Working together to change the world

With Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

Launched in 2015, the TCS Community Innovation Program offers not-for-profit and social enterprises the chance to apply for in-kind support from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in areas such as apps, websites, CRMs, chatbots, data and reporting systems and gamification. 

Here the TCS ANZ Newsroom sat down with Caroline Kelly, the co-Founder and Executive Director of the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, one of the past recipients. You can also read about Indigenous Marathon Foundation and Hello Sunday

 What is the aim of the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation?

The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s mission is to dramatically increase survival rates for pancreatic cancer sufferers in Australia. It’s an ambitious goal considering the disease receives little or no government funding. This means we undertake awareness and fundraising for cutting-edge medical research, relying on our grass roots community support, and that of our corporate partners.

 Why did you participate in the TCS Community Innovation Program?

Historically, we have invested our resources and funding into the most urgent areas of need for the organisation – raising funds for medical research to help lift survival rates. Our face-to-face engagement through our national events has always been a powerful channel by which to engage our audience and we knew it was important as an organisation to aim to do this in the digital space as well.

 As a small not-for-profit we didn’t have the funds to commit to such a big project or knowledge and know-how necessary to achieve this goal on our own.

 What kind of help were you looking for?

A specific area of focus was the development of a new mobile optimised website. We wanted to create an improved user experience for patients and their loved ones to connect with us. One that could ensure people in need have access vital support and information from anywhere around Australia, at any time, and on whatever device was best for them. This would in turn increase online engagement with the Avner Foundation.

 How did TCS work with you to help solve your problem?

Being a part of the TCS Community Innovation Pro Bono Program gave us access to a wealth of global IT capabilities and opportunities.

 With a friendly and warm approach, our expert TCS team equipped the Avner Foundation with vital strategic guidance to support us to achieve our goals. Importantly, our TCS team was as committed to achieving our goals as we are.

 We are incredibly thankful and fortunate that this key project for the Foundation was guided by a such a talented and passionate team from TCS.

 How has working with TCS helped you achieve your mission?

The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s new mobile-optimised website has made a tangible and measurable difference to the Foundation by enabling us to make news, research updates, personal stories and information about pancreatic cancer more accessible to our audience across all devices, specifically mobile.

 Integrating our social media channels and optimising the user journey between website and social was a significant win, as was the development of more streamlined and search friendly content. 

The simplified user interface has clearly impacted our website visitors positively with the data showing a significant lift in all key metrics. The improved search function means information about the disease and any research developments can be found quickly and easily.

 What does it all mean for the Avner Foundation’s future?

As a key digital touchpoint for those people increasingly looking to the Avner Foundation for information and support online, we have taken huge leaps in the right direction.

 Tapping into innovative technology provides clear opportunities for the Avner Foundation to further our mission.

 What advice can you give to other not-for-profit organisations seeking help?

The TCS Community Innovation Pro Bono Program means there is no longer a digital divide preventing NFPs from accessing cutting-edge technology and solutions. I absolutely recommend applying. 

 TCS opened up a whole new realm of possibilities to transform our business through the use digital technology.

 Their experts are there every step of the way, delivering expert advice and solutions that can improve your systems and processes and help you put all your creative ideas for benefiting our community into action.

 More about the TCS Community Innovation Program

Many not-for-profits run on the goodwill of the community. They simply don’t have the resources and expertise to invest in the latest digital technology even though it could help them do what they do better.

 TCS established the Community Innovation Program to help the NFP and social enterprise community achieve their important health, social, and environmental missions.

 The program delivers in-kind services valued at $1 million (AUD) to eligible NFP organisations and social enterprises every year.

 Successful applicants are able to obtain help with a wide range of technology solutions including the development of applications to help clients better connect with their services, custom-purpose, multi-channel friendly websites to assist audience growth and fundraising as well as system optimisation, training and advice to help prepare for what’s ahead in our digital future.

 So far TCS has partnered with seven  NFPs, from medical charities to social enterprises, helping them to create a greater social and environmental impact.