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Year Up

This national nonprofit is building out its Salesforce ecosystem to scale its impact and connect more young adults to successful career paths.
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Streamlined Processes & Data-Driven Decisions for Rapid Growth

Year Up provides young adults from underserved communities with the skills, experience, and support that empowers them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since its founding in 2000, Year Up has served more than 36,000 young adults across 19 locations in the U.S.

Salesforce has partnered with this workforce development nonprofit for 15 years, as both a corporate internship host and a provider of cloud-based digital solutions. Year Up is building out its Salesforce ecosystem to streamline time-consuming processes and enhance its ability to make proactive, data-driven decisions. It’s part of an organization-wide goal of rapid growth: to provide ten times more participants with access to opportunity and enable greater impact through employer systems change by 2030.

  • 31%
    faster admissions process
  • 42%
    reduction in time enrollment teams spend on admin tasks
  • 45%
    less staff time spent on internship matching

Scaling Systems Without Losing Touch with the Needs of Students & Employers

Young adults ages 18-29 who are accepted into Year Up enroll in six months of tuition-free training that gives them the technical and professional skills they need to succeed in a corporate environment. Afterward, participants are placed in a six-month professional internship where they can apply their new skills. Year Up graduates then work with support staff, who guide them through their job search, helping them land the right job to launch their careers.

Year Up’s success has depended on strong relationships with donors, volunteers, and corporate partners that host interns. An early adopter of Salesforce, Year Up deployed Salesforce for Nonprofits starting in 2007, modernizing its processes for engaging with a variety of stakeholders.

Year Up’s reach has expanded to 19 locations; the number of young adults served by the program is approaching 4,000 annually. The nonprofit’s leaders have set an extremely ambitious goal: to provide ten times more participants with access to opportunity and enable greater impact through employer systems change by 2030. To succeed, Year Up needs to streamline its processes and use its data wisely to make smarter, proactive decisions. It also needs to retain the flexibility to adapt its program to meet young adults and employers where they are.

Salesforce is the hub in the wheel. We have many other spokes, but they all connect and start with Salesforce.” Gary Flowers, Chief Information Officer
Year Up

Bringing Data Sets Together & Bringing People Together

Achieving this level of growth will require that the nonprofit manage more data than ever before. Year Up collaborated with Salesforce for Nonprofits to create RADIO, a solution that gives them real-time insights into the entire mission, including Retention, Admissions, Development, Internships, and Outcomes.

In 2020, Year Up deployed Tableau, which empowers the nonprofit to draw insights from combinations of various data sets. This makes it easier for Year Up to see real-time data to adapt based on trends, becoming more proactive.

By monitoring the Admissions dashboard in Tableau, enrollment teams can spot key trends — for example, an increasing number of prospective students falling out of the enrollment pipeline right before the final step to starting their Year Up experience. Local enrollment teams across the country can connect on a Slack channel to discuss the problem, identify its causes, and develop solutions.

Accelerating Applications Without Sacrificing Student Support

Salesforce has helped Year Up streamline its processes while maintaining its high standards of student and graduate support. Staff use Service Cloud for case management, to ensure every student issue or request for help gets answered.

To remove barriers to entry and enable the program to enroll more students, Year Up invested in Lean Human Centered Design and developed a simplified enrollment system integrating Salesforce and TargetX online application tools. Following a prospective student’s initial inquiry, the Year Up application now takes 2 hours on average for a student to submit — it used to take prospective students 20–30 days. The new experience also has reduced the amount of time enrollment teams spend on administrative tasks by 42%.

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Building a Powerful, Flexible Ecosystem with Salesforce at its Center

Year Up continues to find new ways to use technology to streamline and scale up. Students who complete the training are matched to a six-month internship with one of the program’s corporate partners — including Salesforce, which hosts more than 125 Year Up interns a year. On average, 45% of Year Up interns are converted-to-hire by their internship host company upon graduation (or upon completing the program).

Previously, staff used a time-consuming localized, manual process to match students to internships. Then Year Up developed a custom matching app — running on the Salesforce Platform — that gives them easy access to 54 data points per student and 35 data points per internship opportunity. Using the app, teams have standardized their process and increased staff efficiency during matching by 45%. This frees up an estimated 4,500 work hours per year for staff to focus on students.

Year Up is building its future on a foundation of scalable processes and data-driven decisions. To protect its data assets, the nonprofit has used Own Backup to back up all its Salesforce data. It recently deployed Salesforce Shield to take the security and protection of sensitive data to the next level.

Whatever challenges and opportunities come next, Year Up’s leaders say that Salesforce solutions and Salesforce-compatible solutions will play a key role. “Salesforce is the hub in the wheel,” said Gary Flowers, Chief Information Officer. “We have many other spokes, but they all connect and start with Salesforce.”

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About Year Up

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the technical and professional skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education.