The Center for Action and Contemplation Saves Thousands per Year with FormAssembly

Ananda Robie headshot
Ananda Robie,Managing Director of Digital Products

Case Study Snapshot

When Ananda came on board the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) team, the organization was using an extremely expensive platform to manage applications and data. When the contract was set to expire, Ananda and her team had to come up with a quick, budget-friendly solution that could solve data problems in a pinch. Four years later, the organization still chooses FormAssembly for tackling data challenges.


The Center for Action and Contemplation is a nonprofit organization that primarily offers spiritual teaching through online courses and books. The center is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has been serving people internationally through its resources for over 30 years. The mission of the organization is to open doors for spiritual seekers and to empower others through service and healing.

The Numbers
years with FormAssembly
saved per year by switching platforms
1 million+
form responses collected

The need

Making the Switch from a Costly and Outdated Platform in a Matter of Weeks

The Center for Action and Contemplation offers a two-year course that requires a robust online application and vetting process in order to attend. Before FormAssembly, staff members were using a CRM platform for education that was incredibly expensive but not robust. An internal audit revealed that the organization was spending $60,000 per year on a system that was difficult to use and not very accurate. Staff knew that they couldn’t continue to justify the cost of a data management system that was so costly without being effective.

The organization was spending $60,000 per year on a system that was difficult to use and not very accurate.

The solution

Leveraging FormAssembly for a Customizable and Economical Fix

When Ananda discovered FormAssembly, she thought it might provide a temporary bridge that the organization needed until they could design or purchase a new solution. To the staff’s surprise, FormAssembly was extremely affordable yet powerful. Now, four years later, the team continues to use FormAssembly for their data collection needs. In doing so, they save tens of thousands of dollars in resources each year.

Save and Resume
The Center for Action and Contemplation has several lengthy forms as part of their application process. FormAssembly’s Save and Resume feature helps Ananda and her team improve response rates by giving applicants more time to complete their answers.

Payment Processor
Community authentication is a feature of FormAssembly Enterprise accounts that prevents any outside user from accessing form data. When working with government entities, this piece is crucial for security.

Salesforce Integration
The Salesforce Connector is one of the reasons that the Center for Action and Contemplation has been able to stick with FormAssembly for the long haul. This powerful connector allows all incoming form data to flow directly to Salesforce without manual updates. Salesforce automation facilitates the entire application process, from interest to application to payment.

“FormAssembly was extremely affordable yet powerful. Now, four years later, the team continues to use FormAssembly for their data collection needs.“

Use Cases

The Living School application process is powered by FormAssembly

The Center for Action and Contemplation’s primary program is the Living School. This is a comprehensive two-year program complete with online components and in-person sessions. The application itself is extensive, and it’s designed to take the applicant on a journey of self discovery and understanding. Applicants are encouraged to spend a significant amount of time on the complex form, completing different steps over the course of several days and often even weeks.

cfac form builder example

Students can apply for optional financial assistance through a simple web form

Because the Living School is a significant commitment in time and resources, the Center for Action and Contemplation also offers generous support from donors to help cover tuition fees. Within the online application for admission, there is an option for students also wishing to complete a financial assistance application form.

cfac form builder example 2

Automation triggers the send of personal recommendation forms

When a student applies to the Living School, the Center also requests personal recommendations. These can be submitted in another FormAssembly form, which creates an updated record of the referrer in Salesforce. When a student submits a final application, automation triggers an email to each personal reference requesting a personal recommendation form. Not only can the separate forms communicate with one another, but they also sync in real time to Salesforce.

What's Next?

In the future, Ananda and the team at the Center for Application and Contemplation plan to expand their use of FormAssembly to encompass the entire financial assistance application process. Due to the sensitive nature of the information the organization collects, staff plan to upgrade to a multi-user login for upgraded access and security.

Outside of the scope of the primary use cases, the Center for Action and Contemplation also uses FormAssembly for internal staff forms, pre and post-event surveys, email signups, subscription preferences, and more.

FormAssembly is trusted by hundreds of nonprofit organizations around the globe.

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