Case Study Background

Higher Ed

FormAssembly Allows the Institute for Humane Studies to Scale Programs and Streamline Data

Rebecca O’Sullivan,

Senior Product Manager, Performance Measurement & CRM


The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) migrated to FormAssembly in 2016. They previously used tools that helped their administrative processes but could not integrate with their Salesforce CRM. To better streamline registration, survey, and donor processes, they switched to FormAssembly and started to rely heavily on the Salesforce Connector.

“We love FormAssembly. Our organization has honestly been transformed by FormAssembly,” said Rebecca O’Sullivan, Senior Product Manager at IHS.


  • Works with thousands of scholars on hundreds of campuses nationwide
  • Promotes a culture of free speech and open inquiry on college campuses
  • Partners with professors to advance higher education’s core purpose of intellectual discovery and human progress
  • Believes classical liberal ideas are the foundation of a just, peaceful, and prosperous world

The numbers




First Year Using FormAssembly


responses on first form established in 2017


Total survey responses collected

The Need

No Bridge to Salesforce

There’s no way that we could have scaled with manual data entry. The amount of time our organization was spending on this process wasn’t a good investment. We were in need of a new method and ways to streamline data entry

Although IHS had systems in place to help with their form and event needs, O’Sullivan described the past steps as cumbersome. The lack of Salesforce integration created multiple steps that bogged down workflows and hindered overall progress. Moreover, they found that manual data entry was not a good fit for their organization or employees.

The Solution

A Web Form Solution that Easily Connects

FormAssembly’s Salesforce integration is the best we’ve seen

With FormAssembly, the Institute for Humane Studies has been able to scale their programs and to continue their upward growth. With work hours and manpower saved, they’ve been able to expand their reach and impact around the country. Additionally, as a nonprofit organization that doesn’t specialize in custom code, they’ve still been able to grow due to FormAssembly’s easy-to-use features and user-friendly interface.

Salesforce Integration

FormAssembly’s unmatched Salesforce integration was a huge selling point for IHS as they sought ways to update their organizational data in real time. By using FormAssembly, the organization can also provide access to individuals in their network, such as faculty members, who need access to program enrollment data. To avoid exporting large reports, staff can send prefilled URLs to faculty, who can then see live data.

Prefill Connector

IHS relies heavily on FormAssembly’s Prefill Connector for their registration forms. The tool comes in handy as they match up campaign IDs and as they verify existing Salesforce contacts for universities and registrants. By leveraging the Prefill Connector in conjunction with conditional fields, they can also communicate in the form whether a program is already at capacity.

“Once you know how the Prefill Connector works, the world is your oyster,” O’Sullivan said.

Unmatched Support

As IHS began their form-building journey, their staff leveraged FormAssembly’s Customer Support team to help navigate any questions or quirks that they experienced during setup. The extensive collection of documentation and resources available also helped as questions came up.

“Customer support has been phenomenal; that’s what I tell people when I’m sharing about FormAssembly,” O’Sullivan said.

Use Cases

Registration and Waitlist Setup

IHS uses forms to jumpstart their program registration process.

The primary use case at IHS involves setting up registration forms for conferences and events which they sponsor and host around the country. IHS hosts a number of on-campus programs, which included 70 total programs in the fall 2017 semester. . As these programs can involve almost 4,000 registrants per semester, automation is crucial.

“We devised out a way to leverage FormAssembly’s flexibility and create a single form that prefills Campaign information so our events team can have a registration form as soon as they created the Campaign record. We also figured out how to make the form automatically turn into a waitlist form by again using the Salesforce Prefill Connector,” O’Sullivan said.

Auto-generating forms allow IHS to maintain standards for accurate data collection, even when their staff are not physically present at an event. Additionally, staff can now rely on one single multi-tasking form, instead of having to clone forms for thousands of participants.

Participant Feedback Surveys

IHS has collected thousands of beneficial feedback responses.

IHS staff sometimes rely on faculty partners to gain both anonymous and non-anonymous feedback from participants at their events. In order to tackle the task of gathering feedback from such a large number of people, they again turned to prefilled forms to take the stress out of data collection.

Since they began to use FormAssembly for feedback, IHS has collected 7,938 survey responses that are being uploaded directly to their Salesforce database.

“This is extremely important for a nonprofit, which often relies on this feedback to make business decisions. The surveys have also enabled us to collect great quotes and personal stories from participants that we can share with our generous donors in a way we’ve never been able to do systematically before,” O’Sullivan said.


What’s Next?

The Institute for Humane Studies continues to plan for scaled growth with their students, faculty partners, and programs. They’re looking forward to future updates in the product, and hope to implement some of FormAssembly’s payment connector options in order to handle incoming donations. As an organization, they plan to continue making the most use of a straightforward solution that trims their workflow, supports their cause, and sustains their growth.

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