Getting off of spreadsheets and into the ballpark
by Sophie C. Speer, Development Associate, Juma Ventures
We all know the call. You’re at a baseball game, when over the crowd you hear “Ice cream! Get your ice cream!” Ballpark concessions have fueled hungry fans throughout the history of the game. Now, America’s favorite pastime is fueling opportunities for America’s youth to earn money for college.
Juma Ventures began as a small enterprise employing youth in San Francisco. 20 years later, it’s grown to operate in six cities across the country. Juma hires some pretty special vendors: high school students from low-income communities who will be the first in their families to attend college. Besides the skills and work ethic gained from climbing thousands of bleachers to feed hungry fans, the students receive wraparound services, including a matched college savings account. The combination Juma provides of employment, academic support, and asset building ensures youth enroll in and graduate from college. Juma’s ultimate mission? To break the cycle of poverty by ensuring a four-year college degree.
Juma’s businesses provide valuable work opportunities, but they only cover a third of the agency’s revenue. For the rest, Juma relies on traditional nonprofit fundraising methods to support its programs. In 2011, Juma adopted Salesforce’s Nonprofit Starter Pack. With the help of Herve Duprez, a Salesforce volunteer, they customized it to track grant applications, donations, events, and relationships. As Juma continued to grow and expand its reach, replicating into New Orleans in 2012 and Seattle in early 2013, they began to realize the extent to which the power of Salesforce could also help them meet their growing Enterprise challenges.
Juma’s Enterprise team was struggling to adapt a system designed years ago to their now-national business. With the old Excel-based system, they lacked visibility of consolidated data from all their sites, which now cover all corners of the USA. With so many spreadsheets, there was no way to see roll-up metrics on the students, making reporting to funders complicated and burdensome. Ultimately, they thought, a powerful tool like Salesforce could improve their data tracking for funders, increase sales, decrease the need for fundraising, and ultimately allow them to serve more youth and serve them better.
Juma’s data needs are complex. Like any other business, Juma needed strong sales analysis functions. Specifically, they were looking for a way to review sales trend by products, locations, and delivery mechanisms. In addition, they needed to track consolidated sales across multiple sites (stadiums) and monitor overall business operations. Unlike most businesses, however, Juma also tracks youth outcomes.
The improved Salesforce system will help reduce staff time to track youth success and progress over their time with Juma. This allows them to monitor their youth’s individual growth and adjust their tactics to help develop skills.
While still undergoing implementation, many of these goals have already been achieved. As Juma’s Enterprise Director Jeronimo Martin reports, “We’ve eliminated so many spreadsheets. Now, we get timely data directly out of Salesforce. It’s all there in a couple of dashboards.” The staff is eager to start using the system and to see what surprises the data will uncover – for example, year over year trends and top student performers. This kind of information, once difficult to ascertain, creates a direct loop of feedback and encourages constant improvements.
The Salesforce.org provided this entire package at no cost, saving Juma valuable operating dollars to be used for other needs. To learn more about Juma or get involved directly, visit their website at Juma.org.
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