Case Study Background


FormAssembly Helps Give Something Back Implement Smarter Data Collection for Student Programs

Jonathan Pugh

Assistant Director of Technology and Programs

Case Study Snapshot

Give Something Back’s FormAssembly story began 2 years ago when Jonathan Pugh came on board. The nonprofit organization’s tuition and scholarship programs were scaling up so quickly, and the team was running into the need for a more streamlined approach to student selection and data collection. With nearly 1,000 students currently enrolled in programs, the organization requires a way to collect and maintain up-to-date and relevant data at all times.


  • The organization works across 7 states in the United States to provide financially struggling high schoolers with the opportunity to go to college.
  • Special interest in students who have faced economic hardship, have been in foster care, or who have experienced homelessness.
  • Receives federal and state grants in combination with institutional discounts

The Numbers

$35 million

amount spent in tuition funds

2 years

with FormAssembly


students enrolled in the program

The need

Outdated and Disconnected Data Solutions

FormAssembly was the most capable data collection solution available.

Before switching to FormAssembly, the team at Give Something Back was using a mix of spreadsheets and Access databases to manage information. Having necessary data in one spot was a huge priority, as well as transitioning to Salesforce which offers plenty of available apps to fine-tune each data need.

Upon receiving advice from a nonprofit technology consultant, Jonathan knew that FormAssembly was the most capable data collection solution available. As an organization that’s been in existence for over a decade, moving away from paper form processes and harnessing the power of Salesforce-integrated forms is pivotal for data collection, upkeep, and reporting.

The solution

Data Capabilities to Save Time and Effort

“ Your support [team] is bar none one of the best in the industry. They are phenomenal“

FormAssembly opens up possibilities that the small team at Give Something Back can easily leverage to continue serving and growing a diverse student population. Additionally, powerful capabilities create streamlined work tasks that free up valuable time.

“I’m the only person in IT, so [we] have to have tools like FormAssembly that help distribute the workload. When we serve a population as big as we do, we have to be discriminative about how we spend our time,” Jonathan said.

Lookup Features
FormAssembly’s Salesforce integration makes it easy to use lookups with existing CRM records. This information gets passed to the web form, making both form creation and completion much simpler.

Prefill Capabilities
Give Something Back uses FormAssembly’s Prefill Connector in unique ways that include sending out SMS messages to key individuals who need to update information.

“Prefill is just awesome, and it gets the data that we depend on into the hands of our mentors and students. With FormAssembly, we can blow out a text to thousand people that includes a prefilled form,” Jonathan shared.

Formatting and Branding
Something that’s very important to the staff at Give Something Back is to send out communications that appear branded, which builds recognition and trust. When working with students, it’s important for them to recognize messages and forms. Using various lookup features provides a login experience that a student can use every time they update a form.

Customer Support
When it comes to receiving support and help for troubleshooting issues, FormAssembly provides excellent options for quick problem-solving.

“Your support [team] is bar none one of the best in the industry. They are phenomenal,” Jonathan said.

Use Cases

Grade Update Forms

With FormAssembly, students can self-report key metrics that the organization monitors

When students participate in Give Something Back’s scholarship and tuition programs, they’re responsible for submitting status and educational updates. Jonathan and his team have envisioned a process where students use web forms as a way to learn to self-advocate on their educational journey. In half a year’s time, the organization has collected nearly 700 report card scores and essay submissions from students in the program.
“We’re collecting so much more than just a report card. We’re updating contact information, grade by grade updates from the semester, looking at graduation rates, etc.,” he said.

Mentor and Student Feedback Forms

Mentors have a simplified way to submit regular updates

The organization’s network of adult and professional mentors also uses intuitive web forms to provide regular updates about their work and relationships with each student. Picklists are available in each form to identify students, and mentors can rank their experiences on scales.

On student feedback forms, several hidden fields operate in the back of each form. These fields monitor for “red flags” and distribute tasks to the appropriate office for follow-up. Particular scores trigger alerts to help the team deliver timely outreach if students appear to be struggling academically or personally.

With FormAssembly, the amount of time needed to complete the form is dramatically reduced. The new process allows both the mentor or student to cut right to what is needed, instead of submitting repetitive data that the organization already knows.

Event Registration Forms

Give Something Back finetunes the registration and RSVP process with smart web forms.

Give Something Back offers many events throughout the year, including overnight college visits for students, and a large annual dinner where students can bring guests. In particular, the annual dinner form is complex and based on the data in a student’s Salesforce record, the form changes the number of eligible guests. Event forms combine sets of conditional logic to determine attendance details.

In spring of 2019, the organization collected nearly 500 responses (accommodating over 800 students and guests) for the annual dinner event.


What’s Next?

When it comes to building web form repertoire, Jonathan says that the organization is expanding their needs and data collection use cases almost constantly. “We expand it every day. Every single day, I have a list of additional forms to create, modify, or adjust based on additional things I have learned to do in Formassembly. It’s never a static process,” he said. In the future, he hopes to continue learning more about FormAssembly’s capabilities in order to improve and broaden the experience for students. Future plans include setting up additional triggering actions, accommodating new events or requests, and modifying old forms to suit future needs.

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