KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. There are currently 109 KIPP schools, serving more than 32,000 students.
Carol Lee kindly took the time to talk to us about her work at KIPP and how her organization uses FormAssembly.
Carol Lee, Recruitment Manager at KIPP
Could you tell us briefly what KIPP is?
KIPP is a national network of free open-enrollment college preparatory schools for students in academically under-served communities and I work specifically with our schools here in New York and we’re known as KIPP-NYC.
What age do children typically get involved with KIPP and what characterizes KIPP schools?
Traditionally KIPP has been a middle school model — grades 5 through 8 —but recently we’ve begun expanding to elementary schools too. We are public charter schools and our admissions are typically by lottery, so we are open to anyone who is eligible for that city’s charter schools. So for us in New York that means they live within NYC and it’s essentially random selection — we have no regard for prior academic or behavioral record.
What is your role at KIPP?
I’m part of a team which supports just the KIPP schools in NYC. Currently we have eight schools, but we’re growing. I’m part of the recruitment team which means that we’re in charge of identifying and helping select great teachers and staff out there to join our network of schools.
Can you tell us how you’re using FormAssembly?
We’re always looking for great talent in a number of ways and FormAssembly helps us do that. We have a referral bonus program which means that anyone who works at KIPP, or anybody outside of KIPP, if they refer us to somebody we hire, we will pay them a $1000 referral bonus.
FormAssembly allowed us to create a really simple, easy form that we could embed within our website to collect that referral information. So it just takes a few minutes, people can go to a link and fill out a few pieces of basic information about themselves and the person they’re referring. That gets to us and we get an automatic email notification. They can even upload a resume — if they have it — and then we follow up with that person they referred to see if they’re interested, and a good fit for KIPP. So FormAssembly allows us to collect all that information. I would say that’s one big way we use it.
There are a lot of form solutions out there. Is there a specific reason you’ve chosen FormAssembly?
That’s a great question. FormAssembly was actually recommended to us by developers of our database system — we use a Salesforce system to track all of our contacts for recruitment related purposes, and FormAssembly integrates really nicely with Salesforce on the back end. So we don’t have a separate database for applicants and another database for all of our needs or prospects. All of that can go into the same place. The integration with Salesforce was a key factor.
I think also just the simplicity of the interface — it’s really easy to use and really easy to embed in our website so we could keep our same look and feel. Also people don’t have to go to an external site, it is really easy for them to do it all in the same place.
What other uses do you have for the FormAssembly application? Can you tell us a little about those?
Another way we generate leads and contacts is by holding different events throughout the year to allow people to really see first-hand what our schools are like.
One example of that is that we hold open houses every year — we have a big one especially in the fall on Veterans’ Day — and we collect RSVP’s for that event through FormAssembly. We hosted it in several of our schools and we asked people to choose which site they want. We can use the logic that’s built into FormAssembly. So if they say they want to go this particular school, we can have an additional question specific to that choice so it’s really tailored to what they’re experiencing when they use our form.
The last example is pretty small but very significant. We have an email sign-up list available on our website so a lot of the same features I mentioned before integrate really nicely. It’s easy to click and say “yes, I want to receive future email updates” — again, that Salesforce integration piece is key because we use that system for everything.
So just having that flexibility of accessing that information in one place is really useful for us. We can go back at a later point and see what interactions contacts had with us, if they’ve come to an event in the past, if they’ve received our email newsletters or if they’ve been referred by somebody and all those different pieces FormAssembly allows us to do.
We’re honored to play our small part in helping KIPP achieve its mission. Thanks to Carol for taking the time to tell us more about KIPP and to share her experience with FormAssembly.