Nonprofit Organization Reduces Manual Work by 50% with FormAssembly’s Data Collection Platform
Case Study Snapshot
The UtmostU program relies on data from students and mentors in order to effectively run its Fellow programs, which are designed to support students throughout their academic and professional journeys. In years past, the organization collected data through a mobile app that needed regular updates, required extensive manual effort, and was expensive to maintain on app store marketplaces.
Staff quickly realized that disconnected manual data collection methods couldn’t foster the level of student engagement that they were hoping for. These time-consuming backend processes were causing problems for staff and resulting in low participation from students (from initial application all the way to program participation).
With FormAssembly, the organization was able to successfully reduce costs while creating customized and tailored data collection processes that helped bring alignment to a shared vision.
The Network for Young Adult Success (NYAS) UtmostU program was created with the purpose to engage, motivate, and support young adults to realize their career dreams regardless of the destination. The organization’s overarching vision is to equip all young adults to reach their greatest potential in life through degree attainment and career preparation.
UtmostU is a Chicago-based alliance of affiliates that includes high schools, community-based organizations, universities, community colleges, and workforce development organizations. Each affiliate party provides key services and mentorship to students in need.
The needLess Manual Work
In order to fix the frustrations around manual data collection and costly mobile app processes, UtmostU looked into implementing FormAssembly’s Salesforce-connected data collection platform to gather information regarding enrollment, student demographics, academic status, and contact information.
Prior to FormAssembly, the organization was relying on manual data uploads and exchanges (including tedious Excel spreadsheets) to gather and share information about students. From the time that they received information from students and were able to pass it on to Alumni Coaches, several days could have elapsed, resulting in missed opportunities and less effective communication.
Staff members required a better way to distribute monthly student success surveys to over 400 program Fellows. The organization also identified several web form use cases that would potentially streamline the backend process of activities related to persistence funds, mentorship programs, collaboratives, and internships.
The organization was relying on manual data uploads and exchanges...
The solutionCost-Efficient Data Collection
By making the switch to FormAssembly, UtmostU staff members drastically improved the user experience by building sophisticated and professional forms that showcased custom themes, images, fonts, and a wide variety of question types. These features made it easy on Fellows and Coaches alike since each new form was easy to pick up and didn’t require extensive credentials or licenses.
“What stood out to me were there were a lot of different question types you could have. With FormAssembly, it’s much easier to create a question type with a file upload and link to Salesforce,” Shayna said.
In addition, the organization now saves hours each month on manual Salesforce data entry and can correspond with students and their network of affiliates more easily. Staff members, including Shayna Balting, Data Narrator, and David Bennett, Associate Executive Director, say that their data is now more organized and cost-efficient when compared to older processes that relied on a mobile app and manual uploads.
“I would recommend [FormAssembly] to anyone who uses Salesforce and collects data, because the Salesforce connection is so sleek. Sometimes big products can be very hard to pick up, but FormAssembly wasn’t. We felt very supported by your support staff,” Shayna said.
“I would recommend [FormAssembly] to anyone who uses Salesforce and collects data, because the Salesforce connection is so sleek.“
Each month, UtmostU sends out an intentional assessment to gauge where Fellows are during the current month. Alumni Coaches have direct contact with Fellows, and they rely on this data to know how to assist, guide, and direct each student.
This process involves two separate surveys—a college and a career form. Although the organization is looking to increase the number of responses received each month, FormAssembly has helped improve response rates and the user experience in general.
Each monthly success survey collects key information that Coaches can use as discussion points in the weeks to come. This includes information about personal safety, financial stability, work hours, and academic stability or performance. Each survey measures four key performance indicators (KPIs) and proposes a monthly question, such as whether Fellows need help completing the annual FAFSA process.
The team at UtmostU also uses FormAssembly to collect enrollment data from the vast network of Fellows. This information is related to the following categories:
- Academic information
- Contact info
- Pre-survey/background information
Because Fellows are provided with a Alumni Coach, a peer mentor, and many other valuable resources throughout their academic journey, it’s crucial to have the most relevant information on file for each and every student that also flows to a secure centralized location. With FormAssembly’s Salesforce connector, staff at UtmostU has been able to expand access to this information quickly and efficiently.
In the future, UtmostU plans to use FormAssembly for partnerships, donations, research grants, and more. Staff members have just concluded a substantial project to build an entirely new enrollment process by cutting back on the number of forms while increasing the amount and quality of information that they gather through each submission.