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How the McCormick Foundation Saved Time and Money by Streamlining its Board Meeting Process

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Executive Summary

The Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation supports and strengthens local organizations that foster educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Preparations for the organization’s quarterly board of directors’ meetings had become time-consuming and inefficient. The Foundation needed a solution. With Govenda, it now enjoys a simplified and more secure meeting management process, saving time and resources that can be applied to its important mission.

About the McCormick Foundation

The McCormick Foundation envisions a Chicagoland comprised of thriving communities where all individuals have the resources and opportunities to succeed, without regard to income, race, ethnicity, gender, or ZIP code. It invests in people and organizations across the region to develop educated, informed, and engaged communities.

The Foundation was established in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Its philanthropic investments of more than $1.8 billion to date are currently focused on Chicago's South and West Sides and on the following issues: early childhood education, public safety, community development, veterans, and journalism. In addition, the Foundation owns and manages Cantigny Park in west suburban Wheaton. Cantigny is the 500-acre former estate of the McCormick family and features gardens, museums, a golf course, and special events throughout the year.

The Challenge

The McCormick Foundation was using manual processes to create PDF board books, which were then emailed and physically delivered to board members prior to meetings. The packages were complex and took a long time to assemble. There were challenges with versioning, and mailing the books was expensive and potentially a security risk. One issue was that relevant information was stored in multiple locations. Preparation for each board meeting was clearly draining valuable time and resources from the Foundation’s core mission.  

Opportunity for Innovation

The McCormick Foundation started using Govenda three months before an upcoming board meeting. Their team took advantage of Govenda’s extensive, ongoing training program, and everyone found the software intuitive and easy to use.

For the administrative staff, having all the information in one place “made it easier to connect the dots.” Specifically, with Govenda’s agenda feature, drag-and-drop functionality made creating, updating, and publishing meeting agendas a snap. The software also eliminated the complicated and tedious process of piecing together board book sections using Adobe. 

Having all the relevant Foundation and board-related information in one secure location, easily accessible from any device, saved everyone time. Now, board members can review, annotate, vote on, and approve documents from anywhere, increasing their effectiveness. Best of all, the Foundation has freed time for what’s most important: making a lasting impact on the communities and people it serves.

“My team’s favorite feature of the Govenda software is really the simplicity of its use. It is intuitive and so easy to navigate.” — Tonya Ehrenhaft, Executive Assistant, Robert R. McCormick Foundation

To learn more about the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, or to make a donation, please click here.

Having all the relevant Foundation and board-related information in one secure location, easily accessible from any device, saved everyone time.

Tonya Ehrenhaft | Robert R. McCormick Foundation

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