The ultimate goal of systemization is to elevate performance through not only leveraging talent, knowledge and resources but also through hardwiring standardization of processes and priorities to establish one consistent manner in which the enterprise fosters philanthropy. Systemization also aims to diminish duplication—and often competition—between various sites. Successful systemization can enhance the donor-centric focus and donor experience by creating a more cohesive and collaborative approach to engagement. Systemization can also provide a platform for greater mission synergies and to pursue boundary-spanning funding priorities.
In our experience, systemization work is both complex and sensitive. Systemization requires consideration of not only a variety of moving parts and interactions at various levels of the organization but also expectations of a range of stakeholders. There is also a significant amount of change management that is part of a successful endeavor in order to overcome common feelings of fear and loss. Therefore, we utilize an iterative approach and prioritize a focus on inclusiveness, discussion and collaboration in order to be respectful and to foster widespread ownership of the plans. Accordant advances the opportunity through three phases: discovery, strategy and implementation.