Our nonprofit customer Baltimore Corps uses FormAssembly in a variety of ways, including preparing for and following up from events, and processing and reviewing applications for their Fellowship program.
Baltimore Corps is a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization seeking to connect talented individuals with local organizations to ultimately work toward effecting positive social change in Baltimore.
“We’re continuously looking for new ways to recruit the most talented individuals to this city who are interested in doing great work in the social impact sector,” said Billy Daly, Baltimore Corps’ Systems Design Manager. “We’re also focused on finding organizations and people within the social impact sector that have great initiatives that they want to scale, but just need additional support and talent to make those initiatives more impactful.”
“The size of the organizations that we work with range from a small two-person coffee shop all the way up to big, huge organizations like the Baltimore City Health Department,” Daly said. “The work that our fellows do spans everything from being an all-hands-on-deck manager to very specialized roles and execution on things like database management and design and analytics.”
As a young organization (roughly three and a half years old) Baltimore Corps relies on formalized systems and procedures and smart use of tools like Salesforce and FormAssembly.
“We lean pretty heavily on systems to help do a lot of the work that we do, but a big part of it is also norm setting and working together as a team to try and figure out what kind of standards we want to have,” he said.
Baltimore Corps found FormAssembly through their connection to the Salesforce community and now uses it for a wide range of purposes, including collecting and reviewing applications for their fellowship program, collecting signups at recruitment events, processing check-ins at fellow dinners and trainings sessions, and gathering RSVPs for events (including their upcoming annual event on Dec. 6).
Here’s a deeper dive into some of the key functions for which Baltimore Corps uses FormAssembly:
Use Case: Fellowship Program Applications
Baltimore Corps previously used Google Forms to process their Fellowship program applications. Once they implemented their Salesforce instance it became clear that they needed a tool or solution that could do a more elegant job of connecting information back to Salesforce.
“That was the decisive moment when we were like, ‘Ok, what’s the best way that we can really flexibly build different forms that we need, starting primarily with the application, but also have that data directly live in Salesforce’,” Daly said. “That was sort of the initial use case for it and it has just exploded since then.”’
FormAssembly’s strong Salesforce connection met the needs of Baltimore Corps and provided a simpler, more flexible form experience.
“What’s wonderful about FormAssembly is there’s such a plethora of customizations that you can do with it, and all of it is drag-and-drop,” Daly said.
Baltimore Corps benefited greatly from the ability to be able to link applicant information directly to Salesforce, but where FormAssembly saved the most time and made the greatest impact was on the review end of their fellowship applications.
Use Case: Application Reviews
Each fellowship application submitted to Baltimore Corps goes through a review process, where staff members assess the answers and the overall skill and ability of the applicant. After the review, they pass the application along to a recruiter with their recommendation of whether or not they think the applicant should move along in the process and be considered for a placement.
Before FormAssembly offered a way to use forms to complete the reviews, employees of Baltimore Corps had to do them in Salesforce, which made for a tedious process. Using forms instead provides simpler, more structured experience for reviewers, and makes the whole process more objective, Daly said.
This is how the process works.
- All Fellowship applications come through FormAssembly, after which information is sent to the correct location in Salesforce.
- When an application is submitted, using the FormAssembly-TaskRay integration, TaskRay tasks are created.
- Baltimore Corps team members receive a notification and navigate to a link that’s been automatically generated by FormAssembly and stored in TaskRay.
- The employees click on the link that takes them to a FormAssembly form showing the application, followed by a few questions related to that candidate. The review forms pull information from Salesforce about an application, allowing reviewers to more easily enter their answers.
- Employees input ratings on a variety of different criteria, all of which is pushed back to Salesforce.
- This results in a recommendation for the recruiters that review the summaries of different applications. FormAssembly effectively simplifies the recruiter’s job because they’re not spending time going back over each original application before making their final decision.
“The two huge benefits that came out of that process was one, efficiency, then even more importantly than that, was making the process a little bit more fair and consistent,” Daly said.
In the past, reviewing applications used to take several read-throughs for each application, which, considering the hundreds of applications received, could take weeks. Occasionally, there would be disagreement over recommendations, but because of the lack of a record of review answers, there wasn’t always an easy way to decide definitively whether a candidate should move on or not.
Moving to a “structured, form-based review process” cut out the need to review an application an unnecessary amount of times because of the simplified nature of the review questions. It also made it easier to understand the thought process behind a recommendation.
“Because employee responses were recorded in this form, we had kind of a breadcrumb trail for their opinions about and recommendations on a candidate,” Daly said.
This allows Baltimore Corps to gain more understanding into disagreements over applicant recommendations by seeing exactly on what areas the reviewers differed in opinion, whether that was the applicant’s skill or their expected commitment to the role.
“It allowed us to have concrete evidence for why we were pushing someone on versus not, and it removed the need to review an application seven times over just to come up with a basic decision on it,” Daly said.
Daly estimated that using this new process saves one to two hours of review time per application.
Use Case: Application Portal
Baltimore Corps pushes the boundaries of success, whether it comes to their community work or their innovative use of forms.
Daly’s newest form project is to overhaul the application process and change it from one long form into a user-friendly, self-guided application portal with a series of small forms. The portal, which has currently just been used for two small hiring pushes, displays all the required forms and allows users to fill them out in any order they choose. Contact information is prefilled from form to form so there’s no unnecessary duplication of information or work on the part of the applicant.
“It has really increased conversion. It’s a lot easier to go and fill out five questions on a single section and hit submit than have that be one page of five,” Daly said.
The portal set-up has a benefit for staff as well. Because they can see what forms people have filled out and where they are in the process, it’s easier to both understand what sections might be tripping people up and reach out to applicants in a more targeted way.
“We wanted this to be the testing ground for that full roll-out for the fellowship application. We definitely learned quite a bit,” Daly said. “The turnout was amazing, and a lot of people on our team found it really helpful, much more so than the previous structure, because we were able to do that kind of targeted outreach.”
With this new use of FormAssembly, Daly uncovered a new reason to love using our form solution.
“Because there are so many amazing features, it’s given us the platform to invent use cases for it that it might not have been initially designed for,” Daly said.
Use Case: Coordinating Annual Event & Tracking Attendees
Leading up to the holiday season, FormAssembly has been a huge help to Baltimore Corps as they plan their annual event, set for December 6. Baltimore Corps’ annual event allows them to take a look back at success throughout the year and progress toward goals, recognize all the great people in their network, and offer a final opportunity for people to contribute to their fundraising goal of $250,000 this year, which will be matched by one of their sponsoring partners.
“A big part of the December event will be a final push to that $250,000 number, but that event is about bringing everyone together, celebrating our big wins, and getting a chance to reflect on all the work that we’ve done in the past year.”
Daly said they’ve used FormAssembly for individual campaigns throughout the year to gather leads and interest in the event and RSVPs for the event itself. They also plan to use it to sign people in at the event to get an accurate list of every event attendee so they can thank everyone who attended without a huge lapse in time after the event.
“All that starts with being able to formally intake them into our system, check to see they already have a contact, and being able to put them all in one place. This way we can have a full account,” he said.
This quick and effective method for gathering information is a far cry from the method they used last year.
“Last year, all we had was a spreadsheet and it was sort of cobbled together through a bunch of handwritten forms and it probably took at least 30 hours of continuous work to try to merge all these different spreadsheets and input them in the system,” Daly said.
The FormAssembly solution Baltimore Corps is using this year is meant to help them avoid this added data entry work.
Innovation Through Forms
Baltimore Corps takes FormAssembly’s features and connectors and uses them to bring their processes to the next level.
“It allows us us to think continuously about new services that we can offer because we have the tools to do that,” Daly said. “It allows cascading new opportunities for innovation.”
FormAssembly provides the tool they need, and with their creativity and unique way of thinking through problems, Baltimore Corps is able to continue achieving great results with a small team and bringing better experiences to their users.
“I want to take every opportunity to say it: I love FormAssembly so much and we are so appreciative to all that the FormAssembly team has put together because it is such an amazing tool,” Daly said.