The Atlanta Chapter of International Facility Management Association (IFMA Atlanta) hosted the 4th annual Non-Profit Facility Summit to educate and inform non-profit organizations on proactive facility management practices. Each year, several million dollars are budgeted to manage and
preserve the facilities from which Atlanta businesses and organizations operate.
“For most non‐profit organizations, facility expenses account for as little as 5% of the operating budget – and can balloon to 30% with unexpected repairs and equipment replacement,” explains Christy Jellets, president, IFMA Atlanta. “We realized this was our opportunity to make a difference in our community – to equip these organizations with the know how and tools to manage ongoing upkeep, avoid unnecessary repairs, and establish realistic budgets so they can dedicate more funds to their good works.
“Too many non‐profit organizations lack a proactive maintenance strategy,” continues Jellets. The primary focus of the Summit is to outline the components of a preventive maintenance manual that helps to minimize or prevent unexpected repair and maintenance costs. Topical presentations and discussions address both exterior and interior maintenance envelopes including:
- Preventive Maintenance
- Manual Basics
- Maintenance Basics
- Air Quality
- Energy Services
- Flood Prevention & Recovery
- Plumbing & Heating
- Commercial Flooring
- Technology Management
- Facility Grant Submissions
- System of Standardization & Organization
Since 1997, IFMA Atlanta has used standard methodologies and member resources to help more than a dozen non‐profit agencies, such as Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM) and Atlanta Community Tool Bank (ACTB), obtain capital funding and make facility improvements that they may not have otherwise been able to obtain or implement.
“The information shared at IFMA’s Non‐Profit Summit has real, direct impact on not only our bottom line but those that we serve,” explains Beth Vann, executive director, Decatur Cooperative Ministry, a faith‐based, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to alleviating and preventing homelessness. “The knowledge gained ripples throughout our agency. We are now better equipped to prevent hardship or disaster, negotiate effective contracts, connect with the most appropriate resources and identify potential funding resources. All of this makes us better stewards of our resources.
“We’ve been able to implement much of the information learned and have already seen results in just 60 days,” continues Vann. Emerald Data Networks offered insight on how to save on T1 circuitry. DCM now taps a broker network to identify the most lucrative technology offer. “The organization expects to save over $3,000 in technology costs as a result.” RooterPLUS shared a plumbing and HVAC tip sheet that is now posted at the organization’s eight transition homes.
“Knowledge is a very valuable and powerful tool – especially for non‐profit agencies that always seem to struggle with budgets,” explains Patty Russart, executive director, Atlanta Community ToolBank. “The knowledge and resources imparted at these events are an investment into the livelihood and vision of our organization. It is an invaluable program that enables us to be a more effective community partner.”
Over the past four years, Atlanta Community ToolBank (ACTB) has gained compound knowledge that enables the organization to be more self‐sufficient. Through attendance at the Summit and other IFMA‐ sponsored “Lunch ‘N Learns,” ACTB has amassed the knowledge to establish an effective maintenance manual that enables the staff to plan and budget time and resources adequately to its’ building maintenance and overall safety. Using this manual also helps nonprofits to reduce reactive maintenance and focus on preventive maintenance which helps the building live its full lifecycle. Most recently, the organization adopted the 5S System of Standardization and Organization in an effort to minimize waste. To date, ACTB has realized an immediate estimated 10% reduction in waste that has resulted in an overall reduction in operating expenses.