the server. The client also contains the
entire user interface. The primary advantage of this architecture is that many clients can share one central
server, preserving the integrity of the data, while allowing many users to collaborate in their use of the
system. The clients and servers are connected over a communications network, so these systems are
generally found within a secure corporate network.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                  19
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

Web-based Application
         Web-based systems are a new spin on the client-server architecture. While this type is logically
similar to the pure client-server architecture, it is more technically complex since the server takes on a
greater responsibility of generating the user interface on the fly, in the form of an interactive website. The
advantage is that no preinstalled client software is necessary—all users need is web browser software and
they can sign on to the system. The advantage of this type of system is that it can be accessed from any
location with an internet connection, making this ideal for organizations that have widely dispersed users,
or who wish to give customers direct access to a system (for example, online banking). These systems
must pay very close attention to security, as all data transferred between the server and clients travels over
the open internet.

4.5 Information System Specifications
         Effective information systems must respond to specific characteristics of the organizations in
which they are implemented. In the case of TCCF, there are several crucial considerations that place
restrictions on the types of technology that are appropriate for the organization, notably:
         • Lack of existing information technology infrastructure
         • Lack of on site IT support staff, or the means to acquire such staff in the future
         • Geographical dispersion of the workforce across the Greater Toronto Area
         • Need for multiple users to access and manipulate data stored by the system
         • Tight financial constraints, requiring that any proposed system be affordable
         In response to these constraints, the architecture of any suitable solution would almost certainly
conform to a standard ‘three-layer architecture’, which separates the application into separate view,
business logic, and data layers that can be located in different physical places. The following sections
will give an overview of the role of each layer in the system. There are numerous different ways that this
architecture can be implemented, so potential vendors will have substantial latitude in putting together

                                      Figure 7 – 3-Tiered Architecture

4.5.1   View Layer Specification
        The view layer performs the client role discussed in section 4.4. This layer is the visible part of
the system for the users, and includes the entire user interface and limited data processing functions. The
view layer makes requests for system activities from the business logic layer, so when a user clicks on a

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                  20
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

button labelled ‘Run Report’, a message is sent to the business logic layer requesting the report, and the
business logic layer returns the results which are formatted into the final report by the view layer. For
TCCF this layer must have an intuitive and easy to use interface, and must connect securely to the lower
layers through the public internet, to allow the various members of the organization to connect from
home. Ideally, a web-based solution would be used, since this would require no additional client software
besides a home personal computer with a standard web browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer).

4.5.2     Business Logic Layer Specification
         In many ways this layer is the most important part of the system, since it implements the largest
share of the required functionality described above. This software responds to requests from the users
who see the view layer’s interface, and makes requests for data from the data layer below it. This middle
layer performs most manipulation of the data stored in the system and enforces business rules (such as,
generating tax receipt information for each donation). The layer also serves as a gateway to the data
layer, and controls what access a given user has to the data. Several vendors offer packaged solutions
designed for charitable organizations that perform this type of functionality. However, a detailed study of
the specific features offered must be undertaken to ensure that the chosen application is appropriate. In
the corporate world, it would be normal for an organization to purchase or build a software product, and
then purchase appropriate computer hardware (servers) to run it. Since TCCF does not have the
infrastructure or budget to install its own hardware, the final system will likely be located and supported
by the vendor, or a third party hosting company.

4.5.3     Data Layer Specification
         This layer takes the form of a database management system, generally conforming to the
relational database model. It responds to requests from the business logic layer above it. Depending on
the application, the level of integration between the database and the rest of the application can differ
significantly. In simple applications, the database is contained within the application, however for more
complex systems a separate database server product is used (such as MS SQL Server, Oracle, etc.) and the
application connects to it. In either case, the application controls access to the database. A sample data
model has been developed for a system that would capture the vast number of TCCF’s requirements, and
it is included in Appendix H. This data model is a relational data model and shows the relationships
between the various data entities.

4.6 Evaluation Criteria
        Evaluation criteria are set out to ensure fair assessment of all proposals. Additionally, these
decisive factors have been selected to verify that the recommended solution will best meet the needs of
TCCF. Evaluation criteria consist of five major categories, each of which has been assigned a multiplier
value as determined by its relative importance to the potential success of a candidate. The performance of
a proposal in each category is comprised of the performance of composite features. Each feature is also
associated with a corresponding weight. To compensate for exceptional proposal features, the evaluation
schemes are designed such that a system will rarely achieve a score of higher than 80% in each section.
The weight breakdown for each section is as follows:
Section                                           Multiplier
Organizational Feasibility                        14
Technical Feasibility                             14
Functional Feasibility                            24
Financial Feasibility                             39
Risk Feasibility                                  9

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               21
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

4.6.1     Organizational Feasibility (14)
Feature                                      Weight
Friendly User Interface                         35
Organizational Acceptance and                   30
Process Integration
Smooth Transition Proposal                      25
Documentation                                   10
TOTAL                                           100

        Organizational Feasibility includes cultural resistance and impact of a proposed solution. A low
score in this category has several implications. For example, the solution may adversely affect the
organization’s morale, consequently impacting data integrity, since unhappy users will not commit to
value-add activities such as double-checking data for accuracy and completeness prior to data entry.

Friendly User Interface
         The user interface (UI) will need to be intuitive and simple to learn to ensure user adoption of the
system as the primary users of the system may not be technically savvy and hence may already be
apprehensive about adopting technology. The implications of a poorly structured UI are twofold: not
only will users find it frustrating and difficult to use, it may also have a direct impact on the quality of
data if users do not know where or how to correctly enter it.

Description                                           Score (%)
Confusing navigation system                           0
Somewhat difficult to navigate                        55
Easy to navigate                                      70
Easy to navigate with value-add features              80
Exceptional                                           81-100 (case-by-case basis)

Organizational Acceptance and Process Integration
        As the name of this feature implies, this category evaluates the likelihood of resistance to the
adoption of a proposed solution from the perspective of both the organization’s culture and existing
processes. This aspect of a solution will help to determine long-term success probability.

Description                                           Score (%)
Will not be accepted and will not integrate           0
Will not be accepted or will not integrate            30
May be accepted and may integrate                     50
Will likely be accepted or integrated                 70
Will likely be accepted and integrated                80
Exceptional                                           81-100 (case-by-case basis)

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 22
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

Smooth transition proposal
        Any new system will involve changing the existing, sometimes ingrained, processes within the
organization. It is important to ensure that a proposed solution will minimize the total disturbance in the
organization during the transition period.

Description                                        Score (%)
No transition proposal                             0
Extensive organizational impact                    30
Moderate organizational impact                     60
Minimal organizational impact                      80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

        Documentation is material used to explain the system or procedures involving the system. The
extensiveness of a system’s documentation can help to improve adoption rates, the easeof maintenance
and aid future improvements.

Description                                        Score (%)
No documentation                                   0
Minimal documentation                              30
Mediocre documentation                             60
Extensive documentation                            80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

4.6.2      Technical Feasibility (14)
Feature                                  Weight
Remote Access                             Pass/Fail
Data Integrity                               20
Availability                                 25
Permissions Structure                        15
Scalability                                  10
Import/Export Data                           10
Security                                      5
Exceptional Consideration                    15
TOTAL                                        100
        This category revolves around the internal processes of the system and the potential impact of
those processes on the success of the solution. It is important to assess this characteristic of the solution
to ensure that the system will provide quality performance not only in the immediate future but also in the
long run.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

Remote Access
        The capability for remote access can be defined as the ability to use the system from without
being restricted to any particular physical location dictated by a central server. Given the decentralized
nature of the organization and its processes, this criterion is essential. Any proposed vendor solution that
does not provide this functionality will not be considered for recommendation.

Data Integrity
The notion of data integrity refers to a system’s capacity to reduce excessive and redundant data as well
as its ability to validate data while it is being entered. This is an important feature for TCCF because all
of the functions of the solution depend on accurate and complete data in order to be effective.

Description                                         Score (%)
No data integrity features                          0
Some data-type checks or some redundancy            30
Some data-type checks and some redundancy           60
Extensive data-type checks or complete              75
redundancy checks
Extensive data-type checks and complete             80
redundancy checks
Comprehensive checks of both data-type and          90
Exceptional                                         91-100 (case-by-case basis)

         The amount of time that a system is up and running is what is used to determine the availability
of that system. If TCCF is running an event but the system they use is not available, it will have
significant impact on, not only the amount of additional labour involved for that event, but also the
potential quality of the data gathered. The availability of three factors will mostly constitute the final
availability rating of the entire proposed system: hardware, software and network. An additional 10
points are reserved for exceptional, unexpected performance.
Description                                         Score (points)
Hardware                                            0-30
Software                                            0-30
Network                                             0-30
Exceptional Consideration                           0-10
TOTAL                                               Out of 100 points

Permissions Structure
         A good solution will ensure that only certain types of users are capable of certain activities on the
system. This is important to ensure that users do not accidentally modify data and are not confused by
out-of-scope information. For example, those in a managerial role should not be able to change
operational data whereas those responsible for data entry should not need to see decision supporting

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                  24
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

Description                                        Score (%)
No permissions structure                           0
Password access                                    25
User-based login                                   40
Two tier access                                    60
Customizable permissions structure                 80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

         As TCCF grows, it is important that the system be capable of supporting the corresponding
growth in data. The scalability of an application refers to how large it can grow to before it suffers
significant and unacceptable performance loss. If a solution cannot support the anticipated growth of the
organization then data integrity and user morale may be affected.

Description                                        Score (%)
Does not scale well                                0
Scales with some difficulty                        50
Moderate scalability                               70
Scales very well                                   80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

Import/Export Data
        The ability to import or export data en mass is a capability that can potentially save the
organization a significant amount of time in the operation of the system.

Description                                        Score (%)
No ability to import or export data                0
Limited support for different formats              50
Support for many formats                           80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

         The transmission of confidential data over the Internet can give rise to concerns about whether or
not third-parties can steal that information. It is important for a proposed solution to incorporate features
that will help protect private information.

Description                                        Score (%)
Relies on OS-level encryption                      0
Encrypted communications OR access                 60
Encrypted communications AND access                80
Exceptional                                        81-100 (case-by-case basis)

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 25
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

Exceptional Consideration
          None of the systems were deemed exceptional in this area, so no points were awarded.

4.6.3     Functional Feasibility (24)
Feature                                 Weight
Donor & Prospective Donor                 Pass/Fail
Donation transactions & Pledges           Pass/Fail
Automation and Operational                   80
Management Reporting and                     20
Decision Support
TOTAL                                       100
        Functional attributes represent the capabilities of a system. This generally involves the
deliverables of the system and how they add value to the organization. This is an important aspect to
consider because it will determine whether or not a proposed solution will meet the client’s needs and

Donor & Prospective Donor Information
        This is a basic function that a proposed system must perform. All of the capabilities of an
appropriate system depend on the ability to track and record donor information. Any proposal that does
not provide this capability will not be considered.

Donation Transactions & Pledges
         This capability is necessary for a system to provide any value to TCCF because the organization
is already capable of retaining donor information. Therefore, a proposal lacking this function will not be

Automation and Operational Reporting
        This feature involves the primary value offerings of a system to the organization, such as tax
receipt generation and mailing list aids. It encompasses the majority of functions desired by the client,
and therefore has been given substantial weight.

Description                                           Score (points)
Immediate tax receipt generation                      0-55
Donor communications automation                       0-35
Exceptional consideration                             0-10
TOTAL                                                 Out of 100 points

Management Reporting and Decision Support
        As additional value-add, this component, mostly comprised of trend reports, can be considered as
nice-to-have. These reports help provide high-level perspectives for executives of the charity that they
currently do not have. However, since this is not a necessary condition for the success of a solution, it has
been weighted accordingly.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 26
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                               ITM800 - Group 22

Description                                             Score (%)
No managerial reporting                                 0
Limited managerial reporting                            30
Significant managerial reporting                        70
Comprehensive managerial reporting                      80
Exceptional                                             81-100 (case-by-case basis)

4.6.4     Financial Feasibility (39)
Feature                                 Weight
Average Annual Cost                           100
TOTAL                                         100

         The financial feasibility is indicated by the significance of the monetary investment required by a
system. For typical projects this criterion would involve an analysis of investment performance using
metrics such as ROI and payback period. However, due to the intangibility of the expected benefits this
analysis will only involve costs. In order to compare projects with different cost structures, (for example
a project with all costs up-front versus another project with all costs in the form of ongoing payments) it
will be assumed that TCCF will fund all initial costs through a bank loan 2, which will be paid back over a
specified period. The average annual cost of each proposal will be composed of this loan payment plus
the ongoing annual costs for that system. To add depth to the analysis, different loan amortization periods
will be considered. Since TCCF is a small non-profit organization that prides itself in having low
administrative costs, the financial attribute has been given significant weight.

Feature                                 Weight
Established Technology                         45
Support Offered                                40
Stable Vendor                                  15
TOTAL                                         100

4.6.5     Risk (9)
        This risk category is intended to evaluate potential issues that exist outside the scope of the
system itself.

Established Technology
         Given the users of the proposed system and the current implementation of technology within the
organization, TCCF is not an early adopter. It is important that any proposed solution makes use of
technology that has been sufficiently proven in the marketplace. However, any solution to be
implemented cannot be so old that it is obsolete. Therefore, this criterion will be comprised of two
factors: the degree to which a technology has established itself and the degree to which a technology has
become obsolete.

 This need not actually happen as it is only being done in order to aid the comparison of projects with radically
different cost structures. A more detailed discussion will be presented in section 5.3.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                           27
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

Description                                        Score (points)
Establishment                                      0-50
Obsolescence                                       0-40
Exceptional Consideration                          0-10
TOTAL                                              Out of 100 points

Support Offered
        As a small organization, TCCF does not contain the in-house technical expertise required to
maintain a system in the event of a problem. The availability of support, from answering simple
questions to disaster recovery, is therefore important to consider. Phone support is more important in the
context of this organization due to the users’ level of technical knowledge and abilities.

Description                                        Score (points)
E-mail Support                                     0-30
Phone                                              0-60
Exceptional Consideration                          0-10
TOTAL                                              Out of 100 Points

Vendor Stability
        A vendor’s history may be indicative of its future. The length of time a company has been in
business potentially indicates its success, and the chances of it being in business down the road to support
and improve its product.

Description                                        Score (%)
Established less than two years ago                20
Established two to five years ago                  50
Established five to ten years ago                  80
Established ten to twenty years ago                95
Established over twenty years ago                  100

4.7 Request for Information
        As the requirements gathering process was finalized, a request for information (RFI) document
was created in early march. This document was sent out to several vendors who provide suitable
solutions for this project. Out of the list of 6 vendors, three provided enough response information to
allow them to be fully evaluated; DonationSolution, GiftWorks, and the In-House solution. The RFI
responses from these companies are available in Appendix A & B.
        The TCCF contained five main sections; Project Background, Product Information, Training &
Pricing Information, Company Information, and Vendor Selection Criteria. The first section provided the
vendor with a general overview of our client’s needs. This information included a summary of our client
organization, outlined the scope of the project, stated the anticipated business benefits, and provided an
overview of our client’s current technical abilities.
        The second section, Product Information, had six questions that the vendors were asked to
complete. These questions addressed the technical aspects of their product and their match to our client’s

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                   ITM800 - Group 22

requirements. Typical questions asked about data redundancy, system compatibility and system hardware
         The following section, Training and Pricing, asked the vendors for details about their pricing
structures and the support / training packages that they offered. These responses included information
about maintenance, upgrades and any other applicable fees.
         In the Company Information section the vendor provided information about the company's
experience in developing, configuring and supporting their product or service. The vendors were asked to
explain how they approach customer satisfaction to ensure that our client would be completely satisfied
with the vendor’s services.
         The final section of the RFI, Vendor Selection Criteria, was used to determine if the vendor’s
functional, non-functional and technical capabilities would satisfy our client’s needs. This section
provided a framework that allowed the various vendor offerings to be compared to one another in a
consistent manner.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                            29
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

5.      Feasibility Analysis of Proposed Solutions

5.1 Vendor Profiles
        For all vendors, we were looking for a company able to provide TCCF with a customized
software solution, a packaged solution or services that feature a donor management database with a
decent reporting system. The following vendors were sent Requests For Information.

5.1.1   DonorPerfect
        DonorPerfect is a software solution created by SofterWare for non-profit organizations to better
manage their fundraising activities. They also offer DonorPerfect Online, a hosted web-based solution for
organizations that operate globally and do not want to setup an expensive infrastructure. DonorPerfect
software features targeted mailings/email, comprehensive reports, campaign analysis, contact
management, volunteer tracking, pledge processing and more. DonorPerfect software is currently used by
UNICEF, The Salvation Army and Girl Scouts of America. SofterWare has been in business for over 25
years and currently employs over 100 people in Fort Washington, PA. Their total client count is over

5.1.2   Stephen Thomas
         Stephen Thomas offers a variety of services and products to assist non-profit organizations with
fundraising and event management. They offer services such as market research, marketing, and
relationship management. They also have the Clarity Dynamic Segmentation and Analysis Suite, which
is a software tool to help organizations identify donors, reduce waste and see key performance indicators.
Stephen Thomas' services are currently used by the Canadian Cancer Society, Amnesty International, the
Canadian Red Cross Society, Greenpeace Canada, St. Michael's Hospital Foundation, and many others.
Stephen Thomas was founded in 1980 and is based in Toronto.

5.1.3   GiftWorks
        GiftWorks is a software solution created by Mission Research. GiftWorks software features
targeted mailings, reports, list management, donor tracking and management, QuickBooks integration,
pledge handling and receipt management. GiftWorks' solution is currently used by the United Way
across many of its global divisions. Out of all the products from various vendors in this list, GiftWorks
has the most professional and modern appearance. Mission Research was founded in 2001 and is based
in Lancaster, PA.

5.1.4   DonationSolution
        DonationSolution software for fundraising and non-profit organizations features member
management, email, letters and newsletter mailings, event management, gift and pledge tracking, prospect
management, and volunteer resource tracking. It also supports the acceptance of online donations.
Donation Solution provides custom software development to fit non-profit organizations. Their pricing
model is based on usage (i.e. number of users and donors, rather than a fixed licensing cost). Donation
Solution was founded in 2004 and is based in Oreland, PA.

5.1.5   Easy Gift
        Easy Gift is a software fundraising system for non-profit organizations. Developed by Summit
Ware, Easy Gift features donor tracking, reports, graphs, campaign and event management, targeted
mailings and emails, QuickBooks integration, pledge reminders and donor thank you gift management.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                              30
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

Easy Gift also operates on a tiered pricing model based on usage as well as a monthly support cost per
software user. Summit Ware is based Newark, DE.

5.1.6   In House Solution
        Due to the specific requirements of TCCF, the analysts decided to design a full solution
themselves, and consider it along with the vendor responses. This solution would be developed with a
Microsoft Access front-end, and a MySQL database backend. The primary advantage of such an option
for TCCF is complete control over the design and functionality of the system, as it would be designed
from the start with TCCF in mind.

5.2 Feasibility Analysis
        To determine the most appropriate solution for TCCF, each solution will be measured using the
evaluation criteria set out in section 4.6 of this report. There are five categories on which each proposal
will be evaluated: organizational, technical, functional, financial and risk feasibility. The proposal with
the highest score across the five categories will be recommended to TCCF as the most appropriate
solution for implementation. Of the vendors discussed in the previous section, responses were only
received from GiftWorks and DonationSolution, these will be considered alongside the In-House

5.2.1   Organizational Feasibility
Friendly User Interface
        A user interface needs to be simple and intuitive. The GiftWorks application has an incredibly
simple user interface that is colourful, attractive and easy to navigate with many value-add features; as
such it was awarded 90%. The In-House system, since it is not yet developed, will be completely
customizable so the screens can be laid out according to the specifications of the users. Unfortunately,
there may be fewer value-add features such as those present in GiftWorks due to time and financial
constraints; as such it is awarded 70%. DonationSolution, at 55%, has a user interface that is overall very
unattractive and difficult to navigate; the data entry screen, however, is quite straightforward.

Organizational Acceptance and Process Integration
         The team is already familiar with the people and organizational processes at TCCF. Again, since
the system has not yet been built, the users will have input into its development and how it will integrate
with the organization. Therefore, it is scores 80% for this criterion. The exceptional user interface for
GiftWorks and the company’s assertion that no training is needed will likely allow for easy and rapid
organizational adoption; Giftworks earns 70%. The features offered by DonationSolution are relatively
basic and will therefore have a minimal impact on the processes at TCCF. Since the unattractive user
interface may lead to slow user adoption or increased resistance DonationSolution is awarded 30%.

Smooth Transition Proposal
        The In-House solution again benefits from the in-depth knowledge of company processes and the
high-level of interaction with users. This can lead to a superior transition from manual processes to an
information system, scoring 80%. While Giftworks does not explicitly provide a transition plan, there are
product features to aid the transition from a variety of data sources, earning the product 60%.
DonationSolution is anticipated to cause an extensive impact to the company’s processes. The company
also charges a fee to convert data from one format to another. Therefore, this product is awarded 30%.

         The extensive, high quality documentation earns Giftworks 80% in this category. It explains each
part of the system in detail and is available online or as a PDF for download and printing. The In-House

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

solution will be able to create some documentation. Since the system will be developed with the full co-
operation of the users, they will have input so the system will be more intuitive and responsive to the
needs of the organization. Functions of the system processes identified by users as complex will be
documented more fully. As such, it is awarded 60%. DonationSolution appears to have no
documentation available except information on its website aimed at selling the service to new customers,
which scores the product 30%.

5.2.2   Technical Feasibility
Remote Access (pass/fail)
        All of the proposed solutions meet this minimum requirement. DonationSolution offers the most
convenient solution with a web-based hosted service. GiftWorks is accessible to multiple users as long as
they are on the same LAN. This could be extended to work across the Internet with a VPN. The In-
House solution is also remotely accessible via its SQL back-end and Microsoft Access client-end.

Data Integrity
         As professional-grade commercial products, it is difficult to evaluate the data integrity within the
product. Both DonationSolution and GiftWorks have a wealth of professional experience with real
charities, and as a result these products both score 80%. Since the In-House solution is to be constructed
by the same group that did the comprehensive analysis of the organization, the database structure will be
directly based on the needs of TCCF. However, since the group is not comprised of professional database
engineers, it earns a slightly lower score than its commercial counterparts, with 75%.

        Due to the multi-faceted nature of this criterion, it has been broken down into three subcategories:
Hardware, Software and Network. Each is worth 30 points, with 10 additional points assigned for
exceptional consideration, totalling 100 points.

        DonationSolution offers an extremely convenient hosted service, which provides TCCF with a
worry-free solution. It should be noted, however, that this type of solution means that there is no local
control over what kind of hardware is used. Despite this concern, DonationSolution is awarded 28 points.
GiftWorks and the In-House solution both require the procurement of hardware or a hosting service.
While this provides more flexibility, it comes at the expense of convenience and support. Both
GiftWorks and the In-House option earn 23 points as a result.

        The DonationSolution software is hosted remotely and accessed via a web browser. The
ubiquitous nature of web browsers makes DonationSolution extremely convenient. The software is based
on the Microsoft .NET development platform, which is widely used commercially. The servers are based
on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft IIS 6.0 which are both common server platforms, although
Windows is not as stable as other platforms. These combined attributes earn a score of 28 points.
GiftWorks is a proprietary, Windows-based application intended for desktop computers. It is not cross-
platform or easily portable, earning 21 points.
        An In-House solution based on SQL and Microsoft Access could be based on any platform for the
server-end such as UNIX, Linux or Windows, but the client platform requires Microsoft Windows. Since
the group members are not professionally experienced at creating or maintaining an SQL database, there
could be inefficiencies. The In-House proposal would also have less direct support available than the
commercial alternatives. These factors resulted in a score of 19 points.


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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

         DonationSolution is professionally hosted on a third-party site. This is a very reliable and
convenient solution, but it does add some volatility as blame may be passed from one company to another
in the event of a failure. As a result, the product receives 26 points. GiftWorks and the In-House solution
require the procurement of a hosting solution. This is not conducive of the solution sought by TCCF as it
is more “hands-on” and lacks support essential to the organization. As a result, these solutions both score
19 points.

           None of the solutions were truly exceptional in this category; no exception points were awarded.

Permissions structure
         DonationSolution provides a very robust user-based login system. There is one administrator
account, which is the only account that can create additional accounts and delete records. Staff-level
accounts have full access minus those administrative features. There are also editor accounts that only
have access to create newsletters and mailings, volunteer-level accounts and any donor who contributes
online gets their own account allowing them to trace their own contributions. This impressive permission
structure earns DonationSolution 100% for this criterion. The In-House solution scores 80% since it
offers the potential for a robust permissions structure that meets most of the needs of TCCF, since it will
be built for the organization. Some permissions will be defined, however, not all will be implemented
due to time and financial constraints. GiftWorks also has a user-based login system, but password
protection is limited to administrative functions only. The developer has indicated this feature may be
implemented in a later version. GiftWorks was assigned a score of 40% in this area.

         The service offered by DonationSolution is easily scalable beyond 100,000 database entries,
which is more than enough for TCCF. Since it runs server-side, there will be more system resources
available. DonationSolution has been rated 90% on this category; it would have been given a higher
rating, but they currently do not support any clients that would need to scale beyond 100,000. GiftWorks
is somewhat scalable but is limited to the resources of the local PC it is running on, therefore it earns
70%. The In-House solution will run SQL server-side, which is extremely scalable should the need arise.
However, it will probably be running on value-oriented hardware rather than high-end server hardware,
which will limit its scalability. As a result it has scored 80%.

Import/Export Data
         The most convenient and feature-rich system for importing and exporting data is GiftWorks,
which can directly import Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook and text-delimited files out of the box.
These are among the most common formats in use. The company also offers custom conversion and
import services for a fee for formats that are not natively supported. It has been awarded 95%.
DonationSolution also offers a data import service for fee, but does not allow users to import data on their
own, thus it has earned 80%. The In-House proposal will enable easy export to many formats, and will
initially support importing of native SQL. This can be expanded in the future. As a result it scores 50%
for this category.

        DonationSolution and the In-House system win this round with 60% each. DonationSolution
guarantees that the data stored in their system will not be sold and appears to offer an SSL-encrypted web
page but it was under construction at the present time. The In-House system will authenticate users via a
username and password, and enforce this security with tools provided by SQL and Microsoft Access,
although the security of these transmissions is unknown. GiftWorks relies entirely on the operating
system and physical security of the computer as the password-based login portion of the application has

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

not yet been implemented. There is a single password that protects only some administration functions.
All other functions and data are totally accessible to any user, resulting in a 0% grade for security.

Exceptional Consideration
        Although all of the products met the minimum requirements for remote access, that requirement
is so fundamental to the needs of TCCF that it was evaluated only on a pass/fail basis. However, this
view does not take into account how well one solution does when compared to another.
DonationSolution offers the best remote access by far with its web-based hosted service. Therefore, 15
points have been awarded for meeting that requirement exceptionally.

5.2.3     Functional Feasibility
Donor & Prospective Donor Information (Pass/Fail)
          All of the proposed systems include this functionality. It is intrinsic to any application of this

Donation transactions & Pledges (Pass/Fail)
         Again, all of the proposed systems include this functionality. It is intrinsic to any application of
this nature.

Automation and Operational Reporting
        Due to the multi-faceted nature of this criterion, it has further been broken down into two
subcategories: immediate tax receipt generation, with 55 points and donor communications automation
with 35 points. An additional 10 points has been set aside for exceptional consideration, totalling 100

Immediate tax receipt generation
        Both the In-House system and GiftWorks are able to generate tax receipts immediately upon
entering the donation information and therefore earn 55 points each. By default, DonationSolution
produces tax receipts annually, although a custom report can be created to generate tax receipts on a per-
donation basis. As such, it earns 40 points.

Donor communications automation
        All three solutions provide excellent automation of donor communications and therefore all earn
35 points.

Exceptional Consideration
         GiftWorks has many value-added features such as charts and graphs that set it ahead of the
others, earning it 10 points for exceptional consideration.

Management Reporting and Decision Support
        Management Reporting and Decision Support is a feature that is nice to have, but not essential to
the implementation of a system, therefore it is not heavily weighted. Despite this, the feature set of the
GiftWorks application was quite impressive, providing various trending reports, donor relationship
reports and decision support in a very easy to understand and well presented format, earning the full
100%. DonationSolution also offers a wide selection of reports, include trending and the option of
creating custom reports that is excellent. Therefore it earns a score of 100%. The In-House solution will
have limited reporting capability due to time and financial constraints, scoring 30%.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                 34
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                           ITM800 - Group 22

5.3 Financial Feasibility Assessment
         The previous section evaluated each vendor proposal on its functionality, technology, and
organizational factors. While these factors are extremely important, they must be viewed with respect to
the costs and benefits provided by each to TCCF. In the past, TCCF has made every effort to keep all
costs to a minimum. In fact, as stated in the first section of this report, TCCF takes pride in the fact that it
kept administrative expenses to less than 3% of total donations. Obviously, making an investment in
information technology represents a substantial change in policy for the organization, and in order for it to
be worthwhile there must be a strong financial case. The following sections set out this case by looking
at the benefits and costs of a system, first in general, then for each vendor proposal specifically. Each
proposal will be evaluated and scored based the total initial and recurring costs, using a customized

5.3.1   Potential Benefits of the System
         The general framework for an analysis of financial feasibility is as follows. For each proposal,
the benefits and costs are quantified and compared for a specific time horizon, using any of the numerous
measures of project performance. This general framework must be modified in order to be used to
evaluate the proposals for TCCF. The most crucial of these changes regards the way potential benefits
are counted. In a general sense, there are two ways that an investment can return benefits to an
organization, either through reducing costs or increasing revenues. Since TCCF’s cost structure is already
so low, there is no room for the system to return benefits in this form. This is significant because a
similar system in a for-profit company would be expected to help achieve significant cost savings. By
automating key processes, the amount of labour required by the organization is reduced significantly. In
TCCF’s situation, this will take the form of a shift of work from one type of volunteer (the high skilled
and committed type), to other types that are easier to recruit, as discussed in section 4.3.2. With cost
savings impossible, the only way to cause return on an investment is to have it cause an increase in
revenues, or in TCCF’s case, donations. While it is indeed possible that a new system could cause
significant increases in total donations over time, there is no way to know for sure if this would be the
case. There are several strong and intuitive reasons to believe that improving donor relationships will
lead to increased donations, such as an increased likelihood of donors making regular gifts. However, this
effect cannot be quantified since TCCF does not have any knowledge of what proportion of current
donors already make regular contributions. Additionally, it is impossible to predict how one proposal for
the system might effect donation levels compared to the other proposals—the success or failure of any
such system will rely not just on the technology, but also the extent to which it is effectively incorporated
into the organization, as discussed in section 4.3. Another factor to consider is that TCCF has been
experiencing considerable growth in donation levels over the past year, without any IT deployment.
While this growth in itself forms a significant reason to adopt IT, it would be difficult to attribute future
growth to any IT investment. For these reasons, the comparison of vendor solutions will focus
exclusively on the costs associated with each solution.

5.3.2   Cost Evaluation Methodology
          With each vendor solution having a different mixture of initial and ongoing costs, it raises the
question of how to handle these two distinct cost components. The question is as follows: should TCCF
favour a system with lower start-up costs since it will have a less significant impact on fundraising to
assist the first child after deployment, or should more funds be diverted away from supporting children
initially, so TCCF can avoid any ongoing costs in the future? In order to deal with this problem, it is
important to note that these two projects are not as different as it might seem at first. For example, if
large initial costs were undesirable, TCCF could take out a loan and make regular payments over several
years to pay for the initial investment. Conversely, TCCF could purchase an annuity or other financial
instrument that would generate income to pay for ongoing costs if a large initial investment were deemed
to be the best situation. The effect of this is to use an interest rate, such as a bank’s loan rate, to gather all

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                      35
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                             ITM800 - Group 22

the relevant cash flows for each solution to one time period for comparison. Another problem concerns
the life of the system. Technology is always changing, so counting on the same system to be used for
more than several years is likely not a reasonable assumption. After several years, an additional
investment may be required to expand or upgrade the system to better suit TCCF’s needs, and take
advantage of new computer hardware and software available. The time period has such a strong effect on
the outcome of the analysis that, in order to illustrate this, spans of 3, 5, and 10 years were all considered.

        In order to compare the costs of each vendor solution with the above considerations in mind, the
following steps were taken, with the goal to determine the average annual cost of each solution:
        • Assume that TCCF takes out a bank loan to cover any initial costs at an interest rate 2%
            above the prime rate offered by the major banks (7.5% at the time of writing). The loan
            payment will be calculated assuming amortization periods of 3, 5, and 10 years.
        • Two proposals are from U.S.-based vendors, an exchange rate of US$0.80 to C$1.00 will be
            used to convert the currencies
        • Ongoing costs will be calculated on an annual basis, so monthly charges will be multiplied by
            12, etc.
        • The Average Annual Cost for each solution will be determined by adding the annual ongoing
            costs to the annual loan payment required for the chosen amortization period
        • The solution with the lowest Average Annual Cost will be awarded the most points for this
        • TCCF management has defined a ‘worst-case’ scenario system cost that would still merit
            consideration if it had exceptional functionality; this is based on a $4000 initial cost and a
            $2000 ongoing annual cost.

5.3.3      Cost Analysis of Vendor Proposals
        DonationSolution offers a one-time setup fee of $50 USD, with a monthly service fee that
depends on the number of donor/prospect records contained in the TCCF database, which is maintained
by DonationSolution. This cost schedule is included in the vendor’s RFI response. The lowest cost level
allows TCCF to have up to 2,000 unique donor records for $45 USD per month. The second level allows
up to 10,000 records for $95 USD per month. It is believed that TCCF will be able to remain in the lower
category for the foreseeable future3.

                            Initial Costs
    Item                         Cost              Notes
    Set-up Fee                    $     62.50      USD$50
    Total Initial Costs           $     62.50
                        Recurring Costs
    Set-up Fee                $    675.00          USD$45/month
    Total Recurring Costs     $    675.00

        GiftWorks requires one license of the GiftWorks software to be purchased per computer, at a total
cost of $299 USD per copy. While the system was envisioned with the possibility of multiple users, in
order to keep costs reasonable it is assumed that 10 licenses would actually be purchased. In order to
share the same database between all the copies of the software, a personal computer must be purchased to

  Based on discussions with senior TCCF leadership, it is believed that there are well fewer than 1000 unique donors
at this time.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                        36
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                       ITM800 - Group 22

act as a server. The client software will connect with the server through a Virtual Private Network. To
allow the VPN to function $100 4 is allocated for networking hardware and a further $575 5 for the server.

                                         Initial Costs
    Item                              Cost               Notes
    GiftWorks Software                $     3,737.50     10 Copies @ USD$299 each
    Server                            $       575.00     From dell.ca
    Network Hardware                  $       100.00     From futureshop.ca
    Total Initial Cost                $     4,412.50
                                       Recurring Costs
    Support Costs                     $      373.75   USD$299/year
    Total Recurring Costs             $      373.75

        The In-House solution requires one license of Microsoft Access 2003 and one license of
Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 which cost $299.99 and $999.99 plus taxes, respectively6.
The cost of the Visual Studio is justified because it allows the Access-based system to be installed and
run legally on computers that do not have Access installed. Additionally, the system would have to be
developed using this software, requiring considerable labour. A rough estimate of this is two developers
working full-time for one month, with full-time being defined as 40 hour weeks. This results in 320 total
labour hours to develop the system. The estimate rate for each developer is $20/hour.

                                                Initial Costs
    Item                                       Cost             Notes
    Labour                                     $ 6,400.00       320 hours @ $20/hr. estimate
    MS Access 2003 Full                        $ 344.99         amazon.ca
    VS.NET 2005 Extensions to Office           $ 1,149.99       amazon.ca
    Total Cost                                 $ 7,894.98
                                              Recurring Costs
    Database Hosting                           $    60.00     USD$4/month from godaddy.com
    Total Recurring Costs                      $    60.00

Comparison and Analysis
         The following table shows the comparison between the three options, and shows the Average
Annual Cost for 3, 5, and 10 year timeframes. For an explanation of the Average Annual Cost
calculations, see Appendix I.

                                             3-Year Loan
                         Initial       Recurring     Annual Loan            Average Annual
                         Costs         Costs         Payment                Cost
    DonationSolution         $62.50         $675.00              $24.03               $699.03
    GiftWorks            $4,412.50          $373.75           $1,696.77             $2,070.52
    In-House             $7,894.98           $60.00           $3,035.92             $3,095.92

  Based on price for router at futureshop.ca
  Based on quotation for basic PC from dell.ca
  Based on prices at amazon.ca

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               37
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

                                         5-Year Loan
                     Initial      Recurring      Annual Loan             Average Annual
                     Costs        Costs          Payment                 Cost
 DonationSolution        $62.50        $675.00               $15.45                $690.45
 GiftWorks           $4,412.50         $373.75            $1,090.61              $1,464.36
 In-House            $7,894.98          $60.00            $1,951.36              $2,011.36
                                        10-Year Loan
                     Initial      Recurring      Annual Loan             Average Annual
                     Costs        Costs          Payment                 Cost
 DonationSolution        $62.50        $675.00                $6.13                $681.13
 GiftWorks           $4,412.50         $373.75              $432.83                $806.58
 In-House            $7,894.98          $60.00              $774.44                $834.44

        Due to its minimal initial costs, DonationSolution wins the cost comparison for all three time
frames. As a result, it was assigned a score of 90% for this section of the analysis. GiftWorks and the In-
House solution were both substantially more costly, with GiftWorks the cheaper of the two. Both
solutions were below the maximum tolerable cost defined by TCCF management, as a result, GiftWorks
was assigned a score of 60%, and the In-House solution a score of 50%.

5.4 Risk Assessment
5.4.1   Established Technology
        Due to the multi-faceted nature of this criterion it has further been broken down into two
subcategories: establishment, with 50 points and obsolescence with 40 points. An additional 10 points
has been set aside for exceptional consideration, totalling 100 points.

         DonationSolution’s service is based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET which is a stable and well
supported development platform. The service is web-based, which is a ubiquitous delivery method used
in e-business. It is also hosted off-site on proper server hardware, adding a degree of reliability not
available in the other solutions. Therefore, DonationSolution is awarded 50 points. The In-House
solution is based upon SQL, an industry-standard database technology, and Microsoft Access, which has
been a commonly used database application for many years. This system will most likely run on
inexpensive value-oriented hardware, which is not ideally suited to mission-critical applications. The In-
House solution has been awarded 45 points, since two technologies are required to interact which
introduces more volatility. The solution offered by GiftWorks is entirely proprietary, so its history can at
most be traced back to the origins of the company itself, which dates back to 2001. Given the fact that it
has only been available for five years it may not have had the exposure necessary to reveal any limitations
of the software. As a result, GiftWorks scores 10 points in this category.

        Since DonationSolution and the In-House solution are based on current, industry-standard
technologies which are sure to provide a clear upgrade-path, they each earn 40 points. GiftWorks,
however, as a proprietary solution does not provide a clear upgrade path and may become obsolete,
especially if the company were to be acquired or go out of business. Therefore, it scores 10 points in this

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                    ITM800 - Group 22

Exceptional Consideration
        DonationSolution earns 10 points for exceptional consideration, as an application designed to
natively work over the Internet and for use of proper server hardware.

5.4.2   Support Offered
        Due to the multi-faceted nature of this criterion it has further been broken down into two
subcategories: e-mail support, with 30 points and telephone support with 60 points. An additional 10
points has been set aside for exceptional consideration, totalling 100 points.

E-mail Support
        Both DonationSolution and GiftWorks provide online support via e-mail or a form submission.
They also offer extensive online help that can answer many questions. As a result, both products score 30
points. The In-House solution will only be able to provide minimal e-mail support, and therefore earns 5

        DonationSolution is the only vendor which offers telephone support. Since support is offered
during regular business hours, DonationSolution scores 45 points. The In-House solution will be able to
provide minimal telephone support and therefore receives 5 points. GiftWorks does not provide
telephone support so is not eligible for any points.

Exceptional Consideration
        No exceptional consideration points were awarded.

5.4.3   Vendor Stability
         Mission Research, the company that develops the GiftWorks product has been in operation since
2001, making it the best established vendor earning the company a score of 50%. DonationSolution was
established in 2004. Since the company has been in operation for two years it is also rated at 50%. The
group that would develop the In-House solution would be solely comprised of recent university graduates
who do not have significant experience developing applications of this magnitude. Therefore, it earns the
minimum score of 20%.

         It should be noted that both DonationSolution and GiftWorks, are based in the United States.
This introduces an unanticipated risk: currency risk. A change in the exchange rate for U.S. Dollars from
Canadian dollars directly affects both the initial and ongoing costs of the system.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                             39
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

6.      Recommendations

6.1 Comparative Analysis of Vendor Solutions
        Each of the proposed solutions had a number of strengths and weaknesses. This comparative
analysis summarizes the selling points and significant disadvantages of each product. The following table
presents a summary of the scoring results. A detailed breakdown is included in Appendix I.

                     Feasibility Analysis - Summary
 Criteria                       Weight           DonationSolution             GiftWorks          In-House
    Organizational               14                    5.43                     10.57              10.43
    Technical                    14                   12.11                      7.60               8.16
    Functional                   24                   19.20                     24.00              18.72
    Financial                    39                   35.10                     23.40              19.50
    Risk                          9                    7.43                      2.57               4.07

     TOTAL                       100                   79.26                    68.13            60.88
6.1.1   DonationSolution
         The largest selling feature of this service over the others is the web-based interface. This is by far
most convenient method of access for TCCF. Web browsers are ubiquitously available and don’t require
additional client licenses. The offsite nature of the solution also gives it an advantage in terms of
software and hardware reliability, making it totally “hands-off” for the client. DonationSolution also has
a very robust permissions structure that is ideally suited to the organization, which would ensure that
individuals within the organization are limited to functions they are responsible for, providing a higher
level of security. The scalability of the system is an impressive asset, as it could conceivably expand well
beyond 100,000 donors should that level of capacity be needed. In addition, the service provides a vast
suite of reports that would be very useful to the executive branch of the organization. This solution is the
most affordable of the three options considered, and has the benefit if extremely low start-up costs,
preventing TCCF from making a risky large initial outlay. Finally, DonationSolution is the only vendor
that provides telephone support, in addition to e-mail support, which is an important feature to the end
users at TCCF. DonationSolution’s major hindrance is its very poor user interface. The confusing menu
layout and unattractive screens would be detrimental to users’ perception of the system and its
capabilities. The service is also limited in its ability to import data. While this is possible, it has to be
done manually by DonationSolution staff and has a fee attached.

6.1.2   GiftWorks
         The greatest feature of the GiftWorks application is its extremely friendly and intuitive user
interface. It presents information in a clean, logical way that is easy for users to understand, making
reports more valuable and it reduces the need for user training. This product also has extensive
documentation that is consistently well-written and easy-to-understand. GiftWorks is also ahead of the
others with broad support for importing and exporting commonly used data formats. In addition, the
application includes a significant variety of reports that would be of practical use to the leadership of
TCCF. Financially, this option fares poorly due to the requirement for each user to purchase a license,
and the expensive costs for ongoing technical support. The major impediment to GiftWorks is its poor

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                   40
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

support for multiple users. As a desktop application that runs on a local PC, it is difficult to share with
multiple users and would require additional hardware and/or software to function as desired over the
Internet. The current version of the software also has very weak security and virtually no permissions
structure, which is not ideal for TCCF’s needs.

6.1.3   In-House
         The experience gained during the industry and company analysis gives the In-House project an
advantage. The team members have an in-depth understanding of the company and its processes, which
will allow for much better organizational acceptance and an overall smoother transition from manual
processes. Although the system would be capable of meeting the needs of TCCF, the financial analysis
suggests that it would cost substantially more than the other options, mainly due to the high cost of
programmers to develop the system. The fact that the system would be developed by recent graduates
who do not have substantial experience building systems of this scope added a considerable amount of
risk. The proposal also suffered from poor documentation and lack of support, both of which would be of
practical use to the client.

6.2 Recommended Solution
         While all of the criteria contributed to determining the best solution overall, two aspects of the
proposed solutions played major roles in determining the one best suited for TCCF: the cost and the
nature of remote access. Although all of the solutions provided some form of remote access, the means
by which it was provided was what made each proposal distinct. Both the In-House and GiftWork
solutions require client software that potentially complicated the process of using the system. While this
may not have been a factor in a tech company, the culture at TCCF is best suited for a system that is very
simple to access, and this is reflected in the technical feasibility analysis. DonationSolution proposed a
web-based interface that would make more intuitive sense from the client’s perspective since the users
would likely already be familiar with navigating a webpage. As a charity, TCCF was especially
conscientious about costs. If a system met all of the requirements but was not financially feasible, it
would not have scored well overall. This can be seen in the weighting scheme used by the feasibility
matrix. Not only did the proposal from DonationSolution provide a simple method of access but it was
also the most inexpensive solution.
         These two factors, combined with its satisfactory performance in other areas, led to the
conclusion that DonationSolution would be the best solution for TCCF to adopt. Since its performance
was well overall, DonationSolution was a sound solution. However, its superiority in how it provides
remote access and its admirably low cost justifies its recommendation over the alternative systems.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               41
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                     ITM800 - Group 22

7.      Implementation Plan

7.1 Implementation Plan

         An implementation plan will be necessary to successfully follow through with the proposed
system recommended in the previous section. This plan explains how the new system will be integrated
into the current processes within the organization to ensure that it is successfully accepted by the
members and volunteers who will use and benefit from it.
         Although the implementation of a system will change some of the processes within TCCF, it is
important to retain the organization’s core competency: the strong community shared among its
members. Donor relations representatives, in essence the front-line volunteers, must be well-versed in the
company’s new policies and well-trained on the purpose and use of the new IT system. A company is the
sum of all of its parts, and satisfied volunteers are a key component of a not-for-profit organization’s
success. Therefore, TCCF should strive to improve its charity culture by involving volunteers during this
time of change, rather than alienating them.
         Change should not come all at once. If members are bombarded with too much change, it can be
very overwhelming and burdensome and may lead to volunteer turnover. Some members may have
become very comfortable with the way things have been done in the past, making them more resistant to
any changes. Hence, implementation needs to be carefully planned so members can embrace any new
initiatives. Implementation planning should revolve around the three processes that the new system

        1. Collection of donor information and data entry of donor information into the system;
        2. Communication with donors; and
        3. Book-keeping for tax receipts and income summary.

        The key to overcoming this resistance is to engage the organization’s senior members as
champions for the change. These change agents will encourage all users to follow the new processes and
help them understand how they will simplify future transactions, betters the organizations objectives and
ultimately benefits the child they are trying to support. The following transition plan outlines the
important aspects of the implementation process including planning, installation and conversion,
acceptance testing, training, and documentation.

7.2 Planning
       One of TCCF’s senior or committed volunteers must take a lead role in managing the
implementation process of the proposed project. The implementation of the new processes are as follows:

7.2.1   Collection and data entry of donor information
        Implementation of this first process should begin at least six month prior to the launch of the new
system. This time-frame will give members a chance to become acquainted with the new process and
thus, will ease the transition. The purpose of this step is to obtain personal and transactional data from
donors, with every donation. As such, senior executives at TCCF should:

        1. Inform all members of the organization that they must collect a completed copy of the
           standard donor form with each and every donation. This message should be communicated
           through every communication channel within the organization, such as at executive meetings,

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                               42
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                      ITM800 - Group 22

           newsletters, word-of-mouth, e-mail and telephone calls to all members who accept donations
           on behalf of TCCF.
        2. Designate one individual for each chapter responsible for the collection and storage of all
           donor/prospect information forms. These forms will be obtained from members who collect
        3. Designate a few individuals at each chapter responsible for inputting this data into the
           database in a timely manner (i.e. twice each month).

        With the implementation of a new system, the process of accepting donations (see Figure 2 –
Donation Process) will be modified considerably. The donation solicitation process will not change
much; pleas aimed toward donors at TCCF events will remain the primary way to encourage the
community to contribute financially. However, the new process will require that each donation made is
accompanied by a donation form (refer to diagram) to record donor personal information and donation
amount. For new donors, all personal information (all personal, contact, and transaction information with
as much detail as possible) will be collected. For previous donors, only the donor’s name, the amount of
the donation and phone number will be required. The donations collection process, although part of
TCCF’s culture, is at times sporadic and unstructured. The modification of this process means significant
organizational change as the core function of the company is transformed. For the intended system to
work, the process of filling forms with each and every donation transaction is imperative. Users may
show some resistance to this change as a donation form was not required in the past.

7.2.2   Communication with donors
        The process for communicating with donors has been divided into two sub-categories: e-mail and
telephone. Donors’ preferred method of contact will be recorded in the database. Those who select e-
mail will receive automated e-mail communications from the system. This change will result in reduced
work for chapter leaders as they will no longer have the need to send ad-hoc emails to their personal
contact lists. This change should not create much resistance from users as they will not be affected by it.
The system will generate a report listing donors that select telephone as their preferred method of contact.
Chapter leaders may assign volunteers to personally contact those donors to inform them of upcoming
events. This process may encounter some resistance as it might require volunteers to place more
telephone calls than they are currently accustomed to.

7.2.3   Book-keeping for tax receipts and income summary
         Unlike the previous two processes, the implementation of this process will not require a
significant amount of preparation. This process will most likely be delegated by a member of the
executive. Since the system will be responsible for generating these receipts and reports, it will be a
substantial reduction in the amount of tedious work that is currently required.

7.3 Installation and Conversion
        The new system does not require installation because the solution is a service that is operated
offsite by the vendor. Since TCCF is not replacing any existing systems, the implementation and
conversion to the new system will not be significant. However, planned steps should be taken six-months
prior to launch in order to mitigate any unconstructive change impact the new processes will have on
volunteers. The process of issuing manual tax receipts per donation can continue until the launch of the
new system. Once the new system has launched, tax receipts will be generated and printed directly from
the system. It is important that tax receipts are no longer issued manually after that date to avoid
duplication and potential accounting problems.

March 2006 - Confidential                                                                                43
The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                        ITM800 - Group 22

7.4 Acceptance Testing
         The main users of the system will participate in acceptance testing. These users include the
several senior volunteers, treasurers, and at least two designated volunteers who will be entering donors’
personal data into the system. Testing will take place during the first three months of the implementation
phase. During this time, the vendor does not charge a fee for the use of the system. User acceptance
testing will have several components;

        •   Data Input Testing
        •   Report Testing
        •   Communications Testing

        Each component will be tested by the appropriate user group to ensure that actual functionality of
the product is consistent with the vendor’s claims.

7.4.1   Data Input Testing
         There are two types of data that a volunteer may input; donor information and donation
information. The user will test the creation of a new donor by entering the donor’s information. Each field
on the data input screen will correspond to a line on the donor or pledge form. After successfully
inputting a new donor’s information, the volunteer will enter a new donation for that donor. The donation
screen will include all information about the donation; date, amount, method of payment and a checkbox
to indicate if a receipt is provided.
         The user will also attempt to create a donor whose information is already in the database. Once
the donor’s full name and address are entered, the system should recognize that the entry could be a
duplicate and prompt the user for confirmation. The User will repeat the same process and enter a
duplicate donation. Once the donation date and amount are entered, the system should recognize that a
single donor made two donations of the same amount on the same day and prompt the user for

7.4.2   Report Testing
         Senior level volunteers will perform the first set of report testing. These users will execute each
report at least twice. They will ensure that the reports contain information that is consistent with the
database’s sample data. They will also verify that the report’s layout and formatting do not have any
         The Treasurer will execute the year end report (using the sample data). This report should have an
accurate tally of all of the donations (receipted and non-receipted) for the fiscal year. The treasurer will
also ensure that the formatting of the report is defect free.
         Under the supervision of the Treasurer, volunteers will create receipts for donations. The
volunteers will ensure that they are able to search for a specific donation successfully and generate the
report. The Treasurer will inspect the receipt to ensure that the date, amount, donor name, address and
formatting are acceptable.
         A volunteer will execute the phone list report that is to generate a listing of all donors who prefer
to be contacted via telephone. The volunteer will verify that this list is consistent with the sample data and
that the report formatting is acceptable.

7.4.3   Communications Testing
        A senior volunteer along with another volunteer will generate a sample mailing that would be
used to communicate upcoming events to donors. The volunteers will ensure that the newsletter creation
process is simple and user friendly. They will also verify that the email received by donors is consistent

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with what was created in the system. Finally the donor will verify that the emails are only sent to the
donors who opted to receive the emails.

7.5 Training
        The new system provided by Donation Solution is fairly user friendly. The vendor provides
technical support via e-mail and telephone during regular business hours. However, since many of
TCCF’s members may not be computer savvy, it is essential that users are trained on the basic use of the
system. Without this training, they system may not be fully adopted by the users.
        To sustain the usefulness of the system, the individuals responsible for collecting and storing all
donor or prospective donor information must be trained on how to input data and search for information
in the database. The low level of complexity and the user friendly nature of the system do not call for a
formal training session. Once a few computer savvy volunteers read through the documentation and are
familiar with the system, they will be able to guide other users. Once the initial volunteers are trained and
feel comfortable working with the new system, they will be responsible for training other volunteers.
Training will involve a step by step walk through how to search for and enter donor information and
donations into the system.
        The vendor provides online documentation which contains a step by step training manual with
screen shots at every stage. This document can act as a guide to any volunteer who is having difficulty
navigating the system.

7.6 Documentation
        Summary sheets will be provided to TCCF members at the executive meeting outlining in detail
what the new change processes entail. These comparison sheets will explain the new processes and show
the improvements over the old processes. All processes, once formalized and accepted but the
organization, must be documented and stored for reference.
        Newsletters will be distributed to the organization’s donors to keep them informed of the progress
that TCCF is making. Donors will be reminded that each donation must be accompanied by a standard
        The senior volunteer that is overseeing the implementation of the project will have the
responsibility to document any supplementary information or feedback form the users. This information
may be used in the future to simplify tasks. It can also be used to provide product feedback to the vendor.

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8.      Concluding Remarks

        A highlight of the Ross et al. (2005) study was the definition of four key success factors of the
charitable industry:

        •   Excellent relationships with donors,
        •   Excellent relationships with volunteers,
        •   Effective use of funds, and
        •   Strong leadership.

         All four of these factors must be performed well in order for a charity to be successful. With
regard to these key success factors, the most practical and beneficial implementation of technology for
TCCF would be a donor database (Ross, et. al, 2005, 34). A donor database is a very strategic and
valuable investment for a charity to make (Burnett, 2002, 52), and this tool can provide TCCF with the
capacity to develop a better understanding of donors and their behaviours. This solution encompasses
several short and long term benefits which are summarized in the table below.

Short-Term Benefits                               Long-Term Benefits
Automation of repetitive tasks (receipts)         Detailed statistics on donation levels
Shift of labour away from top leaders             Ability to target specific groups of donors
Ability to track prospective donors               Trend information on individual donors
                                                  Ease of handling continued growth

        To assist in the implementation of such a system, further research was conducted and several
vendor solutions were examined. A feasibility study determined which solution would best satisfy the
needs of TCCF. This vendor solution was then recommended as a potential candidate for implementation
and a full implementation plan was developed to help facilitate a smooth transition should TCCF decide
to proceed with the recommendation.

         As a small charity, TCCF’s existing processes were manageable and work well. However,
considering the significant growth the organization has experienced in the past few years, automation is
necessary to ensure continued success. As a consequence, formal processes are necessary. It is
foreseeable that the organization could double in size in the near future. The new processes that were
described in Section 4, supplemented with the system recommended in Section 6, will help TCCF to
effectively manage this growth and to focus on their core operations: fundraising to save the lives of
children from the Caribbean.

        Our group would like to sincerely thank The Caribbean Children Foundation for providing us
with the opportunity to study their organization. Kumar Singh, our primary contact in the organization,
has been exceptionally helpful in providing our team with the information needed to complete this report.
This has been an invaluable learning experience for all of our team members and it is our genuine desire
that outcome of this report will be the implementation of an effective donor management solution that
will benefit The Caribbean Children Foundation for years to come.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                 ITM800 - Group 22

9.      References

Bennett, S., McRobb, S., & Farmer, R. (2002).      Satzinger, J. W., Jackson, R. B., & Burd, S. D.
        Object-Oriented Systems Analysis and               (2004). System Analysis and Design in a
        Design Using UML (Vol. 2). Berkshire,              Changing World (Vol. 3). Boston,
        UK: McGraw-Hill.                                   Massachusetts: Course Technology.

Davis, W. S., & Yen, D. C. (1999). The             Phills, J. A.(2005). Integrating Mission and
       Information System Consultant's                      Strategy for Non-profit Organizations.
       Handbook. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC                   New York: Oxford University Press, USA.
                                                   Ross, et. al. (2005). The Caribbean Children
Hallows, J. (2005). Information Systems Project            Foundation: A Strategic Analysis.
       Management (Vol. 2). New York:
       AMACOM.                                     Burnett, K. (2002). Relationship Fundraising. San
                                                           Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Marchewka, J. (2003). Information Technology
      Project Management. Illinois: Wiley.

Regan, E. A., & O'Connor, B. N. (1994). End-User
       Information Systems. New Jersey:

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10. Appendices

Appendix A – RFI – DonationSolution

Hello Mr. Liu,

After reviewing your RFI, we believe our web-based solution DonationSolution would be a good
fit for your client. From your requirements, our system will be able to handle everything you’ve
requested. We also integrate the ability of accepting online donations via PayPal. Additionally,
as features and improvements are added, all users of our system receive the enhancements at no
additional cost.

Attached please find a Power Point presentation that outlines the overall features of our product.
Should your client require a specialized product, that is also a possibility however, without
knowing the specific needs, I would be unable to quote specifics. A standard package for a
client in development would include 4-6 hours per month of phone consultations and a generous
partition of system space. Your client would probably fall in the $750 - $1,200 per month range
depending on the amount of customization that is necessary.

For our web-based solution, which is used by many non-profit organizations, our pricing
structure is as follows:

From your questionnaire, our responses are as follows:

1.      Please describe how your product or service will ensure the integrity of data collected,
stored and processed by the system?

We value your data and safely store it on the Donation Solution server.

2.      What redundancy or backup features are offered by your product or service?

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We performed backups on our servers every day.

3.     How will data be stored? Is it stored in a standardized or universal format that can be
exported or migrated?

It is stored in an SQL-based database on our server.

4.      Is the data format compatible with popular Canadian accounting packages?

Donation Solution probably will not integrate with Canadian accounting packages since we are
an American corporation.

5.      How will donation data be reconciled with actual donations? How will the system
identify a bounced cheque with the donor that wrote it?

You may generate a report to compare the data.

6.      What are the system requirements of your product or service, if applicable?

Absolutely nothing. All your client would need is a computer with access to the internet.

We are a company based in Oreland, Pennsylvania and we have approximately 50 clients who
are currently using our Donation Solution system.

I have also included a few sample screenshots from our system.

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I would be happy to provide more specifics after receipt of further details from you.

Thank you,

Kelley E. Ewing, Jr.
K2 Solutions, LLC.
Affordable Fundraising Software for Non-Profits!!

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Appendix B – RFI – GiftWorks

Dear Lee Liu,

Mission Research is an innovative software and usability research company dedicated to building
simple, powerful, high-quality software. The company was started by the founding team of
Chili!Soft, which sold for $70 million in 2000 to Cobalt Networks (Sun Microsystems
[NASDAQ:SUNW]. Our technology platform is unique--something we call The Hybrid Web,
which boasts the power and safety of desktop applications integrated smartly and safely with
web-based functionality.

We have looked over your RFI and we believe our GiftWorks software should meet many of
your client’s needs. Our software is very competitive to any other offerings you may be
investigating. Only $299, GiftWorks 2006 Fundraising Software makes your work easier, which
is why it's the fastest-growing fundraising software ever! Please see the attached document for
our responses to your survey questions.

Attached document - RFI021806.DOC:

1.      Please describe how your product or service will ensure the integrity of data collected,
stored and processed by the system?

Our software runs on a database engine used by many Microsoft services such as Active
Directory and Exchange. Our software ensures valid data is entered according to the rules you

2.      What redundancy or backup features are offered by your product or service?

The database file is a single file which makes it extremely easy to do perform regular backups.

3.     How will data be stored? Is it stored in a standardized or universal format that can be
exported or migrated?

Our database is JET-based which can be opened using common software packages such as
Microsoft Access. This format allows data to be easily portable to other applications.

4.      Is the data format compatible with popular Canadian accounting packages?

GiftWorks features the ability to integrate with QuickBooks 2006. Please see Intuit’s website
(www.intuit.com) for more information on Canadian tax compatibility.

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5.      How will donation data be reconciled with actual donations? How will the system
identify a bounced cheque with the donor that wrote it?

If your client will be using the QuickBooks integration, we will be able to automatically
reconcile the information between our database and any received donations or gifts. Otherwise,
a report may be generates for any discrepancies.

6.      What are the system requirements of your product or service, if applicable?

GiftWorks requires:
• PC with Pentium III 333 MHz processor (Pentium 4 1 GHz recommended)
• Microsoft Windows XP Home, XP Professional, 2000, 2000 Professional operating systems

Please let us know if you have any other questions. We’ll be happy to assist you.

Chris Walker
VP of Customer Service
Mission Research, Inc.
355 East Liberty Street, Suite 201
Lancaster, PA 17603
(888) 323-8766 toll-free
(717) 431-0200 tel
(717) 431-0192 fax

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                             ITM800 - Group 22

Appendix C – RFI – In-House Solution

Our Custom Solution

To provide TCCF with more options, we also discussed a potential in-house solution. This
would come in the form of a software package that uses MS Access to connect to a live SQL
Server (Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL) on the web.

The design of all the input forms will use MS Access. One of the major advantages of this
system is that we’d be able to customize everything exactly to TCCF’s needs.

Technical Features

1) Remote Access – To prevent multiple copies and versions of the Access database file and to
simplify access to the system in general, the user would download a new version of the Access
database from a bookmarked URL on the web.

2) Data integrity – We would add validation and ensure data validity within our system.

3) Reliability – This would depend on the DBMS, but generally as long as our hosting provider
is reliable, the entire system should be fairly solid.

4) Permissions – We will add roles and permissions for security and audit purposes.

5) Scalability – The schema we included as a part of our RFI should be scalable for TCCF’s
needs for the next 5-10 years.

6) Import/Export – Our system should be portable to just about any other system since flat text
files can be exported from every DBMS. Importing data would generally require the fields to be
matched but TCCF currently has no data that needs to be imported.

7) Security – It would depend on the design and implementation of the database but security
should be very good. We would design it so that any transactions over the internet would be


Support options would be severely limited. Our own group member Arvin will mostly likely
take over the support aspect for the system. Documentation, features of the system and training
materials would depend on who would end up developing the system.

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Sample System Screenshots

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Appendix D – To Be Overview Diagram

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Appendix E – As Is Overview Diagram

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Appendix F – Legend

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Appendix G – Feasibility Matrix

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Appendix H – TCCF ERD

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Appendix I – Financial Calculations Details

        In Section 5.3, the vendor proposals were evaluated by comparing the Average Annual Costs of
each. The Average Annual Cost consists of two parts, the Ongoing Annual Costs, simply the sum of all
recurring costs for a particular option, and the Annual Loan Payment to pay for the Initial Costs, over a
specified term. Terms of 3, 5 and 10 years were used. An interest rate of 7.5% per year was used, based
on the current bank prime rate, plus a 2% premium. The following shows the formula for the second
component of Average Annual Cost, the Annual Loan Payment.

                &          r      #
        PMT = C $r +                , where:
                %    (1 + r ) ' 1 !
                        [    n
                                  "  ]
        •   PMT is the annual payment
        •   C is the Total initial cost
        •   r is the interest rate (7.5%)
        •   n is the loan duration, either 3, 5 or 10 years

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                     ITM800 - Group 22

Appendix J – Project Log

Deliverable 1: Project Planning Report

(December 21, 2005 – January 10, 2006)

    →   Draft project charter
    →   Draft system scope statement
    →   Draft project schedule
    →   Plan for understanding system requirements
    →   Determine interviewees
    →   Develop interview questions
    →   Compile deliverable
    →   Review/edit deliverable
    →   Submit Project Planning Report


 ITM800 Kickoff meeting - Starbucks (Avenue Rd and Lawrence)
  Our fist ITM800 meeting was a kick-off meeting in which project deliverables were
  discussed and ideas for potential solutions were bounced around.

 Second ITM800 meeting – online via VNC (remote desktop tool) and
  TeamSpeak software
  Our second meeting was yet another milestone for the first deliverable. The group
  met online via TeamSpeak Software and we shared documents with VNC, a remote
  desktop document sharing tool.

 Deliverable 1: Project Planning Report January 10, 2006
  The final completion of the Project Planning Report marked a major step into
  understanding the nature of the project and getting started with the project.

Deliverable 2: User Requirements Report

(January 10, 2006 – February 7, 2006)

    → Finalize project charter

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    →   Finalize system scope statement
    →   Schedule interviews with stakeholders
    →   Organize questions for gathering requirements
    →   Present ITM700 Report to TCCF stakeholders
    →   Finalize system requirements (user & technical)
    →   Schedule interviews with treasurer Teekah, Kumar, Jay
    →   Conduct interviews with stakeholders
    →   Analyze findings
    →   Compile deliverable
    →   Review deliverable
    →   Submit User Requirements Report


 Meeting with Kumar (Senior executive) and Jay (President of TCCF) –
  presentation of 700 deck
  Two of our group members, Arvin Ross and Jordan Whyte presented the ITM700
  report and findings to the executive members of the organization. As part of our
  consultation, we prepared a condensed version of our ITM700 report and a vigorous
  graphical KeyNote presentation. During the same meeting user requirement were
  addressed witch paved the path for the completion of the deliverable.

 TCCF fundraising event February 11, 2006 - interviews with treasurer Teekah,
  On February 11th, TCCF held their annual Valentines fundraising event. Our whole
  group, all six members attended the banquet. We enjoyed great West Indian and
  Caribbean food and took pleasure in the entertainment and cultural music. During
  the event, our group was acknowledged for our contributions to the organization.
  The team members were asked to stand at the table as about 300 attendees
  applauded. One of our members, Jordan Whyte, was asked to give an impromptu
  five minute speech about our project and progress.

 Completion of User Requirements report
  The final completion of the User Requirements report was step closer into
  understanding the nature of the product or solution we would want to offer our client
  as their future system.

Deliverable 3: Draft RFI

(February 7, 2006 – February 21, 2006)

    →   Compose RFI
    →   Submit draft RFI to Professor Tam
    →   Solicit offers from vendors
    →   Evaluate vendor offers

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 Complete RFI
  Completing this deliverable was a significant event because it solidified the scope
  and requirements of the project and lead the team into the response evaluation
  portion of the project.
 Receive and review vendor responses
  We sent out the RFI to five prospective vendors. Only two vendors provided
  complete responses outlining details.

Final Deliverable: Feasibility Study

(February 7, 2006 – March 31, 2006; 4:00pm)

    →   Compose feasibility study
    →   Compile and refine completed Sections 1- 4
    →   Edit Sections 1- 4
    →   Compose remaining sections
    →   Review/edit feasibility study
    →   Complete diagrams and appendices
    →   Format and organize document
    →   Submit final Feasibility Study


 Group meeting March 21, 2006
  At this meeting, the team specified exactly what work still had to be completed. We
  created a timeline that assigned tasks and deadlines to each team member.
 Final copy of Feasibility Study
  This marks the completion of the written portion of this analysis.

Presentation of Final Deliverable

(March 31, 2006 – April 4, 2006; 1:30pm)

    →   Create presentation
    →   Review/edit presentation
    →   Practice presentation as a group
    →   Deliver presentation

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Appendix K – RFI Sent to Vendors

March 31, 2006

•          Subject: Donations Database

Dear Sir or Madam:

Your company, along with a few other leaders in the Information Technology for Non-Profits field, is invited to
participate in the selection process of a database implementation partner for our client company.
Our client is a small fundraising charity that helps children with medical problems from all over the Caribbean. The
organization has recently restructured and is now composed of several chapters representing different regions in the
Greater Toronto Area. The result of the restructuring was a phenomenal growth in number of volunteers and donors
that want to support the cause. The long term vision for the organization is one of continued growth within Canada as
well as internationally. Our client has evolved from a small group of individuals raising a few thousand dollars into a
large network of professionals who raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Unfortunately, many organizational
processes are not optimized to maximize volunteer labour and minimize administrative expenses.
The donation processes remain largely manual and the charity realizes that it can improve efficiency, efficacy, and the
ability to scale by incorporating a database that tracks donation-related data. This database is anticipated to impact
processes on all levels of the organization. Upper management will use it to support decisions, staff will use it to record
donation transactions, and middle management will use it to generate reports.
Most of the design has been completed and we anticipate that this database can be operational by Fall 2006. There will
be two phases in the selection process:
Phase I
Firms are invited to submit their responses to us by March 22, 2006. We will conduct a feasibility analysis and
candidates will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    •      Robustness of solution
    •      Financial feasibility of solution
    •      Process integration and organizational feasibility of solution
    •      Vendor expertise and profile

A more detailed description of each criterion is included in the full document. From this phase, a maximum of three
candidates will be selected to progress into the second phase. The first phase is expected to be complete by no later
than April 30, 2006.
Phase II
The firms selected for this phase will be given, under a confidential agreement, detailed budget and operational
information. Each firm must provide a final proposal with detailed action plans, timelines, and cost breakdown. A
selection committee that includes representatives from our client will elect one candidate out of the potential vendors.
This process is expected to be completed by May 31, 2006.
We thank you for taking the time to participate in this selection process and look forward to hearing from you. If you
have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at leeliu@gmail.com or 416-839-7701.

Lee Liu
Senior Consultant
800 Consulting Group

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800 Consulting is in the process of evaluating and selecting a vendor to provide specific services and associated
tools that will support the contact/member management process of a small organization that is currently
experiencing tremendous growth. The primary purpose of this project is to facilitate a smooth transition from a small
charity to a mid-sized charity.

Overview of the organization
Our client is a registered Canadian charitable organization that has been in operation since 2001. The charity
specializes in fundraising activities to raise funds that are used to provide medical care for children in the Caribbean
(Appendix A describes the proposed event planning process). The organization is divided into several chapters
which each cover a specific geographic area within the Greater Toronto Area. This limited geographic reach is set to
expand considerably with plans for establishing new chapters in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Our client prides itself in the fact that they offer a warm personal touch to all interactions with their members and
volunteers. The organization’s relationships are based on social interactions and charismatic leadership. Our client is
also very proud of the fiscal efficiency it has accomplished; they consistently achieve minimal administrative costs
in the range of three to five percent of annual income.

Project Scope
The proposed system will consist of an online database that stores all information relevant to our client’s members
and donations (Appendix B is a sample database schema for the proposed system). The system will also include
application software to facilitate front-end data entry, back-end maintenance and report generation. As a volunteer-
based organization, high user turnover will mean new people may frequently need to be trained on how to use the
system. Users of the system must be able to learn its functions quickly and easily. This is a crucial aspect of the
system that, if not met, may result in the system being ignored altogether. Reports generated by the system must
provide meaningful and concise information to management in order to aid decision making.

The primary focus of this project is to provide the charity with the ability to effectively and efficiently manage the
relationships with its donors. The project scope will include:
              • Collection of donor information
              • Automated communication to donors by the donor’s preferred method of contact: mail (default),
                  e-mail, telephone (see Appendix C for proposed process)
              • Capture donor and donation information for future used and historical purposes (See Appendix D
                  for the proposed process)
              • Automated and immediate issuance of tax receipts for donations (see Appendix E for an outline of
                  the proposed process)
              • Automated generation of ‘thank-you’ letters
              • Simple and accurate year end donation income reporting (see Appendix E for proposed process)
              • Ad-Hoc customizable management reporting
Features that would be very useful to include in the system:
              • Link donations to the events at which they are collected, to establish a metric of how successful an
                  event was.
              • Integrate market research survey responses into donor profiles
              • Robust permissions and security restricting read and write access of all features to users on a per-
                  user and per-group basis.
              • Ability to accept donations via a website, in a fashion that is integrated with the proposed donor
                  database system

The system has the potential to be expanded to include volunteer tracking and many other important features in the
future. However, the scope of this project will not include:
            • Event planning information
            • Volunteer tracking

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             •    Donor attendance/event support tracking
             •    Organizational expense tracking
             •    Any function not directly related to maintaining donor relations unless otherwise stipulated

Project Background
This project will consider the process of collecting donations and work to make improvements to the ways our client
manages the information created during this process. The current donation process is entirely manual with limited
information retained by the organization in hardcopy format. This requires that all donation tax receipts be issued
on a per-donation basis and must be prepared manually. Since the organization has been experiencing rapid growth,
the sustainability of the current method is questionable. While our client has so far been able to issue these receipts
on time, as the number of donations increases this will require significantly more volunteer personnel to issue the
receipts. Additionally, the leadership of the charity does not have any way to track the trends of its donors over time
since there is no central repository for past donation history.

The immediate benefits of this system would be the automated generation of tax receipts and thank-you letters,
which may be sent out immediately after a donation has been received. Additionally, preparation of year end
financial reports would be simplified significantly and made more detailed at the same time. The leadership of each
chapter and the charity as a whole will have better information with which to make management decisions. These
improved decisions will have a positive impact on how the charity manages its donor relations.

Foreseeable long-term benefits include an improvement in donor retention, acceleration in donor growth, and an
increase in donation sizes. Improved management of donor relations is a principal benefit of this project. With
better donor relations, not only will a donor tend to continue donating to the charity but he/she will more likely bring
in new volunteers or donors through word-of-mouth.

These benefits to the charity can be directly mapped to project objectives. With the automation of receipt
production, person-hours directly associated with this process should be significantly reduced by at least 90%. The
positive impact on donor relations will manifest itself as an increase in the rate of donor retention, the size of
donations, and the rate of donor base growth. All of this must be accomplished without a resulting reduction in the
volunteer base.

Technical Overview

Our client does not own any technology assets. Volunteers utilize their personal IT assets to help the organization
accomplish its goals. For example, chapter leaders will compile contact lists and send emails from their personal
computers. They will also use their telephones to make calls to organize and promote fundraising events. The
benefits of technology have been discussed at the executive meetings, however, the organization does not have the
necessary competencies to plan and implement a system to address their needs. Our client’s target demographic
enjoys the personal touch that the organization offers; they feel more comfortable having a conversation face-to-face
or over the phone. The senior members of the organization have confirmed that email is becoming an acceptable
means of communication within the organization. Our client’s supporters are part of a community, a network of
established Canadian-Caribbean adults. This may be another reason why our client has shied away from adopting
technology, in fear that it would give the organization a cold facade, instead of the warm personality that it currently

Relationships with donors are not maintained through a structured organization wide process. Communications are
carried out on a personal and infrequent level. It is difficult to define a process that is carried out when it comes to
maintaining donor relationships because each member of the organization has their own way of thanking donors and
promoting fundraising events. There are five key functions that make up the donor management activity;
acknowledging contributions, promoting events, sharing information soliciting volunteers and soliciting donations.
These essential functions are accomplished differently in each chapter through the methods discussed earlier.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                               ITM800 - Group 22

In addition to facilitating the anticipated growth of the organization, the donor management activity supports the
organizational goal of retaining past donors. This is accomplished through meaningful communications.

Anticipated Business Benefits
The primary business benefit is to enhance the underwriting process, which is a core competency, thereby improving
the organization’s competitive position. Other benefits include:
       • Real-time status information on client application approvals
       • Faster approval process, speedier response to brokers, and an increase in the accuracy of pertinent
           information leading to better risk management
       • Informational, tracking, intellectual, and analytical process improvements since valuable information
           could be captured into the documents themselves for others to view at any time and understand the
           reasons for decisions made, or the status of applications and outstanding documents
       • Added competitive advantage to the division by providing brokers with faster response/approvals and
           more accurate and consistent premium rates for its clients

Product Information

Technical Features
        The purpose of this section is to obtain some basic background information on how your product or service
Please describe how your product or service will ensure the integrity of data collected, stored and
     processed by the system?
What redundancy or backup features are offered by your product or service?
How will data be stored? Is it stored in a standardized or universal format that can be exported or
Is the data format compatible with popular Canadian accounting packages?
How will donation data be reconciled with actual donations? How will the system identify a bounced
     cheque with the donor that wrote it?
What are the system requirements of your product or service, if applicable?

Training & Pricing Information

      This section is requesting information regarding the pricing of your product or service. We are interested in
      your pricing structure as well as to confirm the different components and services that should be considered
      when calculating the total cost of your product (e.g. installation, maintenance fees, consulting, etc.).
1. Please describe your pricing structure
Please detail any other costs related to the purchase and on-going operation that you feel are relevant.

Company Information

Experience/Product History
     The purpose of this section is to gain an understanding of your company's experience in developing,
     configuring and supporting your product or service.

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                           ITM800 - Group 22

1. How many employees are there in your company?
Please provide a detailed narrative description of your company’s experience servicing similar accounts
    of this size and type. We are primarily interested in your experience in providing products and
    services for charitable organizations.
When was your company founded?
Is your company profitable?
Describe your largest installed client using your product or service in a production environment in terms
                    Size of company
                    Volume of transactions
                    Number of sites using the product
                    Industry sector
Which industry are your products and services primarily targeted to?
Have you performed similar services at other companies? If so, please provide specific examples.
During the past two years, how many customer sites have you supported with similar software?
Can you provide us with three references?
Do you provide source code rights in the following situations?
                    Contractual Default
                    Additional Fee

Customer Satisfaction
     How does your company view customer satisfaction? We want to understand your company's approach to
     (establishing, monitoring and improving) customer satisfaction.

1. How does your company define customer satisfaction?
What is your method or approach for measuring customer satisfaction and implementing quality
How often does your company monitor and review customer satisfaction metrics?
How has your company established the thresholds that define "good" vs. "unacceptable" customer
What policies and procedures do you have in place for receiving, addressing and resolving customer
Who is the most senior executive in your organization that is responsible for ensuring and improving
   customer satisfaction? May we contact this individual? If so, please provide their contact

Vendor Selection Criteria
    We are seeking information about the resources, timeline, and cost needed to perform this service. Vendors
    will be evaluated on the following criteria:

    Functional Requirements
    Donor Management
    • Capture Donor Information: See attached sample database schema for details of required data fields. Some
       examples follow.
            o Full Name (Donors can be people or organizations, organizations will usually have a contact
                person, but the company name must be stored as well)
            o Address
            o Phone / email contacts
            o Preferred mode of contact (mail/phone/email)
            o Customizable fields
    • Automate information sharing process with donors by generating files that support mass communications
       (e.g. a mail merge). A main purpose of adopting the proposed system is to allow mass communication with
       groups of donors through a variety of media. Based on each donor’s preferred mode of contact, lists of

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                              ITM800 - Group 22

        mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers should be generated for donors meeting any given
        criteria. These communications could include:
             o Event Updates
             o Achievements / Successes
             o Progress Reports
             o Other Messages
    •   Track Donor behaviour. Another purpose for the system is to track donor behaviour over time. Some
        desired statistics could include:
             o Average donation amount
             o Frequency of donations
             o Consistency of donations
    •   Manage prospective donors. The system should allow donor prospects to be entered for follow up. These
        should be kept separately from the donors, as prospects are defined as having never donated to the charity.
        If a prospect becomes a donor, the record would be copied into the donor table.
             o Individual or corporate prospects can exist
             o Distinguish between prospects and donors
             o Assign volunteer/chapter to follow up with prospect
    •   Track and follow-up with pledges
             o Convert pledge to donation when money is received
             o Set pledge expiry date follow-up has no occurred or was not successful
             o Assign volunteer/chapter to follow up with pledges
    •   Automated thank-you letters after the receipt of a donation
             o Print to mail or email to donors
    •   Tax receipts
             o Print to mail or email to donors on a per-donation basis. Do not issue until donation has been
             o When generated a tax receipt will use the current address on file for the donor, this address will be
                  saved in the receipt table for historical purposes
             o The amount of the donation will be duplicated in the receipt table to preserve an audit trail
             o The donor name as printed on the receipt will be stored in one field in the receipt table
             o The receipt table will be linked to the appropriate donation transactions
             o The dates of generation and mailing will be stored

    • Donations summaries / comparisons. These basic reports will sum all donations meeting certain criteria
       and group them appropriately.
            o by Event (reports showing all detailed transactions associated with each event are required)
            o by Chapter (monthly & annual chapter reports summarizing all chapter activities will be required)
            o by Donor (a donor’s lifetime history with the organization)
            o by Month or Year (all donations within a given time frame)
            o by Donation amount (for example, show all donors who gave more than $1,000 in the past year)
            o by Child supported (most events support one or several children, events in turn are associated with
                one and only one chapter. Transactions are linked to the event at which they are generated. In
                order to send appropriate ‘thank you’ letters to donors, it must be possible to generate a listing of
                all donors who supported a given child, using this Child-Event-Transaction-Donor link
            o Any combination of these factors (for example, all donations for 2007 grouped by month and
    • Ad-hoc annual, monthly donation summaries (generic lists of all transactions occurring in a given time
    • Show inactive donors (varying periods). An exception report to show donors in the database who have not
       donated for a specified period of time (calendar year, month, previous 8 months, etc.)
    • Trend extrapolation. These reports are not critical, but would provide additional insight into donation
       trends within the organization.
            o Donor-base growth
            o Total donations forecast
            o Prospect success rate

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The Caribbean Children Foundation                                                            ITM800 - Group 22

    •   Donor Demographics (breakdowns of donor activity by demographic factors stored in the database, these
        should include the following)
             o Age (based on birth date)
             o Sex
             o Location (City, Prov, Country)
             o Nationality (Most donors for this charity are from a certain region but can belong to one of several
                 nationalities. The donor’s nationality would help with targeting certain donors with promotions
                 aimed at supporting children from the same country.)
    •   Print Mailing Labels / envelopes using a mail merge

    Non-functional Requirements:
    System Access
    • Access from several locations (dozen)
             o Geographically spread across GTA (access from homes of senior administrators, etc.)
             o Potential international access in the long-term future
    User Interface
    • User friendly and intuitive GUI
    • Compatible with all PCs (Windows 2000/XP environment)
    • Simple layout
    • Quick data entry
    • Data import capability
    Security / Profiles features
    • User permissions. The users of the system fall into one of several user roles. The various roles should
        have different access to data. The following gives a brief overview of each role and the corresponding
        access restrictions (see appendix F for more details).
             o Administrator – top management, unlimited access to reports, able to add/delete users
             o Chapter Leader – leader of one chapter, unlimited access to data linked to their chapter, but only
                  summary access for other chapters’ data (monthly/annual performance)
             o Data Entry – for volunteers that will enter transaction information. Access limited to data entry
                  forms, no reporting access
             o Read Only – limited access to reports (summaries), no write access
             o Power User – Access to query database directly with SQL
             o Customizable – more roles can be defined in the future
    • Create / Modify / Delete users
    • Audit trail to record all changes to data
    • Support → all day including evenings (until midnight in the eastern time zone)
    • Will support up to 50 users in the near future, including all volunteers and occasional users
    • Manage up to 10,000 donor records in the future
    • Simultaneous access of five or more users. Normal usage will be much lower as usage spikes during and
        after events.

    Technical Requirements:
    Specific technical requirements:
    • A client-server (front-end/back-end) or web based solution
    • Compatibility with popular operating environments
    • Simple and comprehensive documentation
    • Export records to multiple formats
             o .xls
             o .csv
             o .txt

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