Meet SSON’s Member of the Month: David Lootens

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Last month we ran a competition to identify one of the most active users of our website. Well, we found him. His name is David Lootens, he is based in Orlando, and he runs – among other things – the systems strategy at Campus Crusade for Christ International. We are delighted to present David with a gift card to use at his favorite restaurant (it's in the post) – and acknowledge him before his peers.

David Lootens is the Global Systems Strategist for Campus Crusade for Christ International, one of the 20 largest charities in the US today. Campus Crusade, known as Cru in the U.S., is a global organization dedicated to promoting authentic Christian movements around the world—offering spiritual community, guidance and resources to people from every culture and every walk of life.

Today, that means Cru is represented in more than 180 countries, through a variety of organizations from small and start up to large and developed. I don't need to tell you that this means highly complex and fragmented finance processes! As a result, one of the challenges for Cru is that many of the national directors who signed on to support mission work are finding themselves swamped with administrative work instead.

To identify opportunities for improvement, David attended the Shared Services and Outsourcing Week conference in Orlando earlier this year and came away with lots of contacts, ideas, and connections [consultancy ScottMadden has also supported Cru with benchmarking and framework design]. His prime target right now is to identify the next generation of tools and structures, as well as a stable infrastructure that will support the organization's growth.

David and his team are still firmly in the research phase and are currently focused on identifying a potential model for Finance. In fact, they just got back from a trip that included stops in the Middle East and Thailand to discuss opportunities for improvement with some of the local chapters.

"One of our key issues is to understand what should stay in country versus what should be transferred to a Hub or shared services center," explains David.


What he's been looking for online is to build up his personal expertise within shared services – not just as a potential model but also in terms of what kind of challenges Campus Crusade might face.

"I'm very much in the phase of educating myself, so I've been looking for resources to share internally, in discussions, as well as information that would help me with change management issues," he says.

"I've been filing articles away, forwarding them to my team, and saving huge chunks of them to Evernote," explains David. "SSON has been an invaluable resource for me, particularly as one of my challenges is that Campus Crusade is a federation of connected national organizations. That means each organization has a board of directors and substantial autonomy, and a global mandate just doesn’t work. They have to buy into this plan. It's got to make sense to them, and my challenge is to show them how it does."

So far, David’s initial stakeholder analysis has identified more than 500 stakeholders, whom he has been communicating with globally on this project.

"For me the crucial message is that it's not really about costs but it's about the effectiveness of service, support of the mission and, above all, scalability for the future. That's where the real value-add of a shared services model lies for us."

Here are some of David's favorite articles – all available to you on SSON's website:

We are delighted to celebrate David Lootens as our Member of the Month for his engagement with SSON's online community.

What have you found useful online? Tell us.