Unleashing Technology to Empower Education - Ad Victoriam Salesforce Blog

Unleashing Technology to Empower Education

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

At AdVic®, we have experience implementing over 1,500 Salesforce® projects and unleashing the world’s No. 1 CRM for businesses of all sizes. But we don’t just work with traditional for-profit businesses – we also get to use our business as a force for good in the nonprofit sector, as was the case on a recent project we completed with Athens, GA-based Books For Keeps

And our connection to them and this work started long before we met them. 

Tying It All Together

We’ve long been fans of the good beer made by our fellow B Corp Creature Comforts Brewing Company, but we’ve been bigger fans of the community impact they make through their Get Comfortable foundation (Creature). Through it, they’ve been tackling some of Athens’ most pressing issues since 2018, supporting their founding value that Athens would be better off because Creature was there.

Unleashing Technology to Empower Education - Ad Victoriam Salesforce Blog
Tastes great, fulfilling impact. AdVic has been a supporter of Get Comfortable since 2020.

So when they pivoted their strategy, based on the advice of their advisory board, to tackle third-grade literacy in Athens, we were eager to help however we could. Third-grade literacy is the moment when students either begin reading to learn or continue learning to read. And downstream, the latter group is statistically less likely to graduate high school or attend college–and more likely to require economic assistance and enter the criminal justice system. 

Books For Keeps: A Valuable Partner

Their partner in this endeavor was Books For Keeps, a local nonprofit focused on increasing book access in the Classic City (nickname for Athens). The Salesforce seed was planted when they heard that other book access organizations around the country were utilizing Salesforce.org’s free Nonprofit Cloud licenses to tackle their inventory management. But when Creature approached them about their ambitious new plans, Books For Keeps wondered if this technology solution could also help them manage the mentorship service they would need to add. 

They reached out to Creature for help. And Creature reached out to us. The rest, as they say, is history. We partnered with Books For Keeps to provide them with a Salesforce org that could accomplish everything Nonprofit Cloud had to offer, while also empowering them to grow with Creature’s wild ambitions. 

The Power of Salesforce

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud is a powerful tool, but not all nonprofits can afford the cost of licenses and a good implementation. But that’s why Salesforce.org offers ten free licenses to every qualifying nonprofit. And being a part of the Ohana, a lot of Salesforce partners, especially those in the B Corp community, have an annual pro bono budget to help those scaling nonprofits maximize their new CRM. 

We went through our usual scoping process and introduced our project team to get a full understanding of what they needed. Number one was the usual, donor management, which is powerful in itself. But number two was figuring out how to manage the new mentorship program that would be a major part of their plans with Creature. 

They developed a Jotform for mentors and mentees – and they wanted that data to flow back into Salesforce. Valuable data. Like, “When did they meet, and for how long?” “How often do they meet?” “How many books did they read this session?” “How engaging was the session?” 

Using The Data

As the age-old adage goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Connecting Salesforce to Jotform allowed Books For Keeps to track really important data they needed to make this pilot a success. Even more importantly, they were able to use that real-time data to share with their stakeholders on their website, knowing well that their transparency was truly transparent. 

Unleashing Technology to Empower Education - Ad Victoriam Salesforce Blog
Salesforce has allowed a wealth of data to be shared directly with stakeholders and is updated in real-time on the Books For Keeps’ website.

Better yet, the University of Georgia stepped up to help analyze the data. Under the guidance of Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams, an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Public Health, Books For Keeps was able to determine a positive outcome statistically related to the mentorship program–the students at HB Stroud Elementary, where the pilot was hosted, increased their reading scores 3.4 times that of other students not enrolled in the program. 

Let’s Scale This Impact

With the pilot’s success, Creature is doubling down on Get Comfortable’s efforts. And because of Salesforce, Books for Keeps is prepared to grow with them. In the 2023-2024 school year, this literacy program will be expanding to two additional schools in Athens-Clarke County. And with the additional data flowing into Salesforce, they can expand their research.

What’s working? How many books should be read per session? How many sessions should the mentor and mentee have? What can make this program more successful? 

All of the data needed to continue to perfect the work that empowers their mission is now at their fingertips. 

But We Still Need You! 

If we can tug at your heartstrings for a second, the executive director of Books For Keeps, Justin Bray, discovered the nonprofit while utilizing his Volunteer Time Off (VTO) as an employee at Creature Comforts. This is a full-circle story that brings two great organizations together to tackle a systemic issue holding this great city back. 

And they can use your support!

Unleashing Technology to Empower Education - Ad Victoriam Salesforce Blog - Justin Bray
Books For Keeps Executive Director Justin Bray volunteered at the organization while working at Creature. And he wants your help scaling their mission and impact!

Books still need to be bought and staff still needs to be allocated. And as they perfect the process, they want to scale and impact even more young lives. 

  • If you wish to become a Get Comfortable partner, you can send an email here
  • If you want to donate to Books For Keeps, you can donate here
  • And if you’re in Athens and want to be a mentor, please register here

AdVic is proud to have been a small part of this preliminary success and the program’s continued growth powered by Salesforce–and we’d love to have you join us.  It’s a testament to what Salesforce.org’s Nonprofit Cloud can do. 

Ad Victoriam is a Salesforce and MuleSoft® Partner who provides multi-cloud consulting services, from strategy to implementation. Our nimble team of certified professionals across the United States accelerates businesses by simplifying complex problems through cloud and data expertise. As a Certified B Corp – and a founding member of B Local Georgia – we balance purpose with profits and have made a strong commitment to the community. If you’re interested in talking about your nonprofit and its tech needs, contact us here.

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