NPower Leverages FormAssembly to Save Time and Resources as They Expand IT Training Programs
CASE STUDY SNAPSHOT
NPower uses detailed interest forms and application files to track individuals interested in their Tech Fundamentals and Advanced Certification programs. Originally, the organization used a paper form system to collect data.
In the summer of 2017, NPower worked alongside a consulting firm on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) project in anticipation of future growth. The consulting firm helped NPower spot the need for a systematic application process across all markets, including the consistent use of fields throughout existing Salesforce records. The SOP Project helped staff members identify how to use FormAssembly with greater detail and efficiency.
“Our five year strategic plan calls for the expansion to new markets by 2022, so standard operating procedures are huge for us,” Byrne said.
By expanding on their use of FormAssembly, the organization hopes to achieve their five-year goal of reaching more individuals in new communities.
NPower is a national nonprofit organization that exists to create “pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults.” Through IT development and training programs, NPower hopes to grow the technology workforce into one that is diverse and open to opportunity. The organization envisions a future workforce unhindered by barriers such as gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. NPower currently operates in seven markets: New York City, Texas, New Jersey, California, Baltimore, Toronto, and St. Louis.
The needDisjointed Forms Throughout Multiple Regions
NPower first began using FormAssembly in 2014 to implement digital forms. While this was an improvement from the paper forms they were previously using, each regional market had their own form version. When new markets would come aboard, NPower would simply make duplicate forms, which created a cumbersome system of roughly 16 forms that was difficult to manage.
The staff at NPower agreed that in order to make the right changes, they needed a new application process that was consistent across all markets. Since one identified pain point involved the length of the application process, they sought to develop a system that would both retain applicants and remove administrative burden from their staff.
Initially, we had a separate interest form and application for each branch and region. If there was something that needed to be updated, you had to go through all forms, make the change, and link it to Salesforce. It was time-consuming and cumbersome, especially if you forgot to do one of the steps
The solutionSimplified Web Forms with Endless Capabilities
By using FormAssembly, NPower further simplifies their data collection processes. Previously separate forms are now condensed into one streamlined form throughout all regions, making it easier on staff to turn their time and attention to big picture goals. FormAssembly helps NPower ensure that interested individuals become applicants, who then become active program participants, which in turn helps NPower open more pathways to training and expand their market.
One FormAssembly feature that is particularly useful to NPower’s application process is conditional logic. By using the conditional logic features within the form builder, NPower’s forms populate certain questions and details depending on which program (young adult or military) the applicant selects. NPower can also close off applications to individuals who may not fit the requirements of each training program.
If an individual or applicant meets the criteria based on their responses, they advance to subsequent pages in the application form. If not, the individual receives an automatic email notification, which is powered by the Salesforce integration. The email goes so far as to provide community resources by region, so that the individual still has access to options that may benefit them.
“This helps with expanding our programs in the future. Recruitment and admissions is not spending their time sifting through applicants who may not meet qualifications,” Byrne said.
Tools for Retention
NPower identified the length of their interest and application process as another pain point for applicants. “Students were dropping off after the interest form because it was so lengthy,” Byrne said.
FormAssembly’s Save and Resume feature allows students to begin a form but return to finish at a later time, thus increasing the amount of students and applicants who complete the process from start to finish.
More Resources for Strategic Goals
FormAssembly provides a means for NPower to simplify their webform processes in such a way as to propel the organization towards their long-term strategic goals. The Salesforce Connector and easy-to-use Form Builder are incredible tools in NPower’s arsenal.
“I love how user-friendly [FormAssembly] is. The drag-and-drop fields are so nice, and you can create multiple forms pretty easily,” Byrne said.
Staff members that manage the organization’s forms and data have seen significant savings in time. Instead of making adjustments to over 10 separate forms, staff members like Byrne can edit one primary form, cutting back on the amount of tedious work needed to quickly adjust how they gather information. Additionally, the conditional logic of each form saves time for staff who would previously weed through interested parties manually.
“The staff no longer need to communicate with applicants who are unqualified. Salesforce does it on its own,” Byrne said.
In terms of cost and productivity, Byrne shared that FormAssembly allows the organization to focus more on the big picture mission in front of them, while maintaining a tight budget.
“With a smaller staff, a lot of the money goes to the mission of the organization, as it should. The bang for your buck is great with FormAssembly,” Byrne said.
By utilizing the FormAssembly nonprofit discount, NPower has an affordable option for their technical needs, while creating opportunities that free up staff to advance the broader strategic mission of the group.
“FormAssembly has definitely helped us become more productive with other tasks that we need to focus on“
Interest and application forms provide automatic screening to save staff time and effort.
NPower uses FormAssembly in many different ways, but their primary use case involves interest and application forms for young adults and military veterans.
All NPower applicants have access to the forms, which are housed on the organization’s website. The first step in the process is an interest form, which gathers background information about the applicant’s education, age, work eligibility, and sponsorship needs.
“Staff were spending a consuming amount of time looking at qualified and unqualified people,” Byrne said. “Now, the interest form automatically screens for initial eligibility and sends back communications to each applicant, and only those qualified move forward in the full application process.”
By incorporating the interest form into the application steps, FormAssembly helps NPower staff save valuable time, as there is no longer a need to follow-up with leads who do not meet program requirements.
Organizational surveys provide opportunities for pulse checks to gauge levels of satisfaction.
NPower also uses FormAssembly for several different in-house surveys. Staff distributes internship host surveys to employers in order to gather feedback about their experience hosting an NPower intern and if they would extend a potential job offer. Additionally, NPower performs regular pulse checks with their partner employers by requesting information from site supervisors about communication skills, on-site performance, and level of satisfaction with the technical training that NPower provides for students.
“Our goal is to house the surveys in such a way as to gain consistent and comparable feedback across all regions,” Byrne shared.
Byrne also has goals to use FormAssembly to distribute improved, more in-depth alumni surveys in the future. Using client data in Salesforce, the goal is to send out forms in three, five, and ten-year increments to alumni, in order to gauge how the NPower training programs have impacted lives in positive ways.
In the future, NPower hopes to research more on what FormAssembly can do for the organization as a whole. FormAssembly is a perfect option as they look to gather future feedback on volunteer events, and as they survey staff about new training techniques and procedures.
While it’s often difficult to secure new tools for nonprofits on a strict budget, Byrne’s hope is that NPower’s use of FormAssembly features will grow alongside the organization’s own continued expansion across new markets, as they serve more students.
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