Random Farms Kids’ Theater fits the “upstart” profile to a tee: A teenager started a theater in her parents’ basement in Chappaqua, New York. That was more than 20 years ago. RFKT has since become a widely publicized success, with a long list of actors going on to professional careers on the stage and in TV/film.
But problems with technology were holding back the theater and its founder, Anya Wallach. After a series of technology disasters, she decided that RFKT needed the support of a global company like ACTIVE and our conversation with her highlighted several key insights about technology.
1. Make choices based on service, not size.
As Americans, we sometimes have a love/hate relationship with big business. We tend to champion “the little guy”—as well we should. We admire and support small businesses because of their personality, ingenuity and pluck. At the same time, we love the dependability of large corporations like Amazon and Apple. Both small and big businesses are the lifeblood of American consumers and our economy.
After extremely disruptive experiences with what she called “fly by night” companies, resulting in lost revenue literally overnight, Anya found the support she needed with ACTIVE’s dependable infrastructure:
“We looked for a camp management software with the staying power of a global organization that wasn’t going to shut down in the middle of the night, leaving us with no one to call when we had problems.”
2. Measure all the results.
Because of previous problems with technology, RFKT had to rebuild trust with parents. “Parents couldn’t separate Random Farms from the registration provider, so it created a lot of bad will about the program,” says Rebecca Nichols, operations manager.
Before, Rebecca spent 100% of her time—at least 30 hours a week—communicating with parents about issues and managing breakdowns. “Now, with Camp & Class Manager, we don’t hear from parents about registrations—no news is good news!” she adds.
The cost savings in Rebecca’s time “more than covers the cost of the software,” Anya says, “and that doesn’t even count what we’re saving on sunk costs.”
In addition, Rebecca is now able to take on other things, such as the website and fundraising, as well as managing customer and donor relationships, and brainstorming program improvements. These are all activities that impact revenue.
3. Shared mission counts.
At 16 years old, Anya started RFKT because she wanted to produce fun plays with neighborhood kids. Now she has 11 full-time employees who serve 1,000 kids and 10,000 audience members every year. And her outreach program is nothing short of amazing!
Read the case study just to see all that she’s doing and why we’re so proud to be able to help Anya do it by taking the mundane aspects of her job off her plate and help her build relationships with her customers and donors.