Case Study: Page Education Foundation
The Page Education Foundation is a nonprofit supporting the pursuit of post-secondary education for youth of color. They issue Page Grants to young scholars, who then go on to inspire younger learners in elementary and secondary schools. Over 7,500 Page Grants have been awarded to Page Scholars, and tens of thousands of younger school children have benefited from their volunteer work.
Like most nonprofit organizations, The Page Education Foundation needs to be strategic about how they spend their resources. This cost-conscious attitude led them to forgo hiring an internal IT team and instead outsource to a small managed IT services provider. Unfortunately, the MSP did not meet the foundation’s needs, delivering slow responses and poor communication. They also failed to develop an IT strategy for the foundation, and when a serious event occurred, the resulting lack of preparedness seriously impacted the foundation’s ability to operate.
The Page Foundation suffered a loss of communication when their email system crashed. This situation required a quick and effective response because it was limiting the foundation’s ability to function. However, the MSP, without contingency plans in place and without a strategic mindset, approached the problem as an isolated technical issue rather than a business continuity issue. They focused on fixing the technical problem, while the foundation was left unable to communicate with their stakeholders.
The foundation found themselves in a situation where neither they nor their IT contractor knew what to do. The MSP could not resolve the email down situation and it dragged on for a week. The Page Foundation found this unacceptable so they reached out to Keith Schoolcraft at a COUPLE of GURUS for help. Keith and his team took a different approach by focusing on the business process problem as the most important: restoring The Page Foundation’s ability to communicate by email. The obvious solution was to get them onto a cloud solution as quickly as possible. This instantly restored their ability to communicate via email.
“I have always instructed my team to solve business problems first, and work on the technical side later. It was clear to me the other provider was not doing that, so we immediately prioritized a return to business solution — bypassing the tech issue with their email and getting them on to Office 365, instantly solving the communication problem.”Keith Schoolcraft
CEO, a COUPLE of GURUS
The email down incident was the beginning of the long relationship between The Page Education Foundation and a COUPLE of GURUS. Keith and his team took the foundation through their roadmapping process, establishing a secure and future-proof IT ecosystem. This means everything from protecting the foundation from security breaches to planning for the future with hardware upgrades. They are now set up for success, and free to focus on what they do best.
“As a nonprofit organization, we have unique constraints that affect how we run our organization. But day to day, we run just like any other business would. a COUPLE of GURUS has worked closely with us the last five years to understand our situation and develop plans to help us meet our daily objectives, as well as plan for our future. They’re always there to help guide us through our IT decision-making process.”Amanda Moua
Executive Director, Page Education Foundation
About Page Education Foundation
The Page Education Foundation was founded in 1988 with the mission of encouraging Minnesota’s youth of color to pursue post-secondary education. For over 30 years, they have been providing financial support, in the form of Page Grants. The foundation has provided over $15 million in Page Grants to 7,500 Page Scholars. They have partnered with a COUPLE of GURUS since 2015