Make-A-Wish Australia is a high-profile charity that brings hope, strength and joy by granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish has more than 1100 volunteers across 57 branches. The National Office is in Melbourne, with corporate offices in QLD, NSW and WA.
Make-A-Wish raises money through direct donations, cause-related marketing, sponsorship, annual appeals, and business partnerships. Volunteers, who conduct a variety of events from sausage sizzles and trivia nights, to major gala balls, also raise considerable funds.
The not-for-profit operates in accordance with strict Government fundraising regulations. High-functioning IT systems are critical for compliance with financial record keeping, and for Make-A-Wish to manage its wide network of volunteers efficiently and effectively.
Make-A-Wish was experiencing ongoing ICT issues. CEO Gerard Menses says, "Our computer systems were not performing well. Downtime and slow speeds were highly frustrating." The main servers did not have anti-virus software installed, which put the entire infrastructure at risk. Servers supporting the charity's remote desktop computers appeared to be at capacity, and needed upgrading.
Make-A-Wish management had identified inefficiencies in their utility services, with the bill regularly exceeding the subscribed plan. There were also a significant number of inactive Microsoft Office 365 users registered, which incurred unnecessary costs.
Menses explains that the issues arose from struggling to stay on top of their own communications and technology, in the absence of dedicated IT staff.
"This time we decided to leave it to the experts, with managed IT services."
Novo IT Solution
Novo IT's Managed Services Team came on board to manage Make-A-Wish's ICT infrastructure and services, with a help desk for day-to-day IT support. Novo IT then turned its attention to optimising the foundation's ICT infrastructure. In the first instance, servers were protected with Trend Micro Antivirus Software. Novo IT documented the performance and stability of existing servers. This informed a review of Make-A-Wish's existing infrastructure, and subsequent recommendations for improvement. Proposed changes were aligned with the foundations new, more cost-effective cloud utility plan being sourced by Novo IT.
Menses says, "It was a relief to have Novo IT evaluate the various cloud plans on offer. They consulted closely with us, to ensure the most appropriate budget model."
Novo IT also helped Make-A-Wish to fine-tune the list of Microsoft Office 365 users, and liaised with the vendor to confirm that billing changes were implemented.
The Novo IT help desk provided a single point of contact for all staff to access IT support. The threat of viruses and malware was minimised, courtesy of the Trend Micro Antivirus solution. Proactive management of servers by Novo IT kept systems running at peak performance. Bringing Novo IT Managed Services on board enabled Make-A-Wish staff to focus on their core task of wish-granting, without the worry of malfunctioning technology and operational downtime. It has given a boost to the charity's organisational confidence.
Jo Salisbury, General Manager - Finance and Information Technology
says "I have worked closely
with our Novo IT Client Relationship Manager and Consultant, who in
understanding our business needs today and into the future, have helped
prioritise and focus our IT strategy and initiatives to support our
"We can continue our mission to make every eligible child's wish come true," says Menses.