We’re super excited to introduce the relaunch of our Spend Culture Stories podcast with new speakers and a completely new format.
The podcast features and highlights the opinions and personal stories of fearless finance, operations and procurement leaders who are driving transformational growth and challenging the status quo from the front lines.
Join us as we dive deep into understanding the people, processes, and tools that make up spending as a whole, or what we call Spend Culture.
A COO/CFO’s Advice on Scaling Your Nonprofit’s Purchasing Process
Serial traveller. The “problem fixer”. Generalist. Constant Learner.
Rob Dibacco is the COO/CFO of The Arizona Charter School Association. Rob is responsible for the Association’s financials and overall operations. He was previously a bond underwriter with Travelers Group, the director of athletics & travel at The American School in Switzerland, the director of outdoor education at The Orme School, and he led and founded The Gaia School in Chile and Argentina.
In this episode, learn how Rob manages the financial operations of a non-profit organization, how to implement a purchasing process for educational institutions, and how to scale spend management sustainably.
Listen to the Episode Now:
What’s your attitude toward life?
I’m not afraid of failure, because I think that failure is part of the growth process.
What’s Arizona Charter School Association’s Spend Culture?
We need to spend in areas that are going to have the greatest impact. And so I would say our Spend Culture is cautious. You know, we are cautiously optimistic of ways that we spend our resources.
How do you recommend educational organizations scale their spend processes?
When you start to scale, that’s when more technology helps. For example, using a platform that can help you scale because that’s really the most efficient and effective way to not only to increase accountability but the effectiveness of your processes is much improved with technological solutions. What I recommend to our schools is having one system if possible to track all of your spending and ask for all of these approvals. Especially because a lot of our schools and some of the larger ones have multiple layers of approvals and multiple decision makers.
When you look at it from the school’s perspective, you have teachers at one level but no amount of resources that they want to spend. And then the medium level there is administrators that are trying to control the budget for the entire school.
And then you may have another top level which is a district office that manages the budgets for multiple schools. It’s very important to have these approvals in place so that resources get allocated appropriately. And again they have the same issues that we do in trying to make sure that they accomplish the mission and the more dollars that they save and that are careful with, the more dollars that go into the classroom to better serve students, and that is the ultimate mission of any school and our organization as well as to make sure that students are being served well.
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