#6 – Balancing Act

Posted on September 24, 2020

balancing act

It’s #ELGLHaverford time! We’re pleased to recognize the top 25 local government companies as nominated by ELGL members. Learn more about the Haverford Award, and then check out our website every day this week to learn about five new companies added to the 2020 Haverford Award list.

Contact information:

Company information:

  • Industry sector(s): Engagement
  • Minority/Woman Owned Business: Yes
  • Shared content/expertise with ELGL: Yes
    • https://elgl.org/1-balancing-act/ https://elgl.org/bang-the-table-balancing-act-announce-strategic-partnership/ https://elgl.org/engaging-the-public-in-the-budget-process/ https://elgl.org/covid-19-free-version-of-budget-simulation-software/
  • Participated in ELGL events/activities: Yes
    • https://elgl.org/covid-19-free-version-of-budget-simulation-software/

Nomination information:

Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, and in what capacity?

  • Balancing Act helped the City of Phoenix expand its already extensive outreach during its budget creation and adoption process, allowing it to reach residents unable to attend in-person budget hearings and/or who did not connect with the City through other venues like Twitter, Facebook, and email. Not only did Balancing Act help increase outreach, but it also functioned as a vital educational tool, allowing to residents to dig deeply into the city budget, voice their preferences, and think critically about the tradeoffs required in budgeting.

What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?

  • The City of Phoenix’s FundPHX tool, using the Balancing Act budget tool,  achieved more than 200 submissions and more than 2,000 pageviews, greatly expanding budget outreach in the city.

What are three words you’d use to describe the company?

  • Citizen-focused, Engaged, Innovative

Describe the on-boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company? 

  • Onboarding was incredibly easy, as Balancing Act is very responsive and very skilled at understanding the complexities of a city’s particular situation. They quickly appreciated where Phoenix was trying to get to and made sure they helped us all along the way.

What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company?

  • Balancing Act is really great at connecting other local governments who are using the tool and thinking through ways to make it more effective. They have organized multiple webinars to connect these governments, share knowledge, and to work through challenges governments are facing. These are valuable experiences that really go above and beyond just offering a nice product.

What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.

  • Pricing had some flexibility and could be tailored to suit the city’s needs. 

How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?

  • We continue to look at how to expand our use of Balancing Act for other city issues, and Balancing Act is always very responsive in assessing how we would like to adapt the tool to new uses. For example, the city is considering tailoring the tool to look specifically at the city’s Police Department. Balancing Act has been very helpful in thinking through how this can be done to make it most effective for users. 

Anything else to add about the company that we haven’t already asked you?

  • Balancing Act are a really great asset to local governments, again not only because of the software itself and its innate effectiveness at engaging the public but also because they seem to be deeply engaged and interconnected with governments across the country, leveraging the lessons of these different governments, sharing this knowledge, encouraging problem sharing and solving, and overall just creating the sort at atmosphere of engagement and responsiveness that all local governments should try to emulate. 
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