Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area
“The advice we get has us and our needs in mind….”
The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area celebrates the Schuylkill River watershed as one of America’s most significant cultural and historical waterways. The watershed winds through Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania, a region nationally significant for its role in the American, Industrial and Environmental Revolutions. The region was designated by Congress in 2000 as a National Heritage Area, a place where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape.
“We’re a small organization, with only 10 employees,” explains Elaine Paul Schaefer, Executive Director. “Our entire financial department consists of only one person. When our financial director moved on and gave us two weeks’ notice, we couldn’t really hire a replacement in only two weeks.”
Schaefer asked colleagues in the nonprofit sector for ideas, and one of them recommended Your Part-Time Controller. She called YPTC and within a day had engaged YPTC to help the organization get through the transition period.
YPTC was brought on board to assist with three distinct jobs. “First, they served as a sort of temp agency to keep the ship afloat while we were looking for a replacement finance director,” Shaefer says. “No one here speaks accounting, and YPTC helped us with payroll, getting our invoices out and paying our bills.”
Second, YPTC served as a consultant during the hiring process to help the organization navigate and cull through the resumes and choose which potential candidates to interview. “They spoke with candidates and helped us with the skills testing and then helped train the person we eventually hired.”
In a more ongoing role, YPTC then identified where the group was not using best practices and then helped them get best practices in place.
“Another thing I really admire about YPTC is that the advice we get has us and our needs in mind rather than their trying to sell us services and keep us on as a client,” she adds. “They helped us come to the decision that we really need our own finance director. The person we hired is fantastic and they had a great part in helping us hire her.
“We’re been very pleased with the service and caliber of the consultant and the expertise we’ve gotten. Any staff changes when you have a small staff can be pretty brutal. YPTC got us through a pretty rough transition period.”