St. Joseph Financial Services and the Big Shoulders Fund
For the past 2 years, St. Joseph Financial Services has worked alongside the committed and life-changing team at the Big Shoulders Fund. The organization exists to provide support to schools with demonstrated need in the greater Chicago area, serving children and families by providing means to access a values-based education. The team at SJFS entered its relationship with The Big Shoulders Fund for a simple, yet compelling reason – to streamline the back-office processes of the organization so that its staff and administrative team could spend their time serving the schools in which they operate
“It’s a great team. Our partners at SJFS have always been very responsive to me and professional. It’s been a great partnership – I strongly recommend them.”
To provide support to schools with demonstrated need which provide a quality, values-based education for Chicago’s children.
Kevin Powers, Managing Director, School Finance and Patrons Program
Prior to working with SJFS, the Big Shoulders Fund accounting team primarily handled their accounting and processing either in-house or by working directly with the Archdiocese. This presented its own challenges, as there was a large spectrum of expertise and success. Some of these teams had people with actual business experience, and some teams consisted of office managers now working in accounting and processing roles. The challenge was clear – the organization needed professional, dedicated accountants and team members to professionalize these processes.
According to the Big Shoulders leadership, the main challenges facing the day-to-day operations before SJFS were understanding of cash balance, cash flow and unpaid bills. There were also challenges in monthly reporting being very slow and behind, leaving a lot of heavy lifting to be done by principals and school staff.
Since working with SJFS to address these issues, Kevin Powers states that there have been, “Huge improvements in cash understanding – we don’t have last minute requests for payroll. Bills are getting paid in time so better relationships with vendors, and I have been able to see better trends on finances to be more proactive.”
Mark Mannerino, the SJFS team-lead on the project, stated, “The ties between Big Shoulders and St. Joseph Financial Services continue to grow stronger as we work together to serve the Catholic Schools of Chicago. We have really enjoyed working together as we strive to achieve the goals of the Diocese and of each school. Our work in Big Shoulders Fund brings to life our motto of “More time ministering, less time administering.” We look forward to continuing our partnership, building great relationships, and serving our clients to the very best of our ability.”