Video: AI for NFPs Case Study (Rachael Cook, CEO, Incluse)

In this video, Rachael Cook, CEO of Incluse (an NFP based in Australia) shares her AI journey to date and explains how they are planning to use AI to make a positive difference in their organisation.


My name is Rachel Cook, and I am the chief executive officer of Inclusy.

Inclusy is, a service provider that works actually in the aged care space, so we work in the aged care industry. So many of you are probably coming from that industry today, and I'd love to talk about some of the challenges that we're facing in that industry and how AI can help with that. So inclusive is an organization that we're a non for profit charity that has been around for fifty one years.

But we do things very differently today compared to what we did fifty one years ago. We're a complete hundred percent remote workforce.

We have hundreds of volunteers all over Australia, and our mission is actually to reduce social isolation and loneliness for older Australians. And how do we do that? We actually work entirely in a digital format, so we connect people through devices, and we have chats just like we're doing this today. So and we have volunteers that connect one on one for individual visits, as well as group sessions and a whole variety of different connection services.

So, look, we work in the digital space here all the time here at enclosedier, it is what we do. We're very passionate about this. So when it comes to AI, AI is probably not as a scarier topic for us because we work in this space all the time. But this year, we're we're very much focusing and in fact, actually the theme of our strategy here at inclusive this year is innovation at inclusive.

So, because we work in the digital space, we are very innovative and working in that innovation space all the time, and we do it very differently to what you probably see in traditional aged care.

So with a with AI, you know, that was something that we've actually embedded into our strategy for this year. So we'll just have in the discussion before you all joined us about the difference between talking about it and having those discussions and actually implementing into strategy and bringing it to life.

So for us, our journey with AI Look, we work with various sophisticated systems already. So look, there's AI capacities already built into those. So there's components where we're using it every day already. But what we really wanted to do is to work with with a group, and we're currently working with Path Finder, and you'll hear all about that in a moment. But We wanted to introduce strategies in order to make our systems easier for our team and to return them to doing what they do best.

As you, anyone in the aged care industry would know, at the moment, we're going through a huge amount of change with the reforms that are coming through. One of the things that you will continue to hear through that communication is the pressure for service providers to be focusing on innovation, and this is a great way to do it. You know, we have challenges coming up with funding and you've all heard the term we've gotta do more with less. So iOS is actually one of those great ways we can actually achieve that.

There's lots of different things that we do in our day to day that I don't think we actually hired any of our team to actually do. I know from for a fact, I didn't actually hire one person in my organization to take minutes of meetings or any of that sort of admin work, but yet we spend so much time in that area. And I want to return them back to doing what they are, are experts at and that is connecting people together. To get that connection happening to further our mission and purpose.

So what we're out journey started with is actually connecting with PowerFinder this year and having a bit of discussion about what that looked like. For us, there was a few things that were really critical for us to achieve. One, we needed a solution that was gonna be easy. Didn't want to actually burden our team with having to learn new systems or new processes or make it more difficult for them than it already is. We're wanting to make this really clean and simplistic.

The other thing that we wanted to ensure is that we got a really good understanding of AI. Look, we are a non for profit, we are governed by a board, and the board and myself, obviously, have a responsibility to ensure that anything that we do within the organization is safe and that we're in our people that we're mitigating any risk, and we need to know what all those things are when we're actually thinking about introducing AI models into our business practices. Ensuring privacy is another big component of that as well.

We also wanna do and ensure that look we're looking at introducing AI for the right purposes. You know, I know it's a bit of a buzzword at the moment. People are talking about it, but making sure that we're not just introducing AI for ai's sake or just to say that we're actually doing this because it looks like we're innovative. We want to ensure that we're actually introducing things that have genuine impact to our team, and we actually went through that process with the team at PathFeliner to actually really understand that.

What I loved about their approach to this was getting the whole team involved and getting them to understand what systems are they using and what were their pain points every day? You know, it's one thing for me to say what I think my pain points are, but this is not about me. This is about the organization for me to support the team with what they need, and it's about what their pain points are. So we actually went through a whole process of understanding what systems that they use, getting an understand of what their day to day looks like and what those pain points look like so that we could actually really narrow it down to just a couple of really impactful systems that we can implement that will have the best outcomes for all involved.

So that was really key for us as well. And the other thing was actually ensuring that we're using systems that we're currently using at the moment. So here at inclusive, we currently use the Microsoft platform, so that we've already that introduced, so that was a great option for us to use.

And we actually use our CRM system is HubSpot, which is quite unique in the aged care space because it is not an aged care system. It's actually a CRM.

And we've actually broken HubSpot to make it work for us. So it's about making those systems work together and complement each other. So, again, making that process easy and for us not introducing new things to the team.

So when we started to introduce and work with the team at PathFinder, we had those discussions, and what I really liked is They align to to what we look for in a service provider. We are a values based organization. It doesn't matter who we work with here at Inclossey, We want to ensure those service providers have the same values and the same processes that that we're looking for as well. And we found that in the team in, pathfinder as well, that They understood the key needs. They understood those strategies that were important to us, and they too wanted to ensure that we were getting the right impact in place.

Because this is a great space to do it. In fact, I really encourage anyone in the in the aged care, non for profit charities sector to continue to look at looking at introducing these these types of solutions. It's something that we need to do you know, no longer is it a thing that we shouldn't be looking at? Everybody should be looking at this or you're gonna be left behind. So we worked with the team at Parfliner to understand what those key needs were, making sure that we really got that feedback through from the team, as I said, it was really important to bring them through into the journey and understand what their key needs were.

And then going through that process was actually a a big eye open So when I think about the systems that we would have used, if I was to do that process, I would have listed a few key systems, The team were popping up systems, and I was like, hang on, I don't even know that. We were using that. So it was actually a great fact finding exercise for even myself at at a broader level to understand what was going on with the team, what sorts of things are they using, and what will make the most impact.

We went through a range of surveys and fact finding informations and questionnaires and meetings to understand what that looked like. And then, the team at ParFinder really narrowed that down for us to go. Here are the key themes that we're picking up that are coming through from your team. And as I mentioned, we've got hundreds of volunteers all over Australia, and that can really be difficult to manage. One of the challenges that we found here at Inclusive is often when people come in to volunteer, particularly in the space of of the services that we provide, where it's just somebody having a chat to somebody else, that they quite often get overwhelmed with the fact of all the work and red tape that needs to be done when you come into a volunteer because in aged care, as we know, they have go through all the checks and balances, including police checks and interviews to ensure that we're providing safe volunteers.

We also need to capture what those visits look like. So how often are they visiting? What systems are they visiting on? How often, you know, how long, what the duration of those visits are?

Because we are a hundred percent government funded. So we have reporting requirements around that. So one of the challenges actually that we face all the time is actually getting our volunteers to report that information. It can be a challenge worth spending a huge amount of resource internally following up our beautiful apologies.

And look, I love them, but if we could save some paperwork for them and save up some pain points and pressures for them, Why wouldn't we? So we come up with a solution in which we can actually automate some of that reporting for them. So what would the impact here in inclusive is that I can turn around to hundreds of our volunteers and go, you know that thing that we ask you to do all the time that you hate doing How about if we removed that completely and we can capture all of that information automatically for you? And not only is it all done, and we can take that pain point away from them, It's act it's more accurate than it has ever been because obviously the data that's coming through our systems is accurate to the second.

So it's incredible data that we can we can put in place. And what would that help us achieve? Well, it hopefully will make us more of a volunteer organization of choice that we can say to volunteers come volunteer here at enclosedy and do the thing that you're here to do, and we'll take care of all of that pain point for you and make sure that we're still compliant with our regulatory requirements, and you can get back to having the beautiful conversations that you should be having without capturing all that information.

The other thing that we're also looking at as a a possible solution, one of the pain points that came up here in closely is finding information.

So how difficult and I know we've all been there because we've got multiple systems going on all the time is finding information and thinking about, oh, what was that presentation that Rachel did last week? Where do I find that? Or I wanna take on your leave next week. Where do I find that policy?

We spend an enormous amount of waste of time in that area. So we're also looking at solutions in which we can pull all of those system, information together so my team can actually find all that information at a touch of a button. And again, get them back to doing what they know best. So when we're thought, thought about the AI journey and when I introduce this to the team as part of the strategy this year, It was really important for them to understand that what the right what the purpose was that we were wanting to introduce this.

I know some people have a lot of fear around AI, And you've all heard the term that AI are coming to take our jobs, and we wanted to ensure that we've made that message very, very clear. And I loved that pathfinder had that same approach that we're not here to introduce AI to replace people's roles. We're actually here to introduce AI to enhance their roles and actually bring them back to being the experts and concentrating on what they have been hired for. So where we're at at our current journey at the moment is looking at introducing some of those strategies and getting those systems involved.

And PowerPoint have been fantastic with understanding that when you introduce anything, and it's like a new system, you need to actually work with that group consistently.

And making sure that this is not a conversation just for today, but a conversation that is ongoing, and it's a relationship that we will build together, to ensure that we're overcoming those challenges throughout throughout the journey ahead.