American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities’ Infrastructure

Executive Summary

As a target organization to analyze its infrastructure and IS architecture requirements, the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) has been considered. This company provides charitable fundraising services for the treatment of children and cooperates with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The focal business process to review and assess is maintaining the radiothon donation application (RDA), a customer relations management system that helps ensure stable and, at the same time, open relationships with targeted beneficiaries.

Based on the assessment of this process from the perspective of its operational specifics, the corresponding technical requirements will be considered in terms of performance and convenience criteria. Individual operational issues will be determined in accordance with operational nuances, including the network parameters of the RDA, its maintenance, and network data management.

One of the main values ​​of the technology under consideration is the ability to process large volumes of data required to manage the ALSAC infrastructure effectively. In addition, the RDA allows for productive communication with all donors providing the necessary assistance to children. Adapting the RDA technology to the current supply chain helps minimize potential errors in resource allocation and asset control.

At the same time, to increase the credibility and sustainability of work, some recommendations are offered to ALSAC to pay attention to and address. In particular, the focus on the media is a crucial factor that can help increase the company’s competitiveness and strengthen its role in the target market. Engaging celebrities, expanding work on various online platforms, and other types of media activity have been assessed as significant aspects of increasing the sphere of influence. These measures will contribute to drawing more attention to ALSAC’s work, enhancing its technological base, and expanding the range of assistance to children in need.

Introduction

Overview of the Organization

American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) is a fundraising and brand awareness organization solely dedicated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. ALSAC was founded by the late entertainer, Danny Thomas. One day at his local church, he prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus and said, “Help me find my way in life, and I will build you a shrine” (St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 2021).

This prayer would not only define his acting career, but it would also be the birth of ALSAC. Danny had a dream to build a hospital to treat sick children no matter their race, creed, religion, or ability to pay. Looking to make good on his promise to St. Jude Thaddeus, Danny assembled business and community leaders from all over the country, who shared his views and were looking to be part of something that would not only change their lives, but the lives of the children that they vowed to help.

In 1957, “ALSAC” was formed and the quest to raise the funds necessary to build St. Jude began. By 1962, the doors of St. Jude’s first hospital opened in Memphis, Tennessee. ALSAC’s mission was to treat children all over the world with life-threatening diseases and to ensure that every family that enters their hospital would never have to pay for treatments, traveling, housing, or food. St. Jude has helped to increase the survival rate of childhood cancers from less than 20%, in 1962, to more than 80% today (St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 2021). It is also important to note that all research and treatment at St. Jude is freely shared.

St. Jude is the largest healthcare charity in the United States and one of the most loved and trusted health non-profit organizations. According to an EquiTrend Equity Score, St. Jude has the highest favorability of all major non-profits (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 2019). St. Jude donors are twice as likely to shop brands that partner with St. Jude when compared to consumers overall.

The reason St. Jude has been able to continue their lifesaving commitment of finding cures and saving children is due to ALSAC. The mission of ALSAC is to raise funds and awareness so St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital can carry out its goals (Afdehl, 2020).

ALSAC was named number one on Fast Company’s list of best workplaces for innovators in 2020 (Woodruff, 2020). ALSAC manages more than 11 million active donors and partners with more than 100 major brands on behalf of St. Jude. While St. Jude does receive some grants, ALSAC raises most of the funds necessary to run St. Jude. ALSAC does this through in-person, virtual events, digital campaigns, estate gifts, school programs, competitive gaming, direct mail, and television commercials engaging supporters from all age groups.

ALSAC has more than 31,000 events each year including radiothons in 330+ markets, mails 275,000 pieces of literature and has 140,000 direct TV airings each year. ALSAC consistently uses data as a strategic asset building efficiencies and systems for a digitally focused company. The organization is also keen on meeting donors where they are creating superior experiences by continuing to reimagine core programs, developing new market opportunities, and leveraging new business forces.

ALSAC/St. Jude has received three consecutive 4-star ratings since October of 2018 on Charity Navigator. ALSAC raised more than $1.7 billion at the close of its last fiscal year (Charity Navigator, 2021).

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Financials (FY20):
Fig. 1 – ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Financials (FY20).

Focal Business Process and Supporting IS

For a charity organization, the essential function of an information system (IS) is to improve its accessibility visibility while reducing its operational costs. As for ALSAC, the radiothon donation application (RDA) brings in a unique opportunity to achieve both higher visibility and make the optimal interaction between the organization and donors easier to achieve. RDA is a customer relationship management system that aims to improve the efficiency of communication between potential donors and the organization’s employees and volunteers

Prior to an event, RDA generates a phone number for donors to call and make a donation for that specific campaign. The call is then routed to a volunteer or to a call center on the other line. If that person has donated before, the RDA system will populate the donor’s stored profile information through an authentication process (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). It also has the ability to create profiles for new donors and collect data such as contact and payment information.

Next, a script for the volunteer or agent populates for them to read and provide a unified message on why the caller’s donation regardless of how much, can make a difference. RDA is an easy-to-use system and tracks how well each event is doing to ensure ALSAC is achieving its fundraising goals.

RDA makes it easy for the company to use outsourced call center agents and volunteers. Moreover, RDA enables the organization to host multiple charity events simultaneously. It further supports the organization by decreasing the costs of hosting charities due to the optimizations, such as internal hosting and no licensing fees, and usability improvements, such as faster analysis of the received data. This analysis enables more straightforward profiling of donors, which opens up the opportunity for the company to optimize its customer relationships (Gallaugher, 2015). The implementation of this IS significantly decreased the amount of time it takes for the company to process transactions and allowed instantaneous response from donors.

The positive impact of the radiothon is evident from the spikes in donations and the increased reach of the program. The usage of RDA is linked to a higher quality of data and less time spent processing it. By mobilizing 35 radio stations across the United States, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was able to set a new record for donations, gathering a total of $7 million in 2019 via its national radiothon (ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 2018). The use of this information system significantly boosts the potential of the company to attract and retain donors.

Critical Success Factors

For ALSAC’s RDA system to function at the optimal level, there are three critical success factors. First, the company must establish a relationship with the radio stations that they are working closely with and adequate each campaign to match the genre, language, and the location of the event (D. Smith, Personal Communication, January 22, 2021). Establishing a strong relationship with radio stations is a very powerful critical success factor for ALSAC because of their ability to reach vast audiences. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of adults in America listen to the radio every week, and on average are tuned in 106 minutes per week (Watson, 2019).

ALSAC performs over 200 fundraising campaigns every year through these relationships, and they bring in on average about $60 million every year (D. Smith, Personal Communication, January 22, 2021). Performing the majority of their campaigns with the same stations annually, ALSAC is able to measure the metrics to define how efficient each event is going, which helps them plan and allocate the required resources for the next event. ALSAC uses other metrics to measure how successful each event is through the number of calls received, average donation amount, number of donations, average number of calls, credit cards to offline donations ratio, and one-time donations to recurring donations ratio.

Secondly, they need to set up a reliable internet connection between their call centers and database warehouses while also ensuring the entire hardware infrastructure is working as intended to maximize efficiency. These events rely mostly on call centers which use Chromebooks as their main equipment to conduct the donations and the collection of donor information (D. Smith, Personal Communication, January 22, 2021). When receiving a call, the Chromebooks must be able to quickly communicate through firewalls to the company databases and with third-party credit card processors. These digital communications are timed and tracked for efficiency.

Lastly, adequate training is also a major critical success factor. The key players for these events are the volunteers, call center employees, DJs, and radio hosts. It is important that the

required training is given to them because they are the ones that attract the audience, explain the process and ultimately receive and process the donation from radio listeners. This factor is measurable through tracking call times for volunteers, and the ratio of one-time donations that are recorded, to the number of recurring donors that are signed up.

One of the main factors that make these events successful is that ALSAC’s mission statement is based on the real-life, true stories of events that kids have gone through or are currently experiencing. Throughout the two days of each event, stories are shared in hopes to inspire donors to relate to them, which would cause more people to be more inclined to contribute (D. Smith, Personal Communication, January 22, 2021). In return, this increases ALSAC’s return on investment of the event, ultimately helping them reach their strategic goal.

Infrastructure and Architecture Requirements for the Focal IS

As previously mentioned, in order for ALSAC to use the Radiothon Donation Application (RDA), there must be internet access. ALSAC provides computers according to the need of the donation campaign (D.Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). For campaigns of a smaller size, the number of computers ranges from 3-5, with one volunteer or field office worker operating on one computer. Under normal circumstances, Chromebooks were provided to different field offices with RDA software.

However, the pandemic has changed the way the Radiothon fundraising now operates. Instead of volunteers operating incoming calls from donors, the foundation now outsources call centers to complete the donation giving process (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). They now use three different call center locations, where the software is readily available on call center computers. The application has to be switched on remotely for the corresponding call centers and volunteer computers in order for it to function.

Within the RDA application, the Dial Number Identification System (DNIS) is implemented to locate callers in order to direct them to volunteers and call centers associated with the particular campaign to which they want to donate (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). It is also used to identify previous donation records and instantaneous information regarding donations during campaign events. Because of the global nature of St. Jude, the company has several servers around North America, which include Texas and Mexico. However, these servers are not solely dedicated to RDA information. The foundation does have two on-site disaster recovery servers as a safety measure for donor information as a whole.

Information Management Issues

The program that ALSAC runs the Radiothon Donation Application (RDA) is a framework of JavaScript. ALSAC has years of collected data that was scripted into this new program created by their IT team (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). Previously, the RDA used Salesforce as their CRM. ALSAC has changed how the RDA operates by creating their own inhouse software solely for their donation needs.

Although there are many branches that service the RDA information systems program at ALSAC, all of their IT is done in-house and locally (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). Most teams are usually working with networking, interface, or infrastructure. On occasion, teams are hired from the outside for certain projects, but the majority of it remains in-house and stateside. Unlike other purchased information systems, RDA is supported with their own equipment and network. Although this product is relatively new for this organization, the expected lifespan of the RDA is about 5-7 years based on how quickly technology develops and the needs for information systems change (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021).

Strategic Business Analysis

The Supply Chain

ALSAC fundraises money for St. Jude Children’s hospital through Radiothons.

Radiothons are events held in conjunction with a radio station as a channel of distribution to reach their audience and attract donors. In order for Radiothons through ALSAC to be successful, they use a logistics and storage company called F1 which is located in Seattle and Dallas (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). F1’s storage facilities allow ALSAC to keep track of inventory which enables them to host multiple Radiothons at once. This inventory includes the tracking of shipments and the required hardware equipment (Chromebooks, telephones, headsets, touchpads, cabling for internet connections, etc.) which are sourced from the lowest bidding vendors on a need basis.

The Chromebooks, along with the telephones and its accessories, run through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). These are the principal equipment that volunteers use to gather information and ultimately process the donation. Chromebooks are only used by volunteers and replaced roughly every 5 years. ALSAC outsources and reroutes calls to call centers when there is an overflow of call volume that the in-house team cannot handle. These call centers use their own equipment and gather information to process donations through a unique URL provided by ALSAC which is 100% secure (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

ALSAC has to monitor the bandwidth provided by every local service provider during a Radiothon to ensure the connection is stable between volunteers and potential donors. Even though ALSAC has enough bandwidth to last throughout the year, they also hire local internet service providers through a bidding process for the Radiothons where local volunteers take calls (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

All of this equipment together allows ALSAC to provide the great service to volunteers and donors to ensure all Radiothons are successful. The amount of equipment needed for each Radiothon is forecasted based on metrics that are evaluated from past events such as: number of calls received, average donation amount, number of donations, average number of calls, credit cards to offline donations ratio, and one-time donations to recurring donations ratio (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

To ensure the organization’s viability, it is imperative that ALSAC stays on top of trends and are responsible for 80% of the donated money needed to operate St. Jude’s (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). Studies have shown that employees are more productive working from home than they were in an office setting (Bloom, 2015). With the COVID-19 pandemic, 71% of employees that used to work in an office, now work from home. More than half of them say that given the choice they would prefer to permanently telecommute (Parker, 2020). With a reduction of daily commuters listening to the radio and more listeners listening to ad-free music streaming services such as podcasts, radio listenership is declining.

This growing trend will ultimately result in fewer donations from Radiothon campaigns. Luckily, ALSAC has implemented viral social media campaigns and partnerships with podcasts. In addition, they partner with syndicated radio hosts, like Bobby Bones, all promoting the Partner in Hope program which is a $20 monthly commitment from individuals (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

They have also partnered with music artists such as Garth Brooks, to donate certain proceeds from album sales to ALSAC. ALSAC has even expanded to other growing industries like the gaming industry, to capture a wider donor-base than ever before. These tactics have helped ALSAC to diversify how they receive donations and will help to ensure they remain committed to getting the job done well into the future.

Porter’s Competitive Forces & Generic Response Strategies

ALSAC uses the differentiation strategy as their source of competitive advantage. The purpose of differentiation is to make one’s organization or brand stand out among competitors by offering unique benefits or services (Kokemuller, 2019). ALSAC is highly focused on their mission(s), values and innovative brand awareness tactics when it comes to promoting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. ALSAC excels at targeting its audience and creating value for donors. They use the differentiation strategy to limit the potential risk of trends and threats to any of the five forces that could change in the future.

In order for an organization to maintain its competitive advantage, one must understand Porter’s Competitive Forces. Compared to a for-profit organization, non-profit organizations examine the forces that would hinder their ability to perform their mission efficiently and to the highest potential (Thorin’s Think Space, 2011). In the case of ALSAC, one should analyze the threat of competitors, buyers, substitutes, new entrants, and suppliers.

Threat of competitors

ALSAC’s threat of competitors is low, and they firmly believe that they do not have organizational competitors. They believe that the only true competitor out there is childhood cancer. As stated, “We have sister charities, not outside competitors. We compete with ourselves” (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

Bargaining power of buyers

To add, the bargaining power of buyers is low because of ALSAC’s donors/customers, who believe in the cause and have created long-lasting loyalty to the organization and brand.

Threat of substitutes

In comparison, the threat of substitutes is low. There are not many substitutes out there that offer the same benefits and value at the scale that ALSAC provides.

Threat of new entrants

Likewise, the threat of new entrants is also low. In the nonprofit industry, the threat of new entrants is often extremely low (Thorin’s Think Space, 2011).

Bargaining power of suppliers

However, there are a few current and looming trends in the industry that are affecting the power of suppliers for ALSAC. Due to the pandemic, ALSAC has been relying more on call centers instead of volunteers. In-person events that would usually drive the majority of funds raised by volunteers, have been put on hold because of social distancing (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021).

This means that in order to meet their fundraising goals, they have had to rely on call centers to bring in most of the funds. Thus, giving them more power. As previously mentioned in The Supply Chain section, there is a looming threat of radio communication irrelevancy. As a result of technological advances, people are not listening to the radio as much as they used to. Instead, they are listening to music streaming services (ex. Pandora, Spotify) and satellite radio (ex. XM radio). This is problematic because ALSAC partners with radio stations for their Radiothon events, which means the outreach to donors/customers is not as strong as it once was. This is something that could cause drastic changes in the near future.

In order to compete, ALSAC is promoting donations on streaming platforms to address the move to satellite radio from its donors. While the looming threat of COVID requires a change in the Radiothon approach, they are also implementing text-to-give technology, which is used by a variety of profit and non-profit organizations (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). The Radiothon Donation Application (RDA) is less necessary in terms of volunteer use.

However, call centers remain in use of the RDA for those few donors who continue to listen to regular radio broadcasting. Given the RDA has the potential to become obsolete, ALSAC remains positive in relying on celebrity support campaigns to boost text-to-give. The RDA helps store and communicate user information across different platforms within the organization. It still remains as the main source of donor information for Radiothon donors, even with text-to-give campaigns. While ALSAC sees no future competition for traditional radiothon campaigns, they are addressing external factors affecting the necessity of the RDA system (e.g. pandemic, streaming platforms, etc.).

Value Chain Analysis

ALSAC’s creation of the RDA, in-house, has successfully enabled the business to meet their objectives, missions, and goals, while showing early signs of adding value to overall services through their value chain. ALSAC’s value chain for the RDA applies specifically to their Radiothon events, which raises funding through their partnerships through radio stations.

Primary Support Activities

Inbound Logistics

Inbound logistics ranges from vendors gathering laptops that house the RDA software, to local ALSAC staff securing food for volunteers (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). Another part is scheduling the Radiothon date and taking into consideration the market size, knowing that larger markets will likely receive more inbound phone calls. Market size can affect the call center support and the number of volunteers needed at the radio station.

Operations

At the same time, the operations factor in multiple processes in which many employees are involved. Operations begin with the organization’s personnel which requires significant coordination, as they gradually include many active parts such as command centers, volunteers, radio employees, ALSAC local market staff, ALSAC national office technical support, and other team members. The main operation once the Radiothon begins is attracting the attention of donors who call in to donate to St. Jude.

Outbound Logistics

Outbound logistics must be tracked and recorded to ensure proper distribution of all items needed for each event (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). In order to receive donations or donor information, Chromebooks (with software), cables and other materials are vital to be received properly at the call centers and radio stations. Donor information derived from the RDA system is key to ensuring that each donor receives their Partner in Hope (PIH) t-shirt in a timely manner. This information also allows ALSAC to charge their credit card on file, $20 a month, to receive their gift.

Marketing and Sales

In addition, marketing and sales work carefully with logistics to ensure the proper distribution of items for the number of volunteers at each location (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). Through marketing and promotion campaigns, radio stations help to attract attention by advertising for upcoming events, and sales (donations) are carried out to completion with the help of the RDA.

Service and support

The final primary activity in the ALSAC value chain analysis is the support feature for the Radiothon Donation Application. ALSAC owns all of their equipment and the IT support is done in-house. The marginal value of each event continues to stay constant or diminish based on streamlining the setup process, eliminating the need for outside vendors, and then using in-house staff for all IT issues and software setup.

Secondary Support Activities:

Firm infrastructure

Firm infrastructure ensures that ALSAC’s IT team works across the board to enable the best technical support for the RDA (Dales & Simmons, personal communication, January 28, 2021). This allows ALSAC to work closely on ITs budget and handle contracts that pertain to the RDA projects, such as vendors used for technology and distribution.

Human Resource Management

In order to attract talented IT employees and inspire an innovative workforce, IT and human resource resource management work together. Their joint efforts provide proper training and have implemented a process for merit increases to entice new employees. It is easy to see the value this activity brings to the RDA and the overall structure of ALSAC.

Technology development

The RDA information system is an excellent example of the tech activity in the value chain analysis. Creating the software in-house to meet their needs and expectations brings added value for every use. In addition, ALSAC provides training material for each task volunteers can do (“Volunteer resources”, n.d.). Volunteers use the St. Jude website to volunteer at events in their communities.

Procurement

ALSAC secures bids from a variety of vendors so they can purchase the necessary technology and partner with the most efficient logistics, storage, and technology management companies. Since ALSAC is a 501 (c) 3, they are very mindful of costs as they are spending donor dollars. The IT team will facilitate multiple requests for proposals, and engage cross-divisional internal teams to help narrow it down to the vendor(s) that offer the best value and experience for the organization. To help negotiate the best prices with a vendor, ALSAC will work with the vendor on multi-year agreements.

Below is ALSAC’s operation platform model for RDA where one can see how donors, volunteers, event support, field specialists, IT, and data processing are all interconnected in order to bring value to the system.

ALSAC Operating Platform Model for RDA
Fig. 2 – ALSAC Operating Platform Model for RDA.

Supporting and Measuring the Impact of the Focal IS

Focal IS Fit with Supply Chain Management

ALSAC uses their in-house RDA business supported process to process all the donation transactions and to store their donors’ information. All of the data collected from each radiothon is stored in SQL Databases. Some of the data kept is city, date, calls received, number of donations, amount of donations (recurring and one-time), amount of credit card donations and offline donations, equipment used and volunteers available for the event. This data helps ALSAC forecast the resources that will be needed for a specific event.

Once the forecast has been completed, ALSAC can send the required Chromebooks, telephones, volunteers and one of the most important things is it will tailor the marketing campaign to reach more people through different channels and attract them to the radiothon.

Since RDA is more of a donation recording information system, it is limited in how much impact it has on ALSAC’s supply chain. The software can be linked to an order entry software for a retail company that takes orders over the phone. Where an order entry system for a retailer could take the information inputted into the system then generate pick orders and print packing labels for shipments, ALSAC’s RDA system really stops functioning in the supply chain once the call with a donor is over, and they’ve charged their credit card.

ALSAC can improve upon their RDA system to help with predictive statistics. Once they have inked an agreement with a radio station, it could be expanded to produce reports using a grid computing network that utilizes unused computing functionality within their company’s firewall. This new procedure would analyze the data in their databases, optimizing how much in resources should be allocated to each campaign, which would then maximize the return on investment for each campaign. Once that functionality is in place, RDA could automatically notify their third-party logistics and storage vendor of inventory needed at each campaign.

Focal IS Fit with Porter’s Forces Model & Generic Competitive Strategies

Generic Competitive Strategies

The Radiothon Donation Application (RDA), its focal process and technology, supports the differentiation strategy. With its innovative cost and time saving measures, the RDA system optimizes customer interactions, augments brand awareness, and provides notable benefits that are hard to match.

Porter’s Forces Model

The RDA, the focal IS-supported system that ALSAC uses, helps to counteract with most of Porter’s five individual forces.

Threat of competitors

Since ALSAC does not have any direct competitors, it is safe to say that the RDA system is neutral when it comes to counteracting the threat of competitors.

Bargaining power of buyers

RDA system provides high visibility for Radiothon events. Similarly, it ensures that interactions are efficient with volunteers, call centers, and it is an easy process. Due to this, the RDA helps counteract the bargaining power of buyers (donors). Donors recognize that they have a reliable and safe way of donating money to a cause that they believe in.

Threat of substitutes

Donor management software systems are used to assist with donor retention and relationship management (Jepson, n.d.). The RDA system helps counteract the threat of substitutes because it was created in-house for that very reason. Since ALSAC controls every aspect of the system, they can carter it in order to meet the needs of donors. To add, RDA has been linked to a higher quality of data, quicker analysis of that data, and less time spent processing it (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). As a result, this creates more straightforward profiling of donors and optimizes its customer relationships (Gallaugher, 2015). RDA provides donors with personalized service that donors cannot substitute because the benefits simply out weight the alternatives.

Threat of new entrants

Similar to the threat of competitors, the RDA system is neutral when it comes to counteracting the threat of new entrants. New entrants are not a concern for charities like ALSAC.

Bargaining power of suppliers

Although the RDA system was created in-house, they use a framework of JavaScript (JS). JS frameworks are collections of pre-written codes used for programming features and tasks (Morris, n.d.). However, most of the data they used to create RDA comes from years of collecting data from ALSAC. The RDA counteracts bargaining power of suppliers because they are essentially their own supplier. The RDA system is supported with their own network and equipment (D. Smith, personal communication, January 22, 2021). By not having to rely on a third-party information system, they save costs and limit exposure.

In conclusion, it is clear that the RDA system is not failing to counteract a force that should be addressed.

Focal IS Fit with Value Chain and CSFs

Outbound Logistics & Support Function

The most important two Value Chain activities our IS, the RDA, supports are the Outbound Logistics and the Support Function. These two activities are vital to radiothons and are the most cost saving as well. The Outbound logistics portion of the value chain of course involves the proper execution and distribution of the supplies needed for each event with Chromebooks loaded with the RDA software, cables, and other materials needed for a successful outcome. Secondly, the support primary activity is vital to how ALSAC keeps their costs low with providing in-house IT support and all-around support of the business process.

Marginal Value in the RDA

The RDA adds marginal value to both of these activities since its creation date. The salesforce platform was used which was effective, but it meant few items are done in house. The less done in-house means higher costs and less control. Being able to control the outbound logistics from your own platform means control from beginning to end, your own system with customizations to your needs, and reducing costs for unneeded items.

People love helping St. Jude’s and getting the Chromebook and materials to the stations and accurately tracking it is key to keeping marginal value cost per unit contained while optimizing key ingredients for successful outbound logistics. The marginal value for the support activity of the value chain is understandable the most profitable per measure. Having IT support in house, with the implementation of the IS itself and the support needed for updates and repairs, is a tremendous amount of costs and time saved as well.

Best Practices the RDA supplies

These two activities of the value chain support the best practices by the simple function of efficiency. ALSAC runs on the donations of wonderful individuals worldwide and they are only able to get those donations through radiothons and other events. Efficiency is key and the outbound logistics and the personalized support function of the RDA created and managed in house is most valuable to make sure each volunteer has the items needed, working properly to organize the incoming data on the CRM function and complete information for a productive event. In a radiothon we must understand that time is money, and money saves live.

Critical Success Factors and Measurement of Success

We have discussed that a very important critical success factor is the relationship between ALSAC and the stations. ALSAC needs the vast audience for the message to be heard. The two activities of the value chain we are focusing on for the RDA information system are outgoing logistics and support. The relationships with the radio stations hinge on the fact of the materials arriving in a timely manner, the right amount of them, and support has properly updated the software and ensuring it is ready to go with minimal effort for the volunteers.

If the supplies aren’t correct or they fail, the radio show will not do well and its highly possible we lose that option in the future. As we know ALSAC brings in quite a bit in donations. “Operating the hospital costs about $1.7 million per day, and 81 cents of every dollar ALSAC collects goes toward research and treatment” (Jones Summer 2012, L. (2012). The amount of donations collected and new donors into the CRM system is clearly the perfect measuring tool for how well these two value chain activities contributed to the successful event.

Conclusions and Recommendations for the Future

As ALSAC adapts to the changes of COVID and the evolution of technology, it is important for them to keep their competitive advantage, retain loyal donors and continue to connect to new donors. In order to expand their reach to old and new audiences, there are a few recommendations that would benefit and increase donations for St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

It is important for ALSAC to understand media presence and how they can reach new audiences throughout the US. Creating a social media presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter would increase the amount of people they reach, or impressions they make. As the pandemic continues, the use of social media has increased as it is a tool used on a daily basis to keep in contact with loved ones as we’re all at home.

One recommendation to reach old and new audiences on social media platforms is to partner with celebrities by creating birthday or holiday fundraisers. For example, Facebook and Instagram have created a donation option for your birthday, instead of receiving gifts. Teaming up with celebrities like Beyonce on her/their birthday would reach a brand-new audience, world-wide. Pairing with top social media influencers on their birthday or holiday events would provide an easy and secure way for (donors) to give to St. Jude’s Research Hospital by encouraging more giving because of its visibility and convenience.

With listenership declining due to more listeners working from home and/or the purchase of streaming services and podcasts, ALSAC’s radiothon advertisements are not being heard as much. Although they have been broadcasting through Podcasts, they can increase listenership by teaming up with streaming services like Pandora. Creating a partnership with streaming services would increase listenership and reach new audiences. For example, Pandora stations will play music for a certain period of time before playing a paid advertisement. ALSAC could promote their upcoming radiothons to new donors.

Lastly, incorporating ad-tracking in their advertisements on websites and social media platforms. Ad-tracking “Ad tracking is the process of collecting data and user insights on the performance of online advertising campaigns.” (Pitre, 2019) This would give ALSAC more insight into their users, what they’re interested in and how to target them in terms of specific radiothons that they might be interested in donating to.

Despite the odds, ALSAC is truly in a league of their own. However, to continue moving forward with their competitive advantage, using these recommendations would allow them to reach new audiences, retain loyal Partner in Hope donors, and generate more donations for St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

References

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ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (2018). St. Jude children’s research hospital® and iHeartMedia set radiothon fundraising record with more than $7 million in donations. Web.

ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (2021). Charity Navigator. Web.

Bloom, N. (2015) Does Working From Home Work? Evidence From a Chinese Experiment. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, December 31). American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/

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BusinessEssay. (2022, December 31). American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure. https://business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/

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"American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure." BusinessEssay, 31 Dec. 2022, business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure'. 31 December.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure." December 31, 2022. https://business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/.

1. BusinessEssay. "American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure." December 31, 2022. https://business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/.


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BusinessEssay. "American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities' Infrastructure." December 31, 2022. https://business-essay.com/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities-infrastructure/.