Communities in Schools

Janice Bigelow, CFO


Finding cost-effective, quality health insurance is difficult with small numbers of employees in various states.


TriNet provides cost savings, as well as having a call center to answer employee questions from any location.

Having a partner such as TriNet to do the back-office administration for payroll and benefits helps tremendously.

Non-Profit Companies Such as Communities in Schools Gain HR Resources Without Breaking the Bank

Communities In Schools is a non-profit organization that helps students stay in school and make the right choices by connecting schools with needed community resources. In some schools, CIS connects services with particular students in need, either on a one-time basis or as part of a carefully monitored case management system; CIS also brings community resources to students and families through after-school programs. 

The Drive to Outsource 

CIS’s CFO, Janice Bigelow, wasn’t with the organization when the need for outsourcing payroll, benefits, and human resources first presented itself. However, she says that she understands why working with an HR service provider such as TriNet is the right move for CIS, and she herself would make the same decision in a heartbeat.

Ms. Bigelow explains, “If I had to evaluate the need for an outsourcing provider today, I would use one because of how our employees are spread out throughout the country. Having a partner such as TriNet to do the back-office administration for payroll and benefits helps tremendously, as does having online self service. In addition, we have several states in which we only have one employee within that state, which makes it difficult for CIS to find cost-effective, quality health insurance without TriNet doing the heavy lifting for us.” 

She continues, “It would also be challenging to staff a HR department that was fully versed in all aspects of employment law, employee relations, benefits, etc. For a smaller organization like CIS, it makes sense to hire our own ‘outside’ HR department.”

The Right Partner for the Right Price 

TriNet continues to partner with CIS to provide all of these needs—and more. Ms. Bigelow notes, “It’s not just the cost savings in the realm of employee health insurance. I know there’s also a time savings in having a call center available to field questions from our staff, instead of CIS deploying an in-house benefits manager.”

Having all of those resources at CIS’s disposal prevents the need for hiring additional inhouse staff, which also translates to significant savings. Ms. Bigelow explains, “We have 35 full-time employees working in 6 states. And yet I’m able to ensure that the company provides quality benefits, responds quickly to employee requests, and complies with all applicable federal and state laws—while using only TriNet and a part-time HR generalist. 

Other Non-Profits May Benefit 

Ms. Bigelow believes that other organizations can reap the same benefits. She says, “I would have to say that the TriNet services we value most are the sharing of risk as it relates to employment practices, payroll processing, and health and welfare benefits.” She adds, “Small organizations that have any level of complexity to their HR needs should consider outsourcing to a provider such as TriNet. An outsourcing partner can make a real impact and help remove key obstacles to business success.”