Effective communication lies at the heart of any successful organization.

For 80 years,Animal Friends has been a proud Pittsburgh nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life of animals and people. They’ve had tremendous success and impact throughout their history, and have become a cornerstone of positivity in our local community.

Still, the best organizations are constantly looking for ways to improve.

For Animal Friends in particular, they faced regular challenges of internal communication. Managing the constant flow of information – emails, procedures, and documents – presented unnecessary obstacles for leadership and their employees.

As their trustedPittsburgh IT managed services partner, Ceeva developed FETCH!, a custom IT intranet designed specifically for Animal Friends with the goal to facilitate day-to-day operations. It’s a story of how innovative technology can revolutionize organizations and help them focus on what they’re able to do best.

“Everyone is excited about this platform – all the way up to our board of directors. They know organizational visibility is a hard problem to tackle with fast moving teams with tons of changing information. FETCH! has really made an impact.”

- Stefanie Zukowski, Chief Administrative Officer atAnimal Friends

Challenge: How to Streamline Internal Communication to Assist a Nonprofit’s Mission

The mission of Animal Friends is simple:

“To rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals in crisis, ensure healthy pets through education, advocacy and affordable services, and inspire a community where the animal-human bond is celebrated and nurtured.”

But it’s not easy. Similar to any organization, there are about a million things going on each day that stand in the way of achieving this mission. With hundreds of employees, volunteers, and other stakeholders dispersed across a 24/7 operation, the organization faced a consistent struggle of ensuring everyone was on the same page.

This was due to multiple communication channels coupled with constant updates. Further, Animal Friends isn’t the type of organization where workers sit on their computers all day. People are in the field and moving, which is another obstacle for communication.

Solution: Introducing “FETCH!” – a Custom In-House IT Intranet

Animal Friends needed to solve these issues and needed a digital tool to help their employees be more effective.

Enter FETCH!, a custom in-house intranet created specifically for Animal Friends.

The idea for FETCH! stems from the meaning of its name. “Go FETCH!” the information you need. Clever, focused, and vital – matching the tone and work environment of Animal Friends.

The development of FETCH! is an ongoing, collaborative, and mindful of moderndigital experience trends. Working with Ceeva, Animal Friends articulates their unique obstacles. Understanding these goals, Ceeva and Animal Friends work together to create and continuously improve the platform that addresses the pain points directly. 

Over time, this custom IT intranet centralizes updates, announcements, and resources in a user-friendly manner. It was initially built on a foundation of Microsoft 365’s SharePoint, leveraging communication pages to create a hub of links, tools, and resources. Ceeva also created a personalized design to match Animal Friends’ organizational colors.

“Ceeva understands Animal Friends enough to know the pain points. They would build a shell page for us and say, ‘This is an idea on how you could use this.’ Then they would enable me to learn so I could start working on the platform myself. They made it very easy. Our engineer would say, ‘Let's throw something into FETCH!’ and then I would hear our staff say, ‘Oh my gosh, this really solves my pain.’”

- Stefanie Zukowski, Chief Administrative Officer at Animal Friends

FETCH! offers a range of features that transformed their internal communication, such as:

  • Quick Access Features: Quick links for tasks like clocking in/out, swipe badge requests, user onboarding/offboarding, and room reservations.
  • Dynamic Content: Tickers counting down to events and news articles kept stakeholders engaged and informed, with a custom calendar for curated events.
  • Adaptability: Content and features evolve with the organization's needs, reflecting its dynamic nature.
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams: Seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Teams, enabling swift access and collaboration.

In other words, FETCH! is a living, breathing resource. Staff members contribute to the content dynamically, ensuring that it’s continually up to date and created by the individuals who use it daily. 

Further, it is designed for both desktop and mobile devices, meaning that FETCH! is easily accessible to everyone, no matter where they’re working.

Impact: The IT Intranet Transformed Operations

FETCH!’s introduction is a total gamechanger.

Immediately, the staff – once bogged down by a constant flow of emails, updates, and information – now have a user-friendly single hub to access what they need. Employees no longer feel frustrated and can focus on doing what they do best: taking care of animals.

One of my folks usually hates technology. It is not her thing. And she came to me and said, “I have to be honest. I really like FETCH!’”

- Stefanie Zukowski, Chief Administrative Officer at Animal Friends

A Unified Hub for Enhanced Efficiency

Hunting down updates and resources is not only annoying, but when an employee is chasing information, they’re not able to do their actual job. The simplicity of FETCH! meant that employees know exactly where to find what they are looking for, offering a simplified process that avoids unnecessary headaches.

Empowering Collaboration and Participation

One of the strongest parts of FETCH! is that it not only provides information for employees, but it’s an interactive platform that encourages collaboration and gives voices to employees.

They can update FAQs, submit suggestions, and contribute news and resources. This helps foster a sense of ownership for employees, and helps translate their ideas into real-world benefits. It also allows Animal Friends to provide a transparent work culture.

Amplifying the Mission, Enhancing Impact

By streamlining communication, Animal Friends strips away distractions from their mission. Consistent and accessible updates allow the organization to keep staff well-informed, helping improve the overall community.

Further, FETCH! helps smooth onboarding for new employees, reduces the amount of bumps in the road and enables new people to dive into their roles more swiftly.

Results: An Intranet That Thinks Beyond Technology

FETCH! is not merely a technological solution. It is a catalyst to help push Animal Friends forward by providing an easy-to-use platform that helps employees be more effective.

“I think it's important to understand that this was totally worth it. It's already paid itself back probably tenfold in the month and a half it's been live due to improved efficiency and staff satisfaction.”

- Stefanie Zukowski, Chief Administrative Officer at Animal Friends

Technology should not be frustrating. It is meant to enhance people’s lives – their work, their goals, and their missions. FETCH! has not only simplified the work environment at Animal Friends, but it’s empowered their employees to truly focus on their goal and enhance how they serve animals.

Interested in learning how Ceeva can create a custom in-house IT intranet for your organization? Contact us and learn why organizations like Animal Friends partner with us as their trusted Pittsburgh IT managed service provider.

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