Case Study: Ashoka

Highlights

- Launched Salesforce across 9 programs globally in 13 months
- Increased capacity while saving time and money
- Empowered staff with tools needed to become Changemakers
- Able to measure performance against goals

"With Exponent Partners’ help, we completed our implementation in one-third of the time and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional IT project. They helped us think innovatively and strategically about how we tackled this monumental project." – Romanus Berg, Former CIO, Ashoka

Client Description

Ashoka supports social entrepreneurs who are leading and collaborating with changemakers, in a team of teams model that addresses the fluidity of a rapidly evolving society. Ashoka believes that anyone can learn and apply the critical skills of empathy, team work, leadership and changemaking to be successful in the modern world.

Challenges

Data silos
Ashoka’s power lies in its network of Fellows, cross-sector contacts, and knowledge. However, with data trapped in silos, Ashoka had limited visibility into constituent relationships and lost institutional knowledge with staff transitions. The organization needed to consolidate and share data in preparation for future growth.

Uncoordinated activities
As a decentralized institution operating in 30 locations worldwide, Ashoka struggled to coordinate, track, and report on global activities. This made it difficult to connect individuals from different sectors or countries with expertise or interests in similar funding or fields.

Outdated IT infrastructure and non-standardized business processes 
With plans to double their impact annually through increased competitions and contacts, Ashoka had to upgrade its IT infrastructure, as well as standardize and optimize its business processes across programs and offices globally.

Limiting tools
Without the right tools in place, it was difficult to empower staff so they could fulfill Ashoka’s mantra of “Everyone a Changemaker”.

Solution

Exponent Partners rebuilt Ashoka’s infrastructure and implemented Salesforce® across nine mission-critical programs globally. What could easily have taken four years was completed in a little more than one year, with a prototype available within 2.5 months. By concurrently optimizing Ashoka’s fundamental business processes across multiple programs, Exponent Partners developed a replicable design that enables Ashoka to quickly deploy new programs worldwide. Also, by integrating Ashoka’s Changemakers website and Salesforce, Exponent Partners streamlined the data collection and nomination process.

Results

Scalable platform
The venture pilot was deployed in four months, and three overlapping development waves encompassing nine unique programs were deployed within 13 months from beginning to end.

Streamlined processes
Before, Ashoka’s global staff spent an average of 5 to 10 days creating reports with updated information on Fellows, Nominators, Candidates and Funders from its local staff. Salesforce’s reporting function enables Ashoka to gather this information in 5 minutes. Hours saved on information management and reporting are now spent building relationships with Fellows and Changemakers.

Increased efficiencies and capacity
Staff can access the same tools and data from anywhere with their cloud-based system. Ashoka now manages its core business, rather than its IT infrastructure.

Improved visibility and ability to track goals
Management can track progress and measure performance against organizational goals, and identify where Ashoka is recognizing value and where it should invest in the future.