Photo: Trainer standing in front of room talking to rows of trainees sitting at computers.

Video: Helping SparkPoint Impact Student Success

College student, Eric Torres, knows all too well the challenges of being a single parent. “I’ve been taking care of my son since he was two months old, and he is my ambition to get through school,” explained Eric. “It has been a really tough struggle trying to pursue my degree here because I didn’t have any childcare. So, if I didn’t have someone to watch my son, then I simply couldn’t go to school.”

Achieving financial stability

Eric became a client of United Way Bay Area’s SparkPoint program, which serves students and community members, one-on-one, and helps them complete their financial goals. According to Chad Thompson, SparkPoint Program Director at Skyline College, “When someone comes to SparkPoint, often times they are coming because they have no other recourse. They are coming because they are hungry, because they have no place to live.”

“School just started and we have an alarming amount of homeless youth. I have the privilege of being able to work with students and community members one-on-one and help them complete their financial goals,” said Flor López, SparkPoint Program Services Coordinator and Financial Coach.

Tracking impact on student success

United Way Bay Area uses Exponent Case Management (ECM) to help track students in SparkPoint. “We want to make sure we are reporting accurately the work that is actually happening on the ground,” stated Nicole Harden, Vice President of Economic Success at United Way Bay Area. “We want to be able to tell their stories. The tool we had before wasn’t able to do that for us. We had multiple databases that we were using, and anyone can tell you that that is super difficult!”

After making the move to ECM, the benefits were clear. “One of the reasons ECM works so well for us and our model is that each service builds on the other, so a student can come in and be experiencing food insecurity, and we can provide groceries to them and then we can talk to them about how saving money on these groceries can be a starting place for opening a bank account or saving money for an apartment,” explained Chad Thompson, SparkPoint Program Director. “If we didn’t have ECM, we would probably use spreadsheets to track what we were doing or try to use some software that wasn’t customized or built for us to use. It would take a lot more time and our coordinators and our financial coaches wouldn’t be able to spend that time working with our clients.”

Getting students the help that they need

ECM enables the organization to track behavior change. According to Nicole Harden, VP of Economic Success at United Way, “We are able to track all of the services that folks are being referred to or that they are receiving when they are working with our centers.”

With ECM, SparkPoint program service coordinators and financial coaches can easily track key information about a student and ensure they are getting the help they need, be it in the form of public benefits, counseling, financial aid, or other areas. “We can customize our ECM software to make sure our reports are already tracking information that we have to include in our grant applications and end of year reports, making our job much easier,” said Chad.

Growing with Exponent Partners

The partnership with Exponent Partners is something that is greatly appreciated by Jacqueline Chan, Director, Data and Evaluation at United Way Bay Area. “Exponent Partners has been great to work with and has tailored their solutions for our program so we can really maximize Exponent Case Management to meet our needs and aspirations,” explained Jacqueline. Shee adds, “their team has been working with us since day one to ensure our needs are met and empowering us through training and technical support. We now feel confident and training others on how to use the database and reporting systems to understand trends in the data.”

Photo: Students walking around Skyline College campus.
Photo: Eric entering Skyline College campus.

Eric’s path hasn’t been an easy one. “Given all the obstacles that I’ve been facing, it does get to the point where you feel like quitting sometimes. I don’t have that option because I know if I quit, I’m not helping my own situation or the situation with my son. I’m doing a lot of this for him,” stated Eric. SparkPoint is ensuring that he gets the help that he needs to thrive in the future. “It is a lot of support that I’m getting here, and here I am pursuing my dreams and trying to build a better foundation so that me and my son can have the best future possible.”

Exponent Case Management in action

To learn more, watch the video on YouTube or Vimeo and join our next Exponent Case Management webinar.

Attending Dreamforce 19? Check out the session Dashboards with an Equity Lens: Improving Outcomes for the Underserved featuring Norman Cheng, Data Analyst at United Way Bay Area on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 11am PT.

Photo: Trainer standing in front of room talking to rows of trainees sitting at computers.
Norman Cheng of United Way Bay Area leading a staff training on Exponent Case Management (ECM). 

After the session, be sure to stop by the Exponent Case Management booth in the Dreamforce Lodge. Visit our blog for more nonprofit success stories and customer sessions at Dreamforce 19.

William Penn Foundation Case Study

Case Study: The William Penn Foundation

Established in 1945, the William Penn Foundation’s mission is to help improve education for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creative communities that enhance civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Greater Philadelphia region. Each year, the family foundation reviews over 200 grant applicationss and awards $110 million in grants.

“Our old system required a lot of passing of the baton—one person had to complete their work before another person could do theirs. Now, work can happen simultaneously—financial review, legal review, deliverable review, and more. There is more transparency into what others are doing and how they can support each other.” – Samantha Shain, Database Administrator, William Penn Foundation


Grant data housed in three separate databases

Spreadsheets that lived on a network drive were used to manage early pipeline entries, whereas MicroEdge GIFTS was used for transactional records. These databases were supplemented by a custom-built solution for workflow and portfolio management. Ongoing maintenance of the custom solution—which struggled to handle cross-programmatic grants—was cost-prohibitive, so when it was announced that GIFTS was being sunsetted, the foundation decided to investigate options for a scalable and stable platform that would streamline grants management.

Multiple bottlenecks negatively impacted productivity

The foundation’s previous solutions required staff to “pass the baton” in order to push a grant through the process. Employees were unable to simultaneously access and work on the same grant, resulting in bottlenecks that impeded progress. This issue was compounded by a lack of transparency caused by emails being housed on individuals’ computers, rather than in a central location where key stakeholders could quickly access important correspondence and documents.

Time-consuming manual work required to manage the grants pipeline

Grants pipeline management was cumbersome and labor-intensive. In order to forecast grant payments, senior staff had to update a spreadsheet daily, introducing the possibility of human error. Consolidation between the grants pipeline and details about grants already awarded required an intensive de-duping effort that was only feasible to complete once per month, due to the time commitment involved.

Limited visibility into the grants management lifecycle, post-approval

Grantees would submit their results, milestones, and activities (RMAs) in a Word document, but staff didn’t have easy access to this information for tracking purposes. As a result, version control was a problem, as was visibility into progress on specific aspects of individual grants.

“We worked closely with Exponent Partners to make important decisions that made it possible for staff to use the system as-is today, but that will also enable us to develop the platform in the years ahead, ensuring that it continues to meet our evolving needs.” – Samantha Shain, Database Administrator, William Penn Foundation


William Penn Foundation was committed to finding an extensible grants management solution that could be customized to meet the diverse requirements of the organization’s key stakeholders. Having a cloud-based solution was important too as it would give staff timely, remote access to data via a phone, mobile device, or computer.

Salesforce and foundationConnect quickly surfaced as the frontrunners during the evaluation process as the integrated solutions met the organization’s short- and long-term needs and requirements.

In November 2017, William Penn Foundation deployed Salesforce and foundationConnect, marking a milestone in the transformation of the organization’s technology infrastructure and grants management. The organization implemented foundationConnect’s budget and program modules, payment schedules, reporting, and Grantee Portal. This standard, out-of-the-box functionality was enhanced with customized features that were implemented by Exponent Partners.

Centralized grants management data: Reduced number of databases from 3 to 1, allowing key data to be accessed through a single sign-on Enhanced collaboration: Grantee portal allows staff and grantees to collaborate on grants and the related results, milestones, and activities to achieve better outcomes Improved efficiency: Automation of tasks and reports has increased productivity and freed up staff time for value-added projects

The new system, known internally as the “Grants Unified System” and fondly referred to as “Gus”, also includes third-party apps. “Our system is now considered best-in-class by other peer foundations who are striving to streamline and optimize their grants management,” explained Samantha.

Photo: Youth in a canoe rowing together on a river.


Increased automation has eliminated major bottlenecks and freed up resources

Program Officers receive notifications for all incoming inquiries and applications, removing the Grants Management team as the information gatekeeper. This streamlined process ensures that grants reach the right people in a timely manner. Additionally, thanks to the payment approval wizard that Exponent created, Finance staff now automatically receive payment approvals and payment projections are readily available through scheduled monthly reports. With less time being spent on mundane tasks, such as consolidation of information from various spreadsheets or cross-referencing paper and electronic files, staff have time to pursue new or more challenging projects.

Enhanced visibility into real-time information and improved data integrity

Staff can now quickly and easily access real-time information on active grants, due dates, and budget. “Team members are no longer storing data on our network drive and emailing spreadsheets around,” said Samantha. “They can see a representation of all of the payments in the system, and can also modify their own pipeline record, so that it is reflected in the budget at the appropriate time.” This decentralized approach to budget access and updates has increased accountability. Also, with rules in place, data integrity issues, such as mistakes or missing information, are quickly identified and can be addressed immediately.

Increased collaboration between the foundation and grantees with the Grantee Portal

Grantees are now required to create their RMAs in a custom Visualforce page that Exponent Partners built as part of the Grantee Portal. According to Samantha, “Our grant making is now more collaborative with our grantees. Before, it was inputs and outputs, whereas now we have a structured feedback loop that should eventually lead to better grants.” The new method for tracking RMAs in both interim and final reports has given Program Officers more visibility into the progress of individual grantees. Emails between grants staff and grantees are also housed in the Grantee Portal thanks to seamless integration with Outlook. This centralized approach to tracking correspondence, activities, and key documents has enhanced transparency and knowledge sharing, while ensuring that grantees aren’t bombarded with similar requests from foundation staff.

Improved ability to handle cross-programmatic grants

foundationsConnect’s architecture allows the organization to keep a single grant record even when a grant is tied to two different budgets. “We are now able to easily handle cross-programmatic grants in a way that accurately reflects the related budgetary impact in different areas,” explained Samantha. Native foundationConnect functionality was enhanced with a Visualforce page, built by Exponent Partners, to provide more granular details about time spent managing project budgets.

More sophisticated reporting capabilities

Detailed dashboards tailored to end users’ unique needs make it easy for staff to know where they need to take action. Conga reporting enables staff to report on various grant details, including RMAs. The foundation also uses Conga to create a massive spreadsheet for tracking payments—an effort that used to be manual. Director Discretionary and Matching Gifts are also tracked and reported on thanks to a separate, but integrated portal created by Exponent Partners.

Extensible platform that supports the organization’s broader vision

William Penn Foundation will continue to work with Exponent Partners to complete a Communications CRM project. This follow-on effort will give the foundation an enhanced ability to build out contact attributes in a more sophisticated way. This valuable data can then be used for granular segmentation and targeted outreach to people from the general public who might be interested in engaging with William Penn Foundation.

Image: Cover Page of PDF case study

Download a printer-friendly PDF version of this client success story.

Photo credits: Race Street Pier photograph by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA ©; Youth rowing in a canoe photograph by Hannah Morales for UrbanPromise.

Case Study: Breakthrough


- Improved Staff Efficiency: Reduced weekly report prep time by 50%
- Streamlined Intake Process: Reduced intake processing time by 20%, saving an average of 25 hours per week
- Easier Access to More Data: Able to meet the detailed reporting demands of grants in less time

“We have a strategic goal of improving outcomes measurement and management. With our previous solution, we were tracking all the information we needed, but being able to get it out and compile it in a meaningful way was a huge challenge. It was painful knowing we were tracking all this data, but we were unable to let it tell the story.” – John Smith, Chief Administrative Officer, Breakthrough

Client Description

Breakthrough partners with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity. Breakthrough is intentionally located in and works alongside residents in East Garfield Park. Each year, Breakthrough has the opportunity to work with over 6,000 local residents and their families.


Data was siloed in two separate systems that weren’t integrated
Breakthrough implemented the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack in 2009 for donor management, and also used the solution for its CRM, marketing, and some volunteer needs. In 2011, the organization also implemented a point solution for case management, based on a promise that the product offered the ability to track efforts to measurable outcomes. Unfortunately, this promise never materialized as most of the implementation budget was spent on building out individual programs, and structuring records and assessments.

Case management point solution was closed, inflexible, and obsolete
“We pride ourselves on being a learning organization that tweaks and changes as we learn,” explained John. “The solution we selected and built for case management was obsolete by the end of year one. It didn’t give us the flexibility that we needed to adjust as we evolved.”

Unable to understand an individual’s involvement across the programs and services
In order to see multiple assessments for a single client, as well as the related case management notes, staff had to visit multiple program profiles for that individual. This cumbersome process made it time-consuming to gain a holistic view at the client level.

Manual and labor-intensive reporting
Limited report capabilities required staff to export data into Crystal Reports and try to manipulate it manually. According to John, “We were tracking all the information we needed, but being able to get it out and compile it in a meaningful way was a huge challenge.”

Lack of alignment with business processes
“The model in our case management solution didn’t align with the business processes of our different programs,” said John. As a result, instead of supporting and streamlining Breakthrough’s business processes, technology became a barrier. “Some of our programs just stopped using our case management solution altogether and instead tracked data on our various programs in a massive online spreadsheet.”

Impossible to find an in-house expert for both solutions
Breakthrough needed an administrator who knew both systems well, so that the organization wouldn’t have to rely on consultants to make changes or pull data. “We couldn’t find that unicorn who had technical expertise in both Salesforce and our case management solution.”


With an expansion planned, Breakthrough was motivated to make a change. “We knew that we were going to have to invest in some sort of system if we were going to improve how we were managing metrics,” explained John. The organization sought a flexible platform with an open architecture that would enable cross-departmental collaboration, while supporting growth without relying on consultants. “We also wanted robust reporting and visualization tools, including dashboards.”

Committed to finding a system that leveraged the “reliable and scalable” Salesforce platform, Exponent Case Management (ECM) was identified as the best option. “This combination of solutions ensures that we don’t have siloed case records,” said John. “It also enables us to have one person—a full-time admin— build the expertise in-house to manage the entire platform.” Breakthrough is now using the Salesforce platform and ECM for numerous departments: Fund Development, Volunteer Engagement, Adult Support Network, and Youth Network.


Gained ability to easily build detailed reports and visually-pleasing dashboards
Staff productivity has increased thanks to the ability to produce reports more efficiently with ECM. “Now, I spend only 5 hours per week creating reports, instead of 10 hours,” explained Yolanda, Chief Program Officer at Breakthrough. The organization can now meet the diverse reporting needs of individual program managers or decisions makers with data on donors, volunteers, and programs. “We can build reports and dashboards that pull together data across programs at the client level to help us try to answer some of those deeper questions and draw bigger conclusions,” said John. Additionally, now that it easier to pull data from a single system instead of two different ones, Breakthrough is better able to meet the detailed reporting requirements of funding partners.

Improved visibility into performance management
By centralizing data on the Salesforce platform with ECM, Breakthrough staff now have all case records and case assessments in one place. “We are able to monitor progress towards outcomes, in real-time, with flexible dashboards and reports that help us understand the impact of our services.” said John. Management can now see enrollments at a glance, so if they are below average at any given time, staff can make course corrections earlier or ask the right questions.

Enhanced data quality
Staff appreciate the improved data management, which makes it easier to identify when there are issues that need to be addressed. “Staff can now see, at a glance, how we are doing. They can quickly identify data quality issues, and immediately take action to resolve them, rather than waiting for quarterly reports to be assembled,” stated John. “They can also see the broader impact of what we are doing.”

Better user experience and improved security controls
Breakthrough’s staff now can see participant data in a more streamlined interface that requires fewer “clicks” to get at the information they need. On the security front, granular security controls allow for permission-based data access. According to John, “Having all data on one platform provides a holistic view of an individual or a family and their engagement with Breakthrough, while giving us the security controls to ensure that, on the backend, staff only see what they need to see.”

Prepared for future growth
Any need for additional functionality between Salesforce and ECM is met through different apps available on the AppExchange. According to John, “There’s generally a pretty affordable app that will meet our needs, easily extending the functionality of the platform. Salesforce offers incredible scalability—the sky is the limit!”

Download a PDF of the case study

Case Study: The Campbell Foundation


- Reduced Burden of System Maintenance: Decreased number of forms from dozens to just 9
- Provided Ability to Scale: Decreased time for grant invitation prep from 20 minutes to 1 minute
- Improved Staff Efficiency: Streamlined mass mailing process from 3 hours to 10 minutes

"If we had to scale up tomorrow from 350 grants to 1,000, that wouldn’t be a problem. The grants management process is so much faster that we have freed up time to launch new initiatives, like providing grantees with capacity building support." – Anna Lindgren, Assistant to the President, The Campbell Foundation

Client Description

A family foundation that believes in strategic infusions of funding, The Campbell Foundation dedicates nearly 100% of their grant dollars to the environment. As citizens of the planet, they are compelled to participate in the protection of natural resources in the communities where they live.


Lack of data centralization and scalability

The Campbell Foundation needed a way to link its conservation grants management across two locations—the Pacific office and the Chesapeake office. “When I started, all of our grants were being managed on multiple spreadsheets,” said Anna Lindgren, Assistant to the President at the Campbell Foundation. Eventually, the organization implemented an online system for grants management, which was a step forward, but the solution had limited reporting capabilities and couldn’t scale. Only three months after completing the implementation, the vendor announced that the nonprofit would have to migrate to a new platform, which offered less functionality and no longer met the foundation’s needs.

Limited visibility into important data and related reports

Staff didn’t have easy visibility into comprehensive data, which made it difficult for them to quickly assess how much of their budget had been allocated, or to report on the impact of their funding. “When I was trying to report on specific grants, a lot of the work had to be done manually in spreadsheets, then I would create a report using the data that I had cobbled together,” explained Anna Lindgren, Assistant to the President at The Campbell Foundation.

Weak oversight of grants and grantmaking

There was limited transparency associated with the foundation’s previous grant making system, which led to a lack of accountability. “We wanted to have more visibility into what each office was doing on the grants front, rather than relying on staff to provide anecdotal information about results.”

Manual grantmaking processes

“In the old days, generating simple grant documents meant a ton of copying and pasting, and spending time adjusting formatting,” said Anna. These manual processes stretched the lean team’s precious capacity. “It was a copy and paste nightmare just to get one grant out.”

Room for human error

With so many manual processes in place, there was too much room for human error related to grant making and grants management.


After researching several grants management solutions, The Campbell Foundation selected foundationConnect on the Salesforce platform, and secured Exponent Partners to implement the solution and migrate all the nonprofit’s historical data.

“Exponent Partners presented such a comprehensive package: the plan, the rollout, the resources,” explained Anna. “Everything was well organized and professional. It was the exact opposite of the experience we had had with our previous vendor. I can count on the Exponent Partners’ team because they worked with me like a true partner. I was impressed when, in the end, they came in under budget and ahead of time.”

Grant applicants can apply and report on grants online through the foundationConnect portal, whereas grant management processes, including administrative functions, are automated within Salesforce.


Gained access to organization-wide data

With a central database in the cloud, staff can see a full picture of their grantee status, budget allocations and more. Self-service reports also save time as staff no longer have to wait for others to prepare and share reports. “foundationConnect has made us better collaborators—we are more aware of the grants that each office is making and can look at the related information in realtime,” explained Anna.

Improved grantmaking administration

The foundation is now able to accept and manage online applications efficiently. foundationConnect allows the nonprofit to quickly filter proposals based on specific criteria and successfully identify ideal grantees. “I’m spending less time fixing things, and more time focusing on the grants themselves,” stated Anna. Grant invitations are now easily and quickly sent out with the click of a button, rather than copying and pasting information from various sources. “Before, exporting and sending invitation emails would take 15-20 minutes each, but it now takes a minute. This leads to significant time savings, when we are sending out dozens of invitations every month.” Similarly, mass emails, such as job announcements, used to take 3 hours to get out because they had to be done in small batches; now, it is a 10-minute process to review the list and send the message.

Detailed reporting and insightful visualization tools

The foundation is able to report on and view their data in ways that weren’t possible before. “We’re able to easily drill down from summary reports into the details,” said Anna. “Now when somebody gets hired at The Campbell Foundation, they are amazed by the systems we have in place. We are really dialedin with our grants process and the reporting that we can do.” The foundation also turns to the AppExchange to find and add new tools that will continuously increase productivity and data tracking. For example, the nonprofit integrated Geopointe, an app that creates useful maps for visualizing different projects and advanced tracking of indicators for grants geographically.

Avoided back-filling 2 full-time positions

After two staff left the organization, there was no need to backfill these full-time positions. According to Anna, “One of our employees took over a whole other program and is still able to process grants in a timely and quick manner without a noticeable increase in workload because so many of our processes are now automated.”

Reduced number of forms

With assistance from Exponent Partners, the foundation consolidated dozens and dozens of forms for different grant levels. Nine forms are now in place—three each for proposals, renewals, and reports. This reduction in forms has streamlined the maintenance process.

Enhanced data integrity

Validation in foundationConnect has improved data quality and avoided issues such as duplicate payments or missing fields. Changes made to the data are automatically tracked, so that management can see who made the change and when; the related notes tells them why the change was made. This has reduced data entry errors to the point that they rarely occur.

Enhanced outcomes tracking and performance management

New data fields enable the foundation to collect key information about how much the organization is spending for outcomes and objectives, such as number of grants and dollars spent. foundationConnect also helps staff understand performance and track indicators that align with the nonprofit’s strategic plan. These valuable insights enable management to shift funding around as needed. The foundation’s President also has easy access to dashboards that provide visual answers to important questions, such as: how much money is left to spend in the budget? How many grants has each office made? Which organizations are receiving the most funding? These details are complemented by management-related information, such as which employee is doing a good job linking emails or adding notes.

Gained ability to scale

“If we had to scale up tomorrow from 350 grants to 1,000, that wouldn’t be a problem now,” stated Anna. “The grants management process and the processing feed are both so much faster that we have freed up time to launch new initiatives, like capacity building.” This extra time is also being used to communicate directly and frequently with grantees, providing more oversight of grants.

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Case Study: Tipping Point Community


- Gained 360-degree view of grantee interactions, goals, and needs
- Streamlined grantee project and workshop data management
- Improved ability to understand grantee three-year progress and plan for impact

"Exponent Partners has been an absolute joy to work with. You don’t get to say that often about providers. It truly feels like a thought and design partnership. They know our process and model really well and have been great in thinking through how each piece influences the others, making sure we leave ourselves room to pivot." – Ashley Brown, Senior Associate, Impact and Learning, Tipping Point Community

Client Description

Tipping Point Community is a grantmaking organization that fights poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2005, Tipping Point has raised more than $120 million, helping 23,000 people get on the path out of poverty in the last year alone. Grantees receive an annually renewable, unrestricted operating grant. Tipping Point recognizes that flexible, unrestricted support is unique in this field and critical for leaders to be responsive to their organizational priorities. Tipping Point is committed to a long-term relationship with grantees that shows progress toward goals and demonstrates results.

Tipping Point also provides management assistance through the strategic partnerships it builds with private sector corporations and nonprofit organizations. Beyond dollars, Tipping Point provides grantees the communications, technical and management assistance they need to grow and increase their impact. 100% of every dollar donated goes out the door.


Exponent Partners originally helped Tipping Point Community move to a central grantee and fundraising solution on the Salesforce platform in 2010. The fundraising team had been using a legacy database and the program team was using Excel. “We wanted ‘both sides of the house’ to be together, funds in and grants out,” notes Nick Arevalo, Senior Program Officer, Impact and Learning at Tipping Point Community. “We also wanted to be able to capture our relationships comprehensively.” Their system provides a 360-degree view of grantee interactions, communications, and funding. It serves as the official source of knowledge for the organization.

All of Tipping Point Community’s departments now use Salesforce in their work. As their needs evolved, we worked with them to build performance management into their system. This case study tells the story of how they iterated on their solution to track their innovative management assistance model and its impact on grantees.

Evolving Needs

Grantee support tracking
Tipping Point Community is working on a growth plan that targets grantees across the spectrum of maturity (from early stage to those at scale) and is focused on building grantee efficacy to drive impact. Their hypothesis states that efficacy and scale drive impact, but efficacy comes first. One of Tipping Point’s key drivers of grantee efficacy is the management assistance support they provide.

“We had many different tools to track organizations’ needs, goals, and the support they received, but none of them were connected to one another,” says Ashley Brown, Senior Associate, Impact and Learning at Tipping Point Community. “In addition, we did not have consistent nomenclature and could not group types of support. We wanted to be able to analyze across projects, and view the resources, support, and interactions in one place.”

They wanted to see a higher level view of this support they provided their grantees. Specifically, they wanted to gain insight into their management assistance support, which offers grantees workshops, strategic planning projects, and other tools to help them build capacity.

Visibility into impact on grantees
Tipping Point Community also wanted to understand how their innovative long-term relationships and management assistance support contributed to organizations delivering program results, but their system was not yet set up to pull together these elements. “Our hypothesis is that if we provide certain types of support and money over a three-year period, we would expect to see that grantee move from one stage to the next across our framework,” Brown says. “We didn’t have a way to test whether or not that was true.” They were only tracking grantee engagement plans (including needs, goals, grants, and projects) in siloed one-year records.


Exponent Partners worked with Tipping Point Community to develop the Management Assistance Manager (MAMa), a custom workshop and project manager, within Salesforce. The MAMa organizes their partner projects and 35-40 annual workshop signups. It includes workshop attendance tracking, signups, and a custom workshop registration page. Exponent Partners built custom pages in Skuid (a third-party app for specialized user interfaces within Salesforce), tailored to Tipping Point Community’s unique workflows and data collection.

We also developed the Grantee Engagement Manager in Skuid. This Manager pulls grantee engagement data from multiple records into one clean interface, allowing Tipping Point Community to quickly view grantee progress. This includes goals, needs, grants data, projects, and other notes. Data saved in the Skuid interface is automatically written and synced back to Salesforce records, leaving the data structure untouched.


Efficient grantee support
Using their new Management Assistance Manager, Tipping Point Community has been able to document assistance providers they work with more completely and plan for assistance. As well, they use it to manage workshops and collect their project and partner data in one easy-to-view interface. Rollup summary formulas calculate how much time their team spent on a given project automatically.

Partner projects are sorted more intuitively, saving time. With their Skuid interface, they can also add multiple organizations and providers to a project at once with a single click.

Workshop management has also become more efficient and effective. Through one clean interface, staff save time updating grantee attendance after a workshop by adding them all at once, rather than manually adding each grantee record. Their registration now has a branded screen and tracks signups automatically, rather than managing email or surveys. Tipping Point Community can also generate unique registration links and invitee emails with the Manager. “Our team doesn’t have to do anything to build an event registration page,” Brown says. “It was built on the front-end, allowing the team to quickly customize it by inputting information into a few fields that contain workshop-specific information, and immediately send out the registration link.”

Surfaced support insights
Pulling together their data into the MAMa has also helped Tipping Point Community to better understand their support at a glance. Brown describes the difference: “If I looked at a grantee record, I used to see a big list of activities they were part of and sort through them to see which ones applied to a certain project. Sometimes they didn’t have a descriptive name, so I would have to click through each one. Now I go to the project record and see the grantees and the interactions. The project is now the main ‘holding place’ for the information, so it speeds things up and makes it easier for us to understand what’s going on.”

With the Management Assistance Manager, Tipping Point also added standardized naming for their project data, making reporting easier and improving data quality. Arevalo notes, “As compared to our peers, we believe that the custom tool that we’ve built isn’t just something to manage money in, money out. We’re taking our system to another level with the ability to track the management assistance we’re providing. That’s a key value add in terms of our model. We don’t just want to know that we’re providing management assistance as an output. We want to understand whether it’s driving toward more impact and helping our organizations evolve faster.”

Visibility into grantee impact
Using their Grantee Engagement Manager, Tipping Point Community can pull together their grantees’ goals, grants, projects, and other relevant notes, and edit from one page. This allows them to plan for the many ways they will interact and meet grantee needs over the year.

“For these plans, there was data ‘living’ in multiple places in our system,” says Brown. “Using Skuid made it possible for us to bring those together. Now the user doesn’t have to go to all those places to interact with or add new data. That was the main goal and probably the biggest win!”

Case Study: KIPP Foundation


- Improved ability to track performance and outcomes
- Increased visibility into student and alumni data
- Created a solution ready for roll-out to KIPP schools nationwide
- Achieved 100% adoption among users in first pilot site

"Exponent Partners has one of the most buttoned-up and rigorous professional services teams that I have ever encountered. The discipline and thoughtfulness that they brought to the development process was exceptional." — Jack Chorowsky, Chief Operating Officer, KIPP

Client Description

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Foundation is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 162 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 58,000 students.


Low adoption of existing system
A clunky homegrown system that was difficult to customize prompted staff to track data using other tools, including spreadsheets.

Inability to report on data
Disparate data housed in multiple places made it difficult and time-consuming to produce reports.

Visibility into outcomes was limited
Due to data silos across the organization, management had limited visibility into the results of schools, students and alumni, making it difficult to track the extent to which KIPP and the KIPP Through College (KTC) Program were achieving their mission.

Homegrown system was not scalable
The fast-growing organization needed to house data from schools nationwide in a single system to enable analysis of individual or aggregate numbers and make informed decisions.


KIPP selected Exponent Partners because of the company’s impressive track record helping similar nonprofit organizations in the education sector. Given a limited timeframe in which to build a sophisticated solution on Salesforce®, Exponent Partners designed a system that met the immediate needs of KIPP New York City, and that offered the flexibility to scale across KIPP schools nationwide. After the kickoff phase in July, discovery and design was completed in August, and the first and second phases were built and rolled out in September and October, respectively. With a view toward ensuring KIPP’s self-sufficiency in the future, Exponent Partners completed extensive custom development that focused on user interface and usability, and also automated several complex processes which involved numerous data points from student records.


Increased visibility
All data is centralized in one location and student records are now assigned a status (i.e., green, yellow, or red) based on information that is aggregated from numerous data points in Salesforce.

Improved ability to track performance and outcomes
Data is easily accessible, yet the confidentiality of student records at individual schools is protected. Rolled-up data is driving more meaningful and actionable insights that help the organization pursue continuous improvement through optimized program design and delivery.

Achieved 100 percent buy-in
KIPP has achieved high adoption rates from staff in departments organization-wide.

Created the infrastructure to scale
Investing in a solution that could ultimately power the schools’ needs across the country will enable rapid rollout of the application nationwide over the next few years.

Case Study: OneGoal


- Improved data-driven decision-making and targeted student support
- Scaled to 250+ program directors using Salesforce to track progress for 6,400+ students
- Increased accuracy of selectivity indices for their focus cities
- Sent/received 54,000+ SMS messages via Salesforce in one year to nudge college enrollment

"We chose Exponent Partners because we wanted to work with people who really understood our work and challenges. We wanted a partner that would be an extension of our team." – Topher Rinek, Senior Director of Data + Systems, OneGoal

Client Description

OneGoal is working to make college graduation a reality for all students. OneGoal 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. Teachers support the same group of Fellows beginning in their junior year of high school and bridge the gap through their first year of college. 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.


We’ve worked with OneGoal since 2012, and this case study tracks the journey they’ve taken from manual data processes to unifying their information and managing student results.


Navigating data accuracy
When the organization started investigating Salesforce, important student data was stored in Google Docs, but these spreadsheets weren’t connected. Without an ability to analyze historical data easily, mistakes were being repeated, rather than corrected. As they scaled and entered increasing amounts of data into Salesforce, including cohort data from organizations like the National Student Clearinghouse, they aimed to collect and refine data that was more challenging to verify, like student college enrollment numbers, financial aid package percentages, and more.

Calculating and honing selectivity ratings efficiently
In 2012, Program Directors at individual schools followed a time-consuming manual process to plot each student’s ACT scores against their GPAs to figure out a student’s selectivity, which is used to determine best-fit and match colleges. As they grew and used Salesforce to auto-calculate these ratings for their first location, Chicago, and later their locations of Houston, New York City, and the state of Massachusetts, they noticed that college acceptances had different trends by region. They would need to adjust their selectivity matrices for each to predict better matches for students.

Inefficient communications
In 2012, OneGoal’s program staff spent too much time on one-off email communications with Program Directors, since they did not have a single place to go to enter information about their students. This inefficiency pulled program staff away from strategic work. Later, as they centralized many of their internal communications, they wanted to tackle and track an external engagement challenge: that of “summer melt,” a common situation where students meaning to enroll over the summer do not do so.


Originally in 2012, OneGoal worked with Exponent Partners to build the foundation of a custom student data and program management solution on the Salesforce platform. Since then, they have iterated on and continue to scale its system together to meet OneGoal’s aim of having a central database to capture all student data points. Key features have been added over time, including college selectivity rating auto-calculations, “zone” tracking for steps in OneGoal’s program, financial aid tracking, SMS Magic text message tracking, and more.

“Salesforce provides the structure we needed to communicate with our Program Staff and Program Directors in one place, while giving us the flexibility to change as our program model evolves and we need to collect different and new data,” explained Topher Rinek, Director of Data Management at OneGoal. “Salesforce has made it possible for us to grow quickly while increasing our effectiveness.”


Informed decision-making and tailored student experience 
As OneGoal grows their data collection and visibility using Salesforce, their decisions have become increasingly refined. They not only collect their own data, but also National Student Clearinghouse data and other cohort data, all of which is stored in Salesforce. This data helps verify their students’ enrollment in college, gives them a clearer picture of the college persistence of their Fellows in graduation numbers, and reveals their Fellows’ overall success at various colleges. They use this information to continually improve student support.

As well, OneGoal has been able to personalize student support more and more. For example, they define seven “zones” for students in the third year of their program, each containing targeted academic, financial and social steps for success. As they moved this tracking into Salesforce for individual students, they were also able to begin to offer even more targeted steps based on the type of school. The percentage of steps each student has completed displays on their records, and statuses display as 1) green: on-track, 2) yellow: within reach, and 3) red: off-track. Teachers and staff can prioritize Fellows to support and which specific actions to take, just by looking at their rosters.

They’ve also started to track and assist their students with applying for financial aid, supporting the growth of these submissions. “Whenever students get accepted to a college, we send them a [third-party] FormAssembly form that helps them fill out their financial aid package, Rinek said. “When they submit that form, it ties them to an application record in Salesforce. It calculates their total amount of financial aid and their out-of-pocket cost or percent. When students are deciding which college to move forward with, we have a good idea in terms of what students might be paying and what their gap might be.” This information helps OneGoal highlight affordable colleges for their Fellows, where alumni of the program have had proven success.

“With all data in a central location, we now have better and more information to support our model,” said Rinek. OneGoal is also able to track and communicate the impact the organization has had, and use this data to better predict current and future outcomes.

Real-time analysis of data
“For every input, there is now an output—in the form of a field, a report or a dashboard—that helps the Program Directors immediately in their classroom,” explained Rinek. “Exponent Partners has created a sustainable way for us to manage our data. Instantly as new GPAs or ACT score comes in, a new selectivity rating is calculated.” As OneGoal expanded from Chicago to Houston, New York, and beyond, they were able to develop more accurate selectivity indexes, which map the trends of test scores and GPAs needed for admission to particular colleges.

Recently, they’ve observed that these indexes have regional variations, and are now able to adjust the indexes continually based on their own student admissions data. Students’ selectivity ratings are auto-calculated dynamically in Salesforce based on their ongoing performance and compared against these more nuanced indexes for their particular regions. This quick overview means that program directors are able to smoothly recommend their students to the right schools. From a student’s perspective, objective reports help them see their progress and success recommendations in real-time.

Streamlined communications and processes
Externally, OneGoal now engages with its students to combat summer melt, sending them weekly reminders and prompts via text message tracked in Salesforce using the third-party app SMS Magic. They can also continue the conversation two-way. In the past year, over 54,000 two-way text messages have been sent or received from Salesforce to ensure that students are on track to enroll and persist in college.

Internally, OneGoal program staff can now provide better support to teachers, and program teams are able to focus on the strategic analysis of data, rather than spending their valuable time manipulating it for reporting purposes. Users have access to dashboards, can track students’ performance against goals—by semester and by year—and can report on this data daily, monthly or annually. They’ve been able to integrate their hiring work, tracking all staff applications through their system. As they have matured in their Salesforce usage, they’ve expanded from under 100 users of the system to over 300 users.

Case Study: Phipps Neighborhoods


- Replaced off-the-shelf case management system with customized solution
- Aggregated agency data, while also collecting unique data by program
- Enabled analysis of program results over time through assessments

"We wanted a system that gave us a good foundation, but also enough room to continue to grow as an organization. We knew that our programs were going to be changing as we took on new initiatives, and we need to have that leeway with our system." — Roxanne Delaney, Associate Director for Policy and Evaluation, Phipps Neighborhoods

Client Description

Phipps Neighborhoods has provided education, career, and community resource programs to the South Bronx for over 40 years. The organization helps children and families overcome poverty by focusing their work in neighborhoods where they can support families with a comprehensive approach.


Diverse program tracking capabilities
With 30+ programs, Phipps Neighborhoods was struggling to make their existing off-the-shelf case management software work for their diverse programs. After spending a year focusing on training and additional customization, Roxanne Delaney, Associate Director for Policy and Evaluation, said Neighborhoods was still “fitting a square peg into a round hole.” They needed a system that would allow them to customize data collection by program.

Centralized reporting
Due to their existing software, staff weren’t able to record data in a consistent way. They often tracked their program’s data in spreadsheets or only in their siloed funder-mandated systems. Pulling all the data together for aggregate reporting – allowing them to see their complete impact on clients or to evaluate the agency as a whole – was a monumental task.

Flexible, but precise security functionality
Some data generated from Phipps Neighborhoods’ programs is HIPAA-protected. The organization wanted to only share this personal information with specific program staff, but it did want to share general program participation data across the organization.


Exponent Case Management provided Neighborhoods with the core requirements of a case management solution, including intake, assessment, and reporting. In addition to these features, Phipps Neighborhoods highly valued Exponent Case Management’s configurability that allowed the system to be tailored to each programs bucket—education, career, and community resources. With field-level security, Phipps Neighborhoods was able to guard HIPAA-protected information while still sharing appropriate data across programs.


Simplified workflow equals better data
Phipps Neighborhoods’ Exponent Case Management system was configured to offer one intake form that included the general agency intake and program-specific questions. Allowing staff members to save time by filling out one form rather than two has encouraged staff to use the system. The improved data has led to greater transparency and accountability for program results.

Progress measurement over time
Delaney cited the ability to measure students’ progress through assessments in their high school equivalency programs as one of the most valuable features. She commented, “These programs were at critical points where we had to make decisions in order to improve them. It was hard to see grade gains, grade losses, and what factors were contributing to a student’s development through data on spreadsheets. Exponent Case Management allowed us to see how effective our curriculum and teaching has been, so we can course-correct or do targeted one-on-one tutoring as needed. That has been pivotal for us.“

A foundation for the future
Phipps Neighborhoods prepared extensively ahead of choosing Exponent Case Management to determine how they would customize it. However, they also knew that their programs would evolve. The flexibility and configurability of Exponent Case Management offered them the ability to adapt the system as their data and measurement needs changed.

Case Study: Institute for Family Development


- Improved Efficiency for Billing Tasks: Reduced billing prep time for programs by 80%
- Increased Access to Custom Reports: Instead of waiting up to a month for a custom report, users can create their own in minutes
- Allowed Staff to Focus on Value-Added Tasks: Administrative staff no longer pull data from multiple sources—saving them 10–15 hours per month

“Having a single system used by all teams reduces our administrative requirements substantially, while allowing us to easily report on outcomes across programs.” – Mary Lynn Antush, Assistant Director, Institute for Family Development

Client Description

The Institute for Family Development (IFD) provides a range of innovative and cost-effective in-home services to children and families. IFD’s mission is to develop, deliver and disseminate evidence-based child welfare programs to keep children safe, strengthen families, and reduce the need for placing children into state-funded care.


IFD implemented an online client information system in 2005. Although the solution offered many benefits over paper records, as the years passed, the legacy system’s cons out-weighed the pros.

Inability to scale with the organization
With IFD’s HOMEBUILDERS® model being replicated across the country, the lack of scalability presented challenges and created numerous data silos. “Our legacy system couldn’t accommodate all our teams in a single system,” explained Mary Lynn Antush, Assistant Director, Institute for Family Development. “As a result, we operated five duplicative systems serving various team groupings.”

Difficulty creating reports
Without the ability to automatically limit the information that was included in a report, IFD’s legacy system couldn’t be opened up to all users for self-service. Instead, an administrator had to create unique reports for every team throughout the country to ensure data security and privacy protection. Limited administrative bandwidth for this task meant that some employees did not have access to the reports that they wanted. Additionally, reporting on outcomes across programs was labor-intensive as it required the administrator to pull information from five systems, export it into Excel, and then dedupe it for analysis.

Complex billing processes
Billing forms for several of IFD’s programs in Washington required administrative staff to produce detailed billing reports in a format that met funders’ requirements. Employees had to pull the data from the organization’s legacy system, rekey it into Word or Excel, and then package it in a specific way before it could be sent to a funder. This involved process left administrators with less time to provide therapists with much needed support.

Desire for enhanced user-friendliness
An easy-to-use system would minimize training requirements, while increasing user adoption and ensuring model fidelity as the HOMEBUILDERS Program expanded to other states beyond Washington. The concept of having a system that is mobile-friendly was also of interest as it would boost productivity for practitioners when they are in the field doing client work.


With changes to state requirements around data security and data protection, combined with the fact that IFD’s legacy software was no longer going to be supported by its vendor, IFD was motivated to find a new solution for its client information needs. The organization was clear on its requirements. First, IFD wanted a solution that could accommodate all teams implementing the HOMEBUILDERS model, and allow the sharing of information across case records, employee records, and team records. Second, the system had to meet all HIPAA requirements, along with a host of documentation requirements associated with clinical interventions. Third, enhanced reporting features were a must-have, not only to meet funders’ needs, but also for IFD’s own fidelity management. Finally, an intuitive user interface was essential to maximize adoption and facilitate a smooth transition between systems. Since the solution would be used by partner agencies, in addition to the nonprofit’s staff, security and accessibility were also top of mind for IFD.

IFD evaluated several options, but quickly dove deep into Exponent Case Management (ECM). “We were just really excited about ECM from the beginning, largely because it was on the Salesforce platform,” explained Mary Lynn. “We knew that it was going to keep up with the times, rather than fall behind them, due to Salesforce’s constant innovation and heavy investment in ongoing development.”

“In today’s environment, having data that is clear, accurate, complete, easy to access, and that looks good is important,” stated Mary Lynn. “ECM was able to check all those boxes and more.”

In an effort to get set up quickly and simply without putting too much strain on resources, IFD opted to use Exponent’s ECM Start-up Service and focused initially on the institute’s HOMEBUILDERS program. ECM has since been expanded to support all 10 services that IFD offers.

The adoption of ECM has impacted a broad range of IFD’s key stakeholders:

  • Program staff are using ECM as their main client information system, entering all client contact information and assessment information into a clinical record. They rely on the summary information in the record to guide the services provided throughout the intervention.
  • Supervisors get up to speed quickly by reviewing the summary information, as opposed to digging deep into records. These summary fields also serve as important measures of model fidelity, allowing the monitoring of clinical services and tracking of activities.
  • Staff in the Training and Consulting Division use ECM to monitor the model fidelity of local and out-of-state teams. They create site review reports as needed and use data from ECM to review the activities for a specific family when they participate in a consultation.
  • Administrative staff generate reports via ECM, and send them to referents, funders, and providers.
    On a big picture level, leadership can see the effectiveness of the HOMEBUILDERS program, monitor teams’ performance, and track the number of placements that IFD has prevented.


IFD’s implementation of ECM kicked-off in late 2016, and the organization went live with the solution in Spring 2017. The nonprofit now has 360 users on ECM across 50 teams, nationwide. The breadth of ECM’s impact is impressive and has been truly transformational for IFD.

Consolidated systems, while enabling scalability and flexibility
ECM eliminates the need for multiple systems, and scales with IFD as the organization grows. The capacity to exchange data through an API for coordination with other electronic records will also be a benefit for some of the agencies in the future. According to Mary Lynn, “This functionality is important because some of IFD’s provider agencies are using separate medical records systems for other programs they provide.”

Simplified report creation process
“We no longer have to gather data from multiple reports and systems, export it into Excel, and then rearrange it,” said Mary Lynn. “With ECM, we can pull in data from the user record, case record and even agency record into the same report.” In a single click, the interface with Conga Reports allows ECM users to immediately generate pre-formatted reports that are ready to be sent to the referent without any additional tweaking.

Enhanced security features
Prior constraints related to data security have been addressed by ECM, thereby empowering staff. According to Mary Lynn, “Thanks to the Salesforce reporting tools, teams can take responsibility for their own reporting requirements, freeing up administrator’s time.” Based on Salesforce, ECM also provides the level of security needed to maintain HIPAA compliance for medical records.

Gained valuable insights into outcomes and model fidelity
“We are now able to generate many different types of reports— across all programs/agencies—that help us show model fidelity and outcome measures,” explained Mary Lynn. IFD’s caseload dashboard, for example, provides real-time data regarding how clinicians are progressing towards their annualgoal of serving a specific number of clients. With ECM’s roll-up features, practitioners can easily and quickly see the number of interventions they are averaging each week. This key indicator lets both the practitioner and their manager know if their performance is on-track. Similarly, exporting to Excel and creating formulas is no longer required for pro-rated intervention counts and the number of weekly consultation meetings. These key measures are now generated automatically, and real-time data is easily accessible.

Simplified billing processes
ECM makes the billing process substantially easier for several of IFD’s programs as billing reports are now created automatically in a format that staff can send without making any changes. “Before, it used to take us up to 10 minutes to prepare the billing form, but now it takes about 2 minutes,” explained Mary Lynn. (In 2017 alone, these programs served more than 1,300 families.) The automation of this process gives administrative staff more time to support therapists, which in turn means that therapists can dedicate more hours to providing clinical services.

Easier to use and more accessible
ECM’s intuitive user interface has made the system easy to learn and has enabled its rapid adoption across the organization. “ECM is definitely easier to navigate and is more intuitive than our legacy system,” explained Mary Lynn. “Both ECM and Salesforce mirror the technology that we use in our daily lives, and that increases adoption of the tool with minimal training.” Field-Level Help enables clinicians to easily and quickly access in-context definitions and instructions, which are used to accurately complete assessments. ECM’s mobile feature allows practitioners to enter their service notes in between clients, while the details are fresh in their minds, rather than waiting until they have a WiFi connection. According to Mary Lynn, “I see only upside ahead of us with ECM.”

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Case Study: California Human Development


- Reporting: Reduced prep time from 2 weeks to 1 day
- Quality Assurance: Monitoring program delivery remotely and automatically saves time and ensures better product
- Data: Enhanced visibility into data used to secure a $5 million grant

"ECM helps us capture, analyze, and act on empirical data. The data informs the way that we provide excellent services and helps to secure resources to further our mission." – Anita Maldonado PhD, Chief Executive Officer, CHD


California Human Development is a non-profit organization waging the War on Poverty for 50 years. Inspired in service to our state’s farm workers, today CHD serves people of low income from many walks of life—giving 25,000 people a year in 31 northern California counties a hand up to the American Dream.


Inefficient processes
With a combination of paper case files and spreadsheets sprinkled throughout the organization’s three offices, CHD couldn’t easily aggregate data and create reports at any given time. “Reporting around specific date ranges, such as a calendar year or fiscal year, was extremely difficult,” explained Kai Harris, Director of Programs at CHD. “We spent a lot of time compiling information and manually counting paper files to get the data we needed. The process for creating even simple reports was a real challenge.”

Narrow view of client base
“We didn’t have any way to monitor client needs as they changed over time or to identify trends without first doing a significant amount of work,” said Kai. “Just trying to answer basic questions often required several phone calls and meetings, that were followed by delays as we waited for someone to dig through paper files or create a report.”

Lack of visibility into performance
CHD couldn’t easily or fully understand its performance or identify trends over time. According to Kai, “It was difficult to answer programmatic questions about what was working or wasn’t working, beyond anecdotal stories shared by case managers.”

Data silos across multiple locations
CHD’s Day Laborers program is based out of two locations, and its Immigration program provides services out of three locations. The referral of a client from one office to another was done over the phone, without the data being formally captured and shared. These ‘warm’ hand-offs meant that CHD didn’t have a sense of how many clients in one program were being referred internally and provided additional wrap-around services. For the organization’s Immigration program, CHD had to rely on staff in remote offices to do their own counting and reporting, before sending data to head office, where it was then manually aggregated.


CHD implemented ECM for its Day Laborers and Immigration programs, with a longer-term vision of expanding the solution to its other programs and integrating it with other funding-mandated tracking systems. “Salesforce is a system that easily connects to and talks to a lot of other systems, giving us a lot of opportunity to grow in diverse areas.”


Streamlined processes—from intake to reporting
For intake, timeliness has increased significantly. “The time from a client coming in and doing an intake to when CHD knows they are a client has been reduced to basically zero,” remarked Kai. “Improvements to our processes have led to enhanced transparency and allow us to course-correct faster.” Dramatic improvements have also been made on the reporting front. “Before, it would take a significant amount of time to put together programmatic reports. Using ECM, we can now generate pre-built reports in a single click. It is a real game-changer.” For example, a report that used to take two days to build can now be done in seconds. “Thanks to ECM, now the data is just there and accessible from any of our offices. We can monitor progress at the client, staff, and organization levels at whatever intervals we determine without taking additional staff time to pull those reports.” ECM’s dashboards give CHD the ability to track progress across multiple programs in real-time and to pull data directly when reporting to a funding source. An annual report for one of the organization’s main funding sources used to take two weeks to prepare; the same report can now be created in a day.

Noticeable shift towards a more client-centric strategy
Now, with a 360-degree view of the client, staff can ensure smooth client hand-offs between programs. “Clients are less likely to fall through the cracks because we have a record of referrals being made on both sides,” explained Kai. “That referral can be followed up on in a systematic way, rather than relying on memory or post-it notes.” ECM also enables staff to spend more time focusing on clients, since less time is required to complete certain tasks or prepare reports. The automation of specific tasks has given CHD’s Immigration program staff the ability to communicate proactively with DACA clients who need reminders of their anniversary to renew. No longer required to assemble reports or travel as frequently between offices to share information, staff can concentrate on delivering direct services, meeting more clients, doing more outreach, and increasing the number of cases they handle. ECM also reinforces this client-centric strategy through the organization’s fire relief program, as staff can quickly and easily check potential immigration remedies while providing fire relief-related support, and make direct referrals as needed.

Better visibility into performance
In CHD’s Immigration program, where contract deliverables are monitored in multiple locations, management can now see the program’s pipeline of clients across different categories. The data is being used to determine if the organization is on-track to meet its goals, or if it needs to shift strategies, allocate more resources to certain areas, or develop other strategies. Faster and better visibility into the program’s fee-for-service revenue has also been beneficial as head office can now monitor demand at remote offices. “ECM enables us to easily see cases as they come in, project the related fee-for-service revenue, while also ensuring that we meet our targeted contractual obligations for free-to-client services. This valuable data helps direct where we want to go programmatically.”

Improved data accuracy, fidelity, and depth
The ability to set required fields, do validation, and add in-line documentation in ECM ensures that CHD is capturing more and better data, especially related to demographics. “With ECM, we have significantly faster feedback loops, and can immediately dig into the root cause when we see an issue,” stated Kai. “For example, I can easily run a quality assurance report that shows gaps in intake data. Based on that report, I can quickly follow-up with staff, identify training deficiencies, or see what is happening programmatically where this information isn’t being collected, and then take action in a timely manner.”

Leveraged ECM’s extensibility to respond to unexpected events
Within several weeks of the Northern California fires in 2017, Kai used ECM to launch CHD’s “One Stop Wildfire Relief and Resources” program with minimal support from Exponent Partners. “Having been involved in the implementation of ECM, and by using the success documentation provided by Exponent Partners, I was able to quickly clone one of our existing programs in ECM and change the settings to match our needs for the fire relief program.”

Secured additional funding by leveraging data from ECM
Data around needs assessments, volume of clients, and projected needs over time related to assisting immigrants affected by the fires enabled CHD to secure a $5 million grant from the state. “ECM enabled us to start tracking our clients, build our numbers, and tell our story in a way that resulted in significant funding that has allowed the program to grow to what it is now,” explained Kai.

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Case Study: Meda


  • Provided a holistic overview of families in Promise Neighborhood
  • Increased collaboration & service integration across partner agencies
  • Unified partner data for better program decisions & collective impact

“My favorite part of working with Exponent Partners was the Design and Build phase. That’s a really creative part of making the vision that you have come true.” – Michelle Reiss-Top, Technology and Data Systems Manager at Mission Economic Development Agency

Client Description

Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.


Siloed work

MEDA is the lead agency for the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), a community school collaboration funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Promise Neighborhoods provide supportive cradle-to-career services for families so their children may succeed in school and lift themselves out of poverty.

MEDA wanted to show progress on the indicators of success mandated by their funder while also addressing the unique needs of San Francisco families. However, each of their 20+ partners kept its own records, locking away insights. To view shared progress, the collaborative would need to create a collaborative database to track their collective impact work.

Varied partner capacity and data collection

The collaborative had a goal of collecting more and richer data. MEDA sent an evaluation team to each partner to conduct data assessments and find out its capacity. Capacities ranged from high to low, and partners used diverse methods to collect and store data. They needed a system that was easy for many levels of users to interact with daily. “It’s important to know your partners’ data truth: to see how they’re really working with and accessing their data,” noted Michelle Reiss-Top, Technology and Data Systems Manager at MEDA. “It helps when thinking about the design, onboarding, and flexibility of your community technology solution.”

Duplicative manual work

Working and collecting data separately meant that partners needed to enter data for shared clients separately, and use precious time conveying duplicative information via spreadsheets.


Exponent Partners implemented Exponent Case Management and Salesforce Communities for MEDA on the Salesforce platform, providing a 360-degree view of clients and enabling close online collaboration between partners. Their solution features case and program management, intake and assessment, service tracking and planning, referrals, and client records. With Communities, MEDA can aggregate and share their data, create reports and dashboards, and collaborate.


Data that informs program decisions

Exponent Case Management allows MEDA to compare assessments all the way from baseline to the latest, helping them to analyze longitudinally. These assessments link together and can be easily flipped through in sequence. Custom formula fields help them make sense of the assessments, which provide percentage change and delta, and show them how close individuals are to specific outcomes. “We have certain thresholds we want people to achieve towards financial stability, like a credit score of 650,” says Reiss-Top. “But we also know that sometimes a positive trajectory is the best victory we can get.” MEDA is able to track indicators toward desired outcomes and make changes to their work based on this understanding.

MEDA and MPN also work to meet 15 indicators of academic success as dictated by their funder, the Department of Education. MEDA’s family success coaches hear about family needs more than any other staff. As these coaches collect data in case notes, they check off the most common needs and are beginning to build their own set of data on assisting families. “We can use this data to shape local policy, inform program decisions, leverage the power of agencies together as a collective, and use the information to know what clients need most,” says Reiss-Top. The data not only overlaps with their funders, but also tells a larger story about how the agency and Promise Neighborhood can provide a stable environment for school children.

Holistic overview of family progress

With their case management solution, MEDA and MPN are able to measure progress over time for families receiving wraparound services. A household record in the system displays a holistic overview of the family, sharing parents’ and children’s overall situation and services they are using. Two summary charts show a breakdown of member services and program referrals for household members. Formulas auto-calculate eligibility for benefits like Medi-Cal and Covered California.

At any time, staff can zoom in on individual records, such as outbound referrals, assessments, and case records (also a tracker for program enrollment), which are organized neatly. They can drill down into individual case records and see aspects like the amount of direct services individuals are receiving, classes they are taking, important financial indicators like credit and savings, and their path to graduation. These overviews allow MEDA and partners to see how families are doing and identify additional support they may need.

Increased collaboration and service integration across partners

MEDA was able to collaborate more closely across its partner organizations using some key features in Exponent Case Management and Salesforce Communities. When referring out to partners, they now make use of a handy “search need” feature that allows them to find partner agencies by specific descriptions, requirements, even transit options. Much of the manual burden is alleviated by workflows that auto-send messages when a referral status is changed on an individual’s record: which provide the new referral agency with the request, notes, and key contact information, and share the result with the original requester. They can pick up the phone or return to Salesforce and manage their referrals there. “One unexpected benefit of these emails was that staff started to click ‘reply’!” notes Reiss-Top. “Staff at different agencies are engaging in dialogues about shared clients. It opened up a line of communication they simply didn’t have before!”

Salesforce Chatter also increases communication across partners. Agencies in different buildings can mention staff in records or tag each other on a conversation about a family. These are not a mirror image of the data, but live records they can edit together and add to. “It gives a sense of ‘we’re all in it together,’” Reiss-Top says. “The feed and groups create a virtual workspace that helps us take action and share ownership on a deeper level.”

In MEDA’s journey to collective impact with MPN, they can also begin to view service integration, from dashboards pulling partner data on services and referrals, to breakdowns of families supported by partner agencies, to the overall number of families engaged in asset building. This can help them learn the impact of their collaboration.