Founded in 1975, and celebrating its 45th anniversary this year in 2020, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the largest nonprofit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education. HSF enables Latino families to reach their highest potential by providing scholarships and support services to 10K exceptional Hispanic American students each year and has awarded an astounding $660M+ in scholarships to date. While empowering Hispanic students and families serves as their central mission, HSF also provides scholarships to many other underrepresented, non-Hispanic, students through corporate partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Toyota. “Not only are we preparing students for college, and helping them get into college, we’re also providing them with financial support and leadership development designed to help them succeed in the transition from college education to an in-demand career,” said Chief Operating Officer Julie Hite.
Simplification + Diversification of Technology
Beginning in 2019, Cloud for Good worked closely with HSF in order to transition from their highly-customized Luminate CRM solution to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). The goal of this partnership was to strip away the many complex variations and evolutions consistent with the previous Luminate CRM system and enable simplified business processes for donor, volunteer, and constituent management. Operating at a record pace, the migration from Luminate to NPSP was completed in just six months, ensuring that the better multi-touch engagement of donors, members, and volunteers through NPSP would benefit the organization and its students as soon as possible.
Speaking on the migration itself, Tammy Schlegel, Senior Vice President, Project Management, said, “Our goal as an organization was to simplify and establish best practices with a cost-saving solution. Cloud for Good was awesome, the team was just fantastic. They really helped us stay focused on what we needed to do and how to transition to NPSP in a very short period of time.” HSF fully embraced the plug-and-play nature of NPSP, taking full advantage of Salesforce’s native functionality. Previously, HSF’s business processes were becoming bogged down and overcomplicated due to the limitations of Luminate CRM. “Our Luminate CRM was customized to the point where there were unknowns on how certain elements of the system actually worked. We wanted to go back to the basics, and work with a system that wasn’t so complicated to maintain,” said Schlegel.
Turning Potential into Reality
As part of its fund and awareness-raising outreach, HSF features various programs and events around the country designed to inform different people, groups, organizations, and institutions about their mission. Prior to moving onto NPSP, HSF would create invitation lists for these sessions outside of their main system and then perform mass uploads of guest and constituent information back into the system. Such a process was both time and labor-intensive, but that entire process has changed now that HSF is on NPSP. “Now, our teams are going into Salesforce, creating lists, adding contacts, checking invite statuses for our many sessions, and it’s all tracked and interacted with in real-time thanks to new dashboards,” Schlegel detailed. What’s resulted is a newfound level of data clarity, where HSF can now directly view the impact of these sessions, follow-up calls to prospective donors, and the overall donations tied to the organization’s outreach efforts. “This new technology is truly helping us streamline our processes so we can spend more time providing direct support to students,” summarized Schlegel.
Adapting Digital Marketing to the New Normal
The confidence gained through NPSP’s intuitive tools has extended to HSF’s digital marketing strategy as well. With a large, sprawling network of strategic partnerships across the US, events play a large role in the organization’s continual growth. Two events, in particular, the Leaders in Education Awards (LEA) held every spring and the Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony held each fall, help HSF celebrate the value of higher education, achievement, and leadership within the Hispanic community on a grand scale. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it so these events can’t be held in their traditional, in-person format, but HSF has remained nimble and ready to adjust according to the current conditions. For the first time ever, the Alumni Hall of Fame event will be conducted completely virtually this year, ensuring HSF students and partners can convene and celebrate despite the unprecedented circumstances.
Considered utilization of Salesforce integrations has allowed HSF to adjust at a moment’s notice and enhance its digital marketing capabilities significantly. By connecting their NPSP platform to MobileCause, an application assisting in online and event fundraising, HSF is made more comfortable and adaptable to a sudden translation of large events into the virtual environment. While the organization is only just starting to harness MobileCause’s utility, they have progressive plans in place to boost its digital marketing campaigns, text-to-donate fundraisers, and increase the number of virtual events to drive donations.
The future is undoubtedly bright for HSF, and even more so for the exceptional students, these technology solutions will directly impact. On working with Cloud for Good to improve their ability to raise funds during the implementation, and continued collaboration through Managed Services, Schlegel had this to say: “It’s been fantastic, Cloud for Good has very much partnered with us. They’ve taught us so much and continue to help us through the continued support from Managed Services. It’s nice knowing that our organization can tap into the wealth of knowledge Cloud for Good possesses.”
To learn more about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, visit hsf.net.