Case Studies

Case Study - SOS Children's Villages

“This is why I was opting for this planning tool, you can really get a better grip on your deliveries”

SOS Children’s Villages is a 60 year old organization which has programs in 132 countries all over the world. In Denmark, SOS works with 30 of those countries, and the program from Marstrand Innovation: Marstrand Planning Intelligence (MPI) helps SOS to run its daily business and control all of their programs.

Hanne Rasmussen
Hanne Rasmussen, Managing Director for SOS Denmark has worked with SOS for 3 years, helping to create opportunities to raise money for and support the children’s villages.

The mission statement of SOS Children’s Villages is:

We build families for children in need.
We help them shape their own futures.
We share in the development of their communities.

SOS Denmark has a core staff of 25 people with many volunteers and students joining them on a regular basis to assists in projects and tasks. These projects and tasks form part of SOS Children’s Villages overall work, from marketing campaigns to raise awareness, to fundraising events, to everyday management, SOS has many ongoing activities.

Hanne knows the importance of keeping an overview of people and projects; she manages 25 people, volunteers, students, and many projects all at once. Hanne says “SOS is a very active organization, we have these long term projects that are running, and we also do day by day activities, we have volunteers coming in and out. Actually there’s a lot going on at once, and it’s really key that we keep track on the planning in such an environment.”

Getting a better overview:

“I won’t say that we have full control of the resources, we don’t. Because they have so many activities, and they have daily operations; but we do have maybe 80% overview, and that is so much better than before.”

Balancing long-term planning with everyday prioritizing:

“We do a long term plan of four years, and we need to make sure that what we have promised to achieve this year, is actually being achieved… We have financial obligations towards the projects, we cannot close a school with 600 students, because we didn’t raise the funds for that. So we need to, all the time, prioritize, what do we really have to do, and then, what is something that will bring us further and keep a balance between those things.”

Watch the video below between Hanne Rasmussen and Nils Marstrand to learn about how Hanne uses MPI for SOS Children’s Villages.

 You can read a full case study PDF here, which includes three examples of how SOS uses MPI.

Resource Management from Marstrand Innovation on Vimeo.

How does SOS use MPI?

Managing Staff & Organizing Projects

SOS has a staff of 25 people and countless students and volunteers who frequently help them on everything from marketing campaigns to fundraising events. The staff works on multiple projects at once, handling multiple deadlines and trying to coordinate students and volunteers who are new to the organization and require training and supervision. That’s a lot to handle and MPI helps them organize their projects by:
  • assigning people to tasks or projects with a single click;
  • get an overview of availability and warnings for overbooking;
  • assign teams of people (such as students or volunteers) to tasks;
  • have the students/volunteers track their hours for each project they work on;
  • and keep track of the progress of each of the projects and tasks.

Creating a Budget for the Board

SOS needed to make a budget for their Board of Directors. The Board needed to see a long term budget plan for how resources would be used. Because SOS couldn’t guess what which employees would be available over a long term, they made budget resources with titles like “Project Manager”, “Marketing Manager”, or “Fundraising Person”. They assigned these budget resources to projects and tasks and determined a potential cost for each by predicting how much each project or task would cost depending on who was assigned to it and how long it would take to complete it. The Board was able to see at a glance, and by day, week, or month, from detail to overview, the long term plan. Once approved, and projects are in motion, SOS can assign actual people in the place of the budget resources, keeping the same number of hours assigned to the person as the budget resource had, and begin work on the project or task.

Managing Marketing Campaigns

SOS has many marketing campaigns to make people aware of their fundraising activities and events, and to encourage people to donate time and money to their cause. As such, the Marketing Manager has many simultaneous campaigns to take care of, whether they are on or offline. The Marketing Manager needs to coordinate people to carry out tasks (such as designing an online game) or coordinate events (such as community events). These can carry significant work loads and the work must be designated to many different people. Marketing campaigns must be on time and on budget, especially in a non-profit organization. Using Time Registration and through managing projects on a task level, the Marketing Manager can get a clear overview of all campaigns or switch to detailed view, and see each assignment and the hours spent on it.

Handling Fundraising Events

These type of events require much planning, from booking the venue, the speakers, the catering, the audio visual equipment, to making guest lists, invitations, tracking attendees, and finally, handling the fundraising itself. For the Fundraising Manager, it was essential to have a clear plan laid out. Since many of the fundraising events are similar, it made sense to use templates, make one standard fundraising event and then duplicate it for each time there is a fundraising event. Each instance of the fundraising event can be customized with assignments, hours, costs, and scheduling. This saves the Fundraising Manager time in creating their next event and provides a clear plan with predictable results for each event.

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