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Case Studies

October 2018 Newsletter: Fractional CFO of Goodwill

By | Case Studies, Finance & Accounting, Nonprofit

CELEBRATING WARREN WHITNEY’S 25-YEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOODWILL

Warren Whitney is proud of the over 25-year relationship we have enjoyed with Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia. While our relationship began with a series of various projects, it has deepened through the long-standing Fractional CFO role. Over the years, we have become an integral partner in Goodwill’s mission to “change lives by helping people help themselves through the power of work”. Goodwill’s workforce development services are designed to give people the life skills and job training they need in order to secure and maintain employment. As one of the first social enterprises in the U.S., much of Goodwill’s revenue is generated by people donating items such as: clothes, housewares, toys, electronics, furniture … even cars! Proceeds from reselling these items – as well as from contract services and philanthropy — allow Goodwill’s mission to become a reality.

Charles Layman, President and CEO of Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, recently sat down with Stephanie Ford, Director at Warren Whitney, to dive deeper into Goodwill’s achievements and explore the role Warren Whitney has played throughout its journey of growth.

WARREN WHITNEY & GOODWILL

SF: Tell us about one of the biggest challenges Goodwill has faced and how Warren Whitney helped you overcome it?

CL: One of the biggest challenges we faced was having employees keep pace with the change in growth we were experiencing. As we hired individuals, they were often good for that particular timeframe in which they were hired. However, many didn’t have the bandwidth to take us to the next level. When we brought Warren Whitney Co-founder Scott Warren on as a fractional CFO, he gave us access to expertise we otherwise could not afford, and he took us to the next level without skipping a beat.

FRACTIONAL CFO & GOODWILL

SF: How did you know that the fractional CFO model was right for Goodwill?

CL: (1) A fractional CFO brought us a higher level of business expertise, acumen, and experience that we would not have been able to afford as a full-time expense. (2) The right fractional CFO becomes an integral part of the leadership team and strategic thinking. He or she has the ability to take our organization to a higher level and at a faster pace we otherwise wouldn’t have the capacity for, and help us to think strategically and broader.

SF: Why would you recommend a Fractional CFO?

CL: (1) The main factor is the level of experience and exposure offered in the business world. (2) The affordability of being able to bring in that high level of expertise into the organization. (3) A fractional CFO can be objective, non-emotional, and have a fresh perspective.

EVOLUTION OF WARREN WHITNEY’S ROLE AT GOODWILL

SF: How has Scott’s role evolved over the years?

CL: Scott has been involved with Goodwill in a number of engagements dating back to the 1990s. When we merged with the Hampton Roads Goodwill in 2006, consulting with Scott on new systems to improve efficiencies was instrumental as we began to manage a broader territory. These strategic discussions directed the transition as we smoothly doubled the size of our territory with limited resources. Soon after, Scott joined us as a Fractional CFO. His primary focus was debt and bond management, banking relations, cash flow, forecasting, and strategic planning. Now, in addition to that, he oversees Human Resources and IT.

THE BIGGEST VALUE IN WORKING WITH SCOTT WARREN

CL: The biggest value in having Scott Warren has been his integrity and ability to relate internally and externally; internally with our leadership team and board of directors, externally with our stakeholders. The fractional nature of his work also allows Scott to stay very involved in the community and keep his finger on the pulse of changes and opportunities that can benefit Goodwill.

ChamberRVA’s IMPACT AWARD

SF: We want to congratulate you on becoming a finalist in the “large organization” category for the 2018 ChamberRVA IMPACT AWARD. What makes Goodwill a good candidate?

CL: Goodwill gets people to work who have not been working. It is giving them the ability to become contributing citizens. We are supporting them to break barriers and move up the career ladder. Last year, over 2,000 people were placed in employment with Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia. When it comes to impact, we look at earnings of those people as compared to their dependence on subsidies. It builds the economy, their self-confidence, and self-esteem.