“One of the things that I really love about Salesforce is that it allows us to look at our donors holistically.” - Toni Burke, Executive Director and Vice President for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley

City Year fights the national dropout crisis with Salesforce

Every 26 seconds a student gives up on school. City Year is an education-focused nonprofit that partners with urban schools to provide full-time, targeted student intervention. They serve in the 10% of schools that contribute to 50% of the nation’s dropouts. By recruiting corps members, ages 17 to 24, City Year provides mentors and tutors in the areas of math and English to at-risk students.

Running on Excel spreadsheets and several other legacy data management systems, City Year had a hard time capturing accurate, real-time information. Duplicate contact records, for example, made it difficult to capture accurate donor lists. Knowing how students were doing at any given moment was also a challenge for City Year management. “None of the applications were integrated, so we didn’t have a sense of a data warehouse or even the ability to move data from one platform to another,” says Welles Hatch, CIO and Senior Vice President at City Year.

Today, City Year runs on Salesforce. All student data is tracked in Salesforce, including bi-monthly progress reports and benchmarking data to maintain a clear, real-time view of how students are doing. This allows corps members to create and implement targeted learning paths during tutoring sessions. Salesforce also keeps best practices at everyone’s fingertips. Since everything is logged in the tool, corps members in San Jose can see what teams in Boston and Miami are doing differently to help students.

A big benefit to corps members has been the quick ramp time associated with Salesforce. “I can train a corps member on how to use Salesforce in less than 10 minutes,” says D.R. Taylor, Program Manager at City Year San Jose. Salesforce gives time back to the corps members by eliminating the administrative burden involved with manual methods of recording intervention time.

Tracking donor information is also an integral piece of City Year’s Salesforce implementation. Using roundCause, a donor management solution built on the Salesforce platform, City Year can now paint a picture of the incredible impact its donor base is making by tracking not only how much money has been given, but also what it went towards. They can track whether a donor came to more than one event, whether they hosted an event, or whether they served as a mentor to a corps member. “One of the things that I’ve really love about Salesforce is that it allows us to look at our donors holistically,” says Toni Burke, Executive Director and Vice President for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley.

“Salesforce is going to change the way nonprofits do business,” Burke remarks. “It’s been an incredible asset for us, and it’s going to allow us to scale from 25 cities to 38 cities as we look to 2023.”

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