System of Service

"The world of philanthropy, unfortunately, cannot replace all of the funding that you have lost from local, state and federal agencies.  It will have to be done with a combination of lean processes reform, innovation, partnerships and collaborations, and trust."

-Tom Matya, Zea Mays Holdings

From his opening address during the kick-off event on February 1, 2011.

The KC Center is pleased to be offering System of Service, an intensive training program geared towards nonprofit agencies. This opportunity will provide key leadership training to help nonprofits in our community reach the next level through value stream mapping and other leadership events. Nonprofit organizations are also welcome to participate in other courses and events offered through Kishwaukee which can be found in the Synergist.

Value Stream Mapping

What is Value Stream Mapping?

System of ServiceAdministrative Value Stream Mapping focuses on going "lean" by identifying waste in administrative processes and becoming more efficient. This process was originally designed to increase productivity for manufacturers. In translating manufacturing processes to nonprofit processes several goals have been outlined. In translating manufacturing processes to nonprofit processes several goals were outlined in the initial phase of this project. These goals for five nonprofit agencies include focusing on improving internal efficiency, focusing on external efficiencies between agencies, educating social services leaders in sound business practices, and introducing proven business models that increase efficiencies, effectiveness and elimination of unnecessary duplications through value stream mapping.

A number of agencies have already participated and had great success with the value stream mapping process.

Agencies that have participated:

  • 4-CValue Stream Mapping
  • Opportunity House
  • Family Service Agency
  • Youth Service Bureau
  • Kishwaukee YMCA
  • Children’s Learning Center
  • Voluntary Action Center
  • Safe Passage
  • Kishwaukee United Way
  • DeKalb County Community Foundation


Ahna from YSB: "VSM assisted staff in building camaraderie and enthusiasm around change by pinpointing specific areas of waste, but not claiming other for the waste. We worked as a collective team to brainstorm and then effectively implement changes that will help in the organization and morale of our agency."

Micki Chulick from 4-C: "The Value Stream Mapping process really helped us to identify the waste in the way we process cases and to combine/eliminate several of the steps taken from the time an application is received until it is fully processed. We anticipate that the changes will reduce our approval/denial time from 5 to 3 days."

Funding Opportunity

The National Bank & Trust Company Endowment Fund

This fund is an agreement between The National Bank & Trust Company of Sycamore and the Kishwaukee College Foundation. The purpose of this endowment fund is to provide not-for-profit, non-governmental, social service agencies the ability to utilize the services of Kishwaukee College’s Center for Business Development and Continuing Education at no cost to the agency.

The Center for Business Development & Continuing Education by means of the National Bank & Trust Company of Sycamore Endowment is able to provide both leadership and professional training to out district’s Non-Profit Organizations (NPO’s). It provides innovative and cutting edge trends and techniques that help NPO’s continue to provide the best services our community has to offer.

System of Service nonprofit training is made possible by generous donations from the Doug and Lynn Roberts Family Foundation, the DeKalb County Community Foundation and other community donors. The dedicated steering committee consists of: Micki Chulick, 4-C; Dave Miller, Family Service Agency; Dawn Littlefield, Kishwaukee United Way; Anita Zurbrugg, DeKalb County Community Foundation; Jason Nicol, Youth Service Bureau; and Melissa Gallagher, The KC Center.

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