Six Sigma Quality Improvement for Nonprofits

Six Sigma is a measurement, methodology and strategy to eliminate variations and defects from processes. For nonprofits, this can lead to faster service to consumers; serving more people; and, serving them more consistently.

Six Sigma Forum Magazine of the American Society for Quality has recognized our work by publishing our article "A Helping Hand" in the August 2010 issue. 

Some results nonprofits have achieved through our Six Sigma program:


  • No-shows down 20%, with productivity up 30%
  • Defects reduced by 95%, with costs reduced $19,000
  • Compliance rate doubled
  • Number of people served doubled
  • Number qualifying for assistance up 64%
  • Cycle time reduction leading to revenue increase of $125,000


71 nonprofits have participated in our Six Sigma program, through 17 cohorts (group classes with accompanying projects):

Cohort #1 - Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Cohort #2 - Benedict House, Catholic Charities, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Food Bank of Western New York, Meals on Wheels for Western New York, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Cohort #3 - Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Buffalo Urban League, Compass House, Gateway-Longview, Hispanics United of Buffalo, Martin House Restoration Corporation, New Directions Youth and Family Services

Cohort #4 - Albright Knox Art Gallery, Baker Victory Services, Catholic Charities, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Mid-Erie Counseling & Treatment Services, Spectrum Human Services

Cohort #5 - American Education Foundation, Buffalo Urban League, Community Concern of Western New York, Family Justice Center, Joan A. Male Family Support Center, King Urban Life Center, Upstate New York Transplant Services

Cohort #6 - Buffalo City Mission, Catholic Charities, Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council, People Inc., Salvation Army, University at Buffalo Career Services

Cohort #7- Amherst Youth Foundation, Catholic Charities, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Lake Shore Behavioral Health, YWCA of Western New York

Cohort #8 - Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Girl Scouts of Western New York, Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, Hospice Buffalo, Jericho Road Ministries, Town of Clarence, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Cohort #9 - Catholic Charities, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Girl Scouts of WNY, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center, Meals on Wheels for WNY, University at Buffalo Libraries, West Side Neighborhood Housing Services

Cohort #10 - Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Girl Scouts of WNY, Just for Kids School Age Programs, Lake Shore Behavioral Health, Oracle Charter School, Southeast Works, The Service Collaborative of WNY, University at Buffalo Cora P. Maloney College

Cohort #11 - Crisis Services, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Journey's End Refugee Services, Olean, NY and Bradford, PA YMCA, The Service Collaborative of WNY, University at Buffalo Student Advising Services

Cohort #12 - ACCESS of WNY (Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services), Soccer for Success (Independent Health Foundation, Buffalo Soccer Club, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County), The Belle Center, WNY Children's Psychiatric Center

Cohort #13 - Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Buffalo Public Schools, Olmsted Center for Sight and Ross Eye Institute, WNY Children's Psychiatric Center

Cohort #14 -Junior League Accountability Project, Junior League Transforming Spaces, Just For Kids School Age Programs, People Inc., St. Camillus Home Care Agency, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, University at Buffalo Posting of Transfer Credit, Unyts

Cohort #15 - Child Care Resource Network, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Girl Scouts of WNY, Mercy Flight of WNY, Native American Community Services, University at Buffalo Center for Educational Innovation, University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center,  WNY Children's Psychiatric Center Medical Consultation, WNY Children's Psychiatric Center Transportation to External Appointments

Cohort #16 - Catholic Charities, Hospice Buffalo

Cohort #17 - Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Diversified Labor Solutions, EPIC - Every Person Influences Children, Seneca Street Community Development Corporation


Six Sigma classes are led by William J. Hill, Ph. D and Rajat S. Basu, Ph.D.  Bill was formerly a director of Six Sigma at Honeywell, and the director of the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement at the University of Wisconsin. In his retirement, Bill now volunteers through the United Way Not Profit Resource Center to help nonprofits implement Six Sigma projects.Rajat was formerly a Senior Principal Scientist from Honeywell's Buffalo Research Laboratory.  He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Master of Honeywell and was involved in operational improvement.  Recently retired, Rajat now volunteers with Six Sigma.

Participating nonprofits select an improvement project within their organization, and a cross-functional project team. Up to five team members, from each nonprofit, then attend five classes, each four and one-half hours in length, two weeks apart. Teams work on their projects during and between classes.

For more information, please call us at (716) 887-2757 . 

If you are outside of Western New York and would like to offer the workshops in your community, call us at 716-887-2757.

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