Client Roundup: Educational Philanthropic Organizations

Posted in: Blog
By: Heather Ballachey

Client Highlights: Philanthropic Organizations for Education

Exponent Partners was founded in 2005 with the mission of making nonprofits radically better at driving social impact. Most of our work has focused on supporting changemakers working in human services, philanthropy and education, because they are seeking to solve some of society’s toughest problems and can make the biggest difference. In this article we would like to highlight some of the important work we have done over the years with educational philanthropic organizations. Read on to learn more about how these organizations are making a difference in the lives of the students and communities they support!

Big Shoulders Fund

Big Shoulders Fund was founded in 1986 to provide critical support to Catholic schools in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. The educational philanthropic organization invests more than $30 million annually in academic enrichment and scholarship support to enrich the academic opportunities for students in their communities. When the organization first connected with us they were struggling with a manual system of spreadsheets and paper applications to manage the 5,000 annual scholarships. They struggled with reporting, tracking volunteers, managing their donors and donations, and more. Big Shoulders Fund selected Salesforce and received a generous pro bono engagement from PwC to implement the system in 2016. Following that, they came to Exponent Partners for training and support on their new Salesforce instance. By moving to Salesforce and having the right ongoing support in place, they greatly increased their scholarship application efficiency, gained powerful insights to their donors and relationships, and had a flexible platform in place for future growth. Learn more by reading our full case study on Big Shoulders Fund here

KIPP Foundation

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Foundation is a national network of free, open-enrolment, college preparatory public schools with a track record of supporting students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. This organization operates through a network of 280 public charter schools, with 15,000 educators and 175,000 students and alumni. KIPP Foundation was struggling with low adoption of its legacy system, challenges with data integrity and reporting, and difficulties accurately measuring outcomes. Our work with them was completed in a very tight timeframe and involved extensive custom development that focused on user interface and usability, and also automated several complex processes involving numerous data points from student records. The end result was high adoption rates among staff members, increased ability to track performance and outcomes, and a solid foundation to scale the system nationwide. Read our full client success story to learn more about our work with KIPP Foundation.


OneGoal is working to make college graduation a reality for all students. The organization collaborates closely with public schools in low-income communities, providing teachers with content, data and support to implement their three year-model with a group of students, called Fellows. It’s working: in a nation where only 9% of students from low-income communities graduate from college (Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States, Pell Institute 2015 Revised Edition), 82% of OneGoal high school graduates enroll in college and 78% are persisting or have graduated with a college degree. A client of ours since 2012, their journey with us started with manual processes and frustration and evolved to a unified view of their information and more effective management of student results. The initial engagement was to build the foundation of a custom student data and program management solution on the Salesforce platform. Having a unified system allows the organization to make better decisions, more easily scale and evolve, and accurately report on big-picture outcomes. Dive into the whole story of our work with OneGoal by reading our case study here

Scale Your Impact with Exponent Partners

If you work for an educational philanthropic organization and you’re considering investing in a new system to help transform your impact, be sure to check out this helpful blog post that outlines some important considerations as you start on the journey. 

If you’re keen to start a conversation about how Exponent Partners can help educational philanthropic organizations create radically better impact, drop us a line