Case Study: The Opportunity Network
About The Opportunity Network
The Opportunity Network is an NYC-based nonprofit founded in 2003 that provides ambitious, yet underserved students with college and career-readiness support from the summer after their sophomore year in high school until college graduation. In addition to in-person classroom meetings, The Opportunity Network also provides individual counseling, meetings at milestones like summer and winter breaks from school, and phone check-ins. The Opportunity Network uses Salesforce to manage student information, volunteers and donors.
The Opportunity Network uses FormAssembly through Idealist Consulting, a company focused on providing consultant services for nonprofits. The Opportunity Network has been working with Idealist since 2014 and FormAssembly since 2011.
According to Megan Nestor, The Opportunity Network’s Associate Director of Programs, before finding FormAssembly, The Opportunity Network was using multiple different software platforms to gather information, which they then had to manually enter into Salesforce. The multiple collection methods and duplication of work took too much time and resources from The Opportunity Network.
“It was a huge time suck from staff,” Nestor said. “There was always a lag between when info came in and when it was actually in Salesforce. We had information all over the place.”
FormAssembly provided the streamlined solution The Opportunity Network needed. The Opportunity Network now has a central location for student information instead of having to rely on multiple different collection and storage methods. They can feel secure that FormAssembly will be able to handle the growth of The Opportunity Network’s classes, which started out with 25 students and have now grown to 140.
“It’s been a huge overhaul in how we manage our data,” Nestor said.
How FormAssembly Helped
Students: Students involved with The Opportunity Network interact with FormAssembly to apply initially for the program, compile lists of colleges and/or internships they’re interested in applying to, and complete surveys to determine knowledge gain.
The Salesforce connection to FormAssembly is especially helpful for the college lists that students compile. When students fill out a form with the colleges they plan to apply to, the form links to a custom object in Salesforce and adds a link to the School record in Salesforce. This allows The Opportunity Network staff to see historical information for schools as far as which students have applied to them in the past.
Staff: The Opportunity Network staff use FormAssembly to log student progress in internal reports. They also use the Salesforce connection to view student profiles.
Using FormAssembly helps The Opportunity Network save time spent hunting for information or manually entering data, and the data they do have is cleaner, more consistent and appears in Salesforce immediately after it’s entered in their forms.
Staff who don’t meet with students are also able to get a more complete picture of the individuals that they serve. Because of the success of their FormAssembly use thus far, The Opportunity Network plans to use it for their recruiting needs as well.
They’re also a big fan of the new Gemini interface: “It’s been a lot easier to organize and archive and clean up the many forms in there,” Nestor said.
Nestor said the vast capabilities of the form builder and connectors make it possible to “do anything.”
“I love the usability of creating a form, and I really love how you can make it connect however you want,” Nestor said. “I love that there’s an ‘anything possible’ element to FormAssembly.”
All in all, FormAssembly provides the right solution at the right price for this New York-based nonprofit, and the ease of use and many features of the Form Builder free up time for The Opportunity Network to continue providing a vital service to young students.
“We’ve used it for a long time and dearly love FormAssembly,” Nestor said. “Myself or someone from my team is in FormAssembly everyday; I think that speaks to how much we use it.”
We’re so grateful to The Opportunity Network and Idealist Consulting for their help putting together this excellent overview of how FormAssembly works with both nonprofits and consultants.
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