Looking back at our busy week at Dreamforce 2017, there’s not a lot we didn’t do. In addition to manning two booths, winning a Demo Jam, and attending the hottest parties (and Dreamfest), our CEO Cedric Savarese had the time to sit down with Steven Boland from the Next in Nonprofits podcast. The two chatted about FormAssembly’s integrations, how to make forms easier to fill out, and more. Here is an peek at the first few minutes of the podcast.
Cedric Savarese (CS): FormAssembly is a very easy-to-use, drag-and-drop form builder that allows our users to create online forms and collect the data that they need to power their particular use cases and business processes. We have a very deep integration with Salesforce, as you said we’re here at Dreamforce today, so you can get the data in Salesforce where you can actually work with it.
Steve Boland (SB): So, one one would hope that the idea of asking people to give you information would be the, what I always refer to with clients as the least amount of friction as possible. You want to make it the easiest experience that it can be. But you also want to be able to get the most information that you can, so you’ve got to be living in a world of balancing how long does it take to complete a form, how difficult is it, how many pages, against the business case for asking for that data, because some people are just going to bail out. That’s got to be a large part of what you try to help people figure out, not just in the drag-and-drop, but also in the strategic: how do you get information from people?
CS: Yeah, that’s a great question and a that’s a real challenge. You as the stakeholder in this process, you need the information, but everybody has had to fill out forms and you probably hate it. You probably feel like you’re always giving the same information over and over, so one way to go with that is to make sure that first you only ask the questions that are really relevant to what you need, but also to the answers that you received before. So you can build smart forms that have branching logic in the flow of the questions, so that if the person is married, you can ask questions about the spouse, but if they’re not married, you can skip that part entirely and move onto the next subject. That makes small forms faster to fill out. Another thing that you can do is not ask questions you really don’t need. That’s something that’s easy to do from a business capacity where you say, oh it would be nice if we knew this about our client or our donors, but maybe we don’t really have a use for it right now. So with FormAssembly you can make changes to your data collection process at any time, you don’t have to have it perfect in the first place, so it’s ok to just leave questions out if you’re not sure whether you need that data right away, then add it later if you find a need for it. So that’s kind of a few things you can do there.
SB: So, one of the things that is always challenging in the charitable sector in particular is the amount of information that a development team would want in terms of fundraising capacity as opposed to communications or program delivery, which may want a lot less. And your point earlier about do you need that question asked; in charities an awful lot of the time they’re asking for a gender identification because they make assumptions about donors based on that and they want to know what bucket to put you in. I always try to push back with clients on that, instead of trying to make an assumption about a client based on that, ask them the information that’s important to them. What do you want to tell us? How do you think about that in terms of this branching logic question you were raising, with what is important for that donor to tell you about what they care about and how much would the form then collect?
CS: Obviously, the form itself has a purpose, right? If you’re trying to collect a donation, you want to make sure the person puts in a number and hopefully credit card information or bank account information so you can actually process that data. That’s the first thing the form needs.
SB: Right, that’s the minimum. Got to have that.
CS: But, at the same time, yeah, you can definitely take this as an opportunity to let the person tell you what they’re interested in, what they want. And you can have free-form questions. They can just write comments instead of trying to guide them through a particular set of questions that you may have. So, any time you have an opportunity to interact with your clients or your donors or your volunteers you can make sure that you have forms that have multiple purpose. Give them a chance to give you some feedback then also do what you really need to do to handle that transaction.
If you’re interested in learning more ways FormAssembly works with and for nonprofits, check out this post from Giving Tuesday on our work with Techbridge, a nonprofit dedicated to helping other nonprofits. Read the blog and download the case study today.