Case Study: If/When/How
If/When/How is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, Calif., whose primary goal is to promote reproductive justice through the coordinated effort of people in the legal field, with a focus on campus organizing efforts. They also run a fellowship program to match lawyers to reproductive justice organizations in several cities. This initiative helps to launch lawyer careers and bring legal knowledge and expertise to local community organizing efforts.
“We’re a national network of law students and legal professionals who coordinate efforts across movements, across disciplines, across professions to make reproductive justice happen,” said Sarah Layton, Director of Finance and Operations for If/When/How. “We have a presence on over 100 law schools across the country, where we work with law students to plan engaging events and lobby their administration for curriculum that embraces a reproductive justice lens or at least covers reproductive rights law.”
Why They Needed FormAssembly
When Layton started working at If/When/How, she observed inefficient and outdated processes in place and was confronted with the challenge of an underutilized Salesforce instance.
“When I came to If/When/How everything was Excel spreadsheets. There was a historical Salesforce instance that wasn’t really being used. So, my first couple years were spent getting everything into Salesforce, getting people using Salesforce and really moving into managing all of our donations and the bulk of our programs there,” Layton said.
A common issue the organization experienced was the inability to organize information related to event attendance.
“We would have people buy their ticket on EventBrite and then fill out a Google form with the registration questions. That would all be imported into Salesforce after the fact, or maybe not at all. It was a very messy process. I was looking for something that would eliminate the download from one site and upload into Salesforce piece. I really wanted to automate that,” Layton said.
Layton started using FormAssembly for event registration and data transfer to Salesforce, and from there the use cases exploded. For program applications, If/When/How was able to leave behind paper and Google forms for FormAssembly. FormAssembly also fixed the problem Layton was noticing with too many different tools in use.
“Some people preferred EventBrite, some people preferred Google Forms. I think there was some SurveyMonkey action. So, there were a lot of different systems in use and I as the operations person didn’t have visibility into all the different systems, so I tried my best to create processes, but I was creating so many processes that it was just a waste of everyone’s time,” Layton said. “It was stopping us from being able to centralize our information because different people and different programs were letting their information live in different places, creating a lot of extra work on the data entry side.”
It wasn’t just a nuisance; the lack of a centralized data collection method was resulting in lost information and an inability to get a full picture of data they should have been able to collect.
“Things were getting lost, because that extra step of taking the time to download results and upload them someplace else just didn’t seem necessary to people in the heat of the moment, because we’re so busy trying to put on so much programming,” Layton said. “We were missing key insights into the work that we were doing because data wasn’t living anywhere. We really needed to get stuff into Salesforce.”
How They Use FormAssembly
When If/When/How started using FormAssembly, two main goals were centralization and increased visibility.
“I wanted to achieve one place for all of our incoming information from outside sources. Everything that we’re soliciting from people who don’t work at our organization, be it fellowship applications or signup sheets or event registrations, I wanted that all to live in one place. I wanted them all to be connected to Salesforce. And I wanted visibility into all of them as the person to manage our systems,” Layton said.
With the Salesforce connector and FormAssembly’s extensive flexibility, they were able to achieve those goals and use FormAssembly for a variety of different purposes, including:
- Fellowship Applications
- Internship Applications
- Conference Registration
- Basic Website Contact Forms
“It’s just so easy to put the forms together. As part of our rebrand we built a new website on WordPress, so it’s easy to put the forms on our website with our branding. So pretty much any time we want to solicit information from more than 10 people, we do it with a form,” Layton said.
Results With FormAssembly
If/When/How used FormAssembly to cut out many different tools, save time, and gain more visibility into their data. Dig deeper into a few of the benefits here.
If/When/How frequently has to put together grant reports, and to do that, they need to dig into their data to find specific pieces of information. FormAssembly helps simplify the process by sending information to Salesforce where reports can easily be pulled.
“Usually that would be sort of a panicked time where people would look back at their records and their spreadsheets and do a lot of counting and a lot of frantic emails. Now there are still some frantic emails because sometimes the report isn’t quite right, but the information is all already in Salesforce, so the step of having to look and find where that information is is gone. And that’s a huge timesaver,” Layton said.
With one multi-functional form tool, it’s no longer necessary for If/When/How to have multiple tools for different purposes.
“We don’t use EventBrite anymore, we don’t use SurveyMonkey anymore and we don’t use Google Forms anymore except for some very rare cases. FormAssembly has cut out a lot of the redundancy and different platforms we were using,” Layton said.
Across the board, FormAssembly forms equal real time savings for Layton and her team:
- FormAssembly saves 20 hours a year for the If/WHen/How Fellowship application process by centralizing data collection and automating the transfer of information to Salesforce.
- FormAssembly’s Salesforce integration also helps If/When/How shave two hours off of the work involved for each of the 12 or so events they do per year.
- The If/When/How “Join the Network” form is also handled in FormAssembly, and Layton said that saves her a few hours a month because she no longer has to manually create records.
A High-Value, Time-Saving Solution
Nonprofits and for-profit businesses alike have to consider whether the benefit from a tool or solution outweighs its cost. For If/When/How’s use of FormAssembly, the answer is yes.
“When you add in the Salesforce piece, I think the value that you get for FormAssembly is incredible. The ability to map any field to any object and to put formulas on top of that and change the way the values are being sent over, you can kind of do anything. And if you can’t do something, the tech support people will totally help you figure out how. If you care about having your data in Salesforce, there is just no comparison with FormAssembly and other form builder sites,” Layton said.
For If/When/How, the ability to replace multiple tools with one and to centralize and simplify the process of collecting data is a huge benefit; and one that’s greater than the cost of FormAssembly.
“It’s not free, but the money that you spend on it will be totally justified in the time that you save in data entry and uploading things and cleaning data from other sites that you then have to re-upload into Salesforce,” Layton said. “Eliminating all that from your workflow is worth the price of FormAssembly for sure.”