Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative

Better Together: the Power of Collaboration and Data with the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative

Posted in: Blog
By: Marthe Rana

The nonprofit sector is a dynamic space, with countless organizations dedicated to making a difference. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1.8 million active nonprofit organizations in the US, many of which offer similar services. But in a landscape brimming with well-intentioned efforts, how can these organizations ensure they’re truly creating the impact they aspire to achieve? The answer lies in collaboration, data-driven decision-making, and information systems. 

Enter the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative (CBC), a shining example of what’s possible when nonprofits come together to drive change. At Exponent Partners, we are proud to be a small cog in this transformative journey, and we invite you to join us at Nonprofit Dreamin’ 2023 to learn more about the power of collaboration and data in shaping a better future.

Nonprofit Dreamin’ 2023 

Before we dive into the inspiring story of the CBC, mark your calendars for an event that celebrates the power of the Salesforce nonprofit community. Nonprofit Dreamin’ 2023 is the premier conference for nonprofit professionals within the Salesforce ecosystem. Join us on November 1-2, 2023, at 325 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL, 60654, and experience a conference tailored to your needs, whether you’re a volunteer, employee, or consultant. No matter your level of experience with Salesforce, from beginners to seasoned users, you’ll find valuable insights, networking opportunities, and answers to your pressing questions. Learn more here:

Session Spotlight: Better Together with the CBC

Now, we might be a little biased, but we can’t help but highlight the crown jewel of the event – our session on November 2 at 11 am Central. We invite you to join us for a session that embodies the spirit of collaboration and data-driven success. Our  session titled “Better Together: The Power of Collaboration and Data with the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative” showcases the transformative journey shared by Traci Stanley from Christopher House, Anjel Williams from Chicago Youth Centers, Piotr Wojnicz from Chicago Youth Centers and Stacie Pallotta from Exponent Partners.

In this engaging session, you’ll discover how member agencies leverage Salesforce for benchmarking, data management, and achieving transformative outcomes. Explore the profound impact of collaboration as we delve into the benefits of uniting forces with like-minded organizations to share best practices, enhance services, and address social challenges effectively.

We will take you on a journey where this collaborative approach standardized data and benchmarked outcomes across multiple nonprofits, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making. We will showcase real examples of how collaboration and data analytics have not only positively influenced program quality and improved student outcomes but also empowered parents.

The Powerful Story of the CBC

The Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative (CBC) is an alliance of five education and human service agencies dedicated to increasing the quality of services offered to low-income families in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods. Before implementing the Salesforce platform with Exponent Case Management (ECM) and Einstein Analytics, the CBC faced challenges such as time-consuming reporting, infrequent benchmarking, and lessened collaborative value. However, Exponent Partners stepped in to implement ECM for four CBC organizations, creating a central benchmarking data warehouse powered by Einstein Analytics.

Christopher House, a member of CBC and the Collaborative’s Project Manager, now enjoys the benefits of Einstein Analytics, with a centralized dashboard providing real-time data on the entire population served across the collaborative. The CBC’s programs focus on teaching strategies, goals, and regular assessments for early childhood development and education. The ultimate goal is to prepare children for kindergarten, concentrating on key domains, such as literacy, math, social-emotional development, and more.

With the CBC’s data model’s filtering capabilities, they can drill down by location, agency, demographics, classroom, or students with Individual Education Plans (IEP). This ability enables the Collaborative to move beyond tracking standard program outcomes, allowing them to test and validate theories about early childhood development and teacher interventions.

A Cause for Change: Benefits of Collaboration 

The CBC recognized the immense potential of collaboration and embarked on a journey that led to transformation:

  • Performance Improvement: Benchmarking allowed CBC to identify areas for improvement by comparing their performance to similar organizations. The result was a data-driven approach that standardized data and benchmarked outcomes, driving an uptick in quality services.
  • Centralized Intake System: Through Exponent Case Management (ECM), CBC centralized data, enabling streamlined data alignment and benchmarking across the collaborative.
  • Cost Efficiencies: Benchmarking led to the identification of cost efficiencies, optimizing resource allocation, and streamlining data management.
  • Data-Driven Culture: Data played a pivotal role in CBC’s journey, fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making that increased transparency and led to more effective strategic planning.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Collaboration within the collaborative strengthened relationships and partnerships, creating a strong sense of community and shared goals among the participating organizations.
  • Long-Term Sustainability: Ultimately, continuous benchmarking is about maximizing the impact of nonprofit missions and ensuring the long-term sustainability of organizations.

In Conclusion: It’s Time to Unite for Impact

Get ready for an exhilarating journey at Nonprofit Dreamin’ 2023. The stage is set for an exploration of the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative’s remarkable story. As you step into this session, you’re in for an eye-opening experience that will ignite your passion for collaboration, data, and shared learning.

We’ll reveal how this transformative journey positively influenced program quality, improved student outcomes, and empowered parents. But these are just a few of the takeaways you’ll gain from this immersive experience.

And what if you can’t make it to the event in person? Worry not! You can subscribe to the Nonprofit Dreamin YouTube channel for on-demand viewing of the conference sessions.

So, don’t miss this chance to be part of an exhilarating discussion that shapes a lasting impact on the communities we serve. Join us on November 2 at 11 am in Chicago and dive into the future. Together, we can create a better future for all.