The vision for share1app began more than a decade ago. Human service agencies' staffers were applying to so many different municipalities (mailing or hand-delivering their applications to several city halls on varying due dates). Each city had different application forms and different reporting forms. Muncipal funding staffers knew their city was funding the same human service agencies and programs as other cities, and that the cities had common objectives with respect to their applications and reporting. With so many different processes intended to accomplish the same thing, human service agencies and municipalities began to push for more coordination.
Over the years, the various cities across East, North, and South King County in Washington state worked together and developed increasingly coordinated processes, including joint application processes and joint contract management. They began to align their application questions and reporting criteria. By 2010, cities across East, North, and South King County came together in a cooperative effort called the Human Services Funding Collaborative (HSFC).
That year, HSFC used one common application website to receive requests for funding. The participating cities received over 1,000 funding requests contained in 250 program applications submitted by 130 agencies. Two years later, with a new common application website, the particiating cities received over 900 funding requests contained in 370 program applications submitted by 160 agencies. If an agency was applying for one program to 10 of the cities, the agency did not have to write 10 applications. They wrote one application to be seen by the 10 cities. If an agency was applying for four programs to 10 cities, the agency did not have to write 40 applications. They wrote four applications to be seen by the 10 cities.
The use of share1app has also expanded to performance reporting. Instead of completing a different quarterly performance report for each city, agency program staffers will now use one report form in share1app to be seen by all the cities. If an agency has to report on four programs to 10 cities, they do not have to fill out 40 forms each quarter. That agency will fill out one form out per program, or four forms. The cities are now also joining together in contract management and monitoring, to minimize the disruptions that can be caused by multiple municipal site audits.
NEXT STEPS FOR SHARE1APP
share1app and these continuing coordination efforts are best regarded as steps toward continued process improvement. share1app reduces redundant activities across the various municipalities, and in turn will reduce redundant activities as human service agencies work with these municipal funders. While any change comes with periods of transition and learning, these changes are opportunities to continually reduce the redundancies and progressively move efforts to activities such as direct services to clients.