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"Salesforce helps us stay connected with the youth we serve." - Jim Thie, Chief Information Officer

Year Up and Salesforce Bridge the Opportunity Divide

More than six million young people are out of school and out of work in the United States today. Meanwhile, millions of jobs with some of America’s most well-known companies are going unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants.

Year Up provides young adults (aged 18-24) from urban communities with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. With assistance from Salesforce and Year Up’s internship partners, volunteers and donors, the nonprofit is closing the Opportunity Divide—the gap between those millions of young people and companies seeking talent.

Every year, Year Up trains close to 3,000 low-income young adults for careers in finance or technology with a combination of classroom training, college credits, technology certifications, and corporate internships. A rapidly growing organization, Year Up relies on Salesforce to track students’ success throughout every stage of the program—from initial outreach to the day students submit their applications through the day they join the workforce, and beyond.

Year Up was an early adopter of Salesforce and began using Sales Cloud in 2007 when it wanted to quickly and cost-effectively bring together information from its offices in seven major cities across the country. “At the time, our CEO and founder wanted to have one place to store all our information and data,” says Jim Thie, Year Up’s Chief Information Officer. “We felt that becoming a data-driven nonprofit was essential to our success.”

From the outset, Year Up tracked donors, partners, and students through its own customizations. Over the years, Salesforce has helped Year Up support a growing network of staff, students, donors, volunteers, and alumni.

In 2015, Year Up began to use the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). Jay Banfield, Chief Officer of Innovation and Scale and California Managing Director at Year Up comments, “As part of a major on-going project to overhaul and update the original architecture, Year Up committed to NPSP. The organization wants to adopt emerging practices for engaging with our donors and other partners.”

Year Up is steadily adopting components of NPSP’s sophisticated support for tracking nonprofit relationships, organizational affiliations and other needs, and continuing its journey with the NPSP. “Relationships matter and authentic relationships matter even more,” says Jay Banfield, “We’re using the NPSP for donor management, and leveraging the interests of so many different stakeholders.”

Now with locations in 18 cities across the country, the organization also uses Chatter as a channel to connect its constituencies and facilitate internal collaboration (the average staff member belongs to over ten groups). It has found other creative ways to make use of Salesforce too. “We use cases in the Service Cloud to support our students—whenever a student calls in late or absent or when they need other support,” Thie explains. “So we use cases to support people.”

With the help of Salesforce and the NPSP, Year Up is helping talented youth in America gain the skills they need to gain jobs and build successful careers. “Eighty-four percent of our graduates are employed or attending college within four months of graduating,” says Thie. “Salesforce is the nervous system that’s helping us close the Opportunity Divide.”

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