The annual Bandit Tour for Good is back for its ninth year in a row, spreading knowledge and kindness. Every year, employees from across the company, otherwise known as “Bandits,” pitch in to give what they’re good at, providing pro-bono Salesforce consulting to grassroots nonprofit organizations.
What typically started as a road trip down the West coast to Dreamforce, has evolved into a tour of good deeds around the world. While we’re not rolling up in style to anyone’s door this year, our Bandits are still moving full steam ahead virtually, to help nonprofits drive their mission forward through the use of technology.
This year, our 30 Bandits crossed time zones and borders to lend a helping hand to 31 nonprofits across 23 cities. Among these incredible organizations was Bridge the Gap College Prep, a California-based nonprofit on a mission to reduce inequality.
Creating opportunity for marginalized youth
Bridge the Gap College Prep (BTGCP) is an education program that inspires and supports marginalized students in Marin City. As the most racially disparate county in California, marginalization and economic inequity are barriers for youth who reside there. They neighbor one of the most affluent communities in the state and desegregation in their local schools was only ordered within recent years.
BTGCP’s mission is to reduce inequality by ensuring that the youth in Marin City have the same opportunity to access education as those around them. Through support and resources, they equip students with the tools needed to reach their full potential.
Their program options include an after-school and evening program, a high school summer credit recovery program, and a college and career success program, allowing them to support students at every stage of their education. More than just tutors, the kids view the staff and volunteers as family—people who care for them, motivate them, and provide a constant support system as they grow up.
“We have students who have recently graduated college that began with BTGCP when they were just in first grade. It’s inspirational to hear the students’ stories of grit and determination.”Kristen Dambrowski, Senior Director of Development and Communications, Bridge the Gap College Prep
Tracking student information efficiently
The organization only recently transitioned to using Salesforce for its student enrollment and volunteer database. Prior to Salesforce, all of their student registration information, enrollment, attendance, grades, and demographics lived in separate spreadsheets.
This past year, the organization helped 414 students, the highest number in their history. With increasing registration numbers, their methods for managing information need to be more conducive to data interpretation and reporting.
As Kristen Dambrowski explains, “With our mission to ensure all of our students complete high school and graduate college, a large portion of measuring successful outcomes relies on our ability to correctly and efficiently track our students’ performance and progress.”
In order to determine which parts of the program provide the most benefit for students, the organization needs to be able to collect, interpret and report on data easily.
Enabling data-driven decisions with Salesforce
To help the team make better use of their data, the Bandits worked with BTGCP to organize their data using reports and dashboards. This included adding filters that will allow the team to run reports based on grade, participation level, and demographics. Filtering data based on specific criteria will allow them to evaluate program effectiveness and identify areas of success and opportunity to ensure they are meeting the needs of their students. Additionally, they can share reports with stakeholders to provide updates on program impact.
“With the enhancements made, they’ll be able to discover if there is a relationship between a given variable and success in the program, enabling them to maximize the impact of their programming,” explains Dilara Ozdemir, Bandit and Business Solutions Consultant at Traction on Demand.
With data in hand, they can pursue further support for their programming and continue to provide a space for youth in Marin City to learn and grow.
“We really weren’t a data-driven organization until about 5 years ago. With the help of the Bandits, we can finally use our data to discover where it makes the most sense to concentrate our resources. This is going to be a great thing for Marin City students.”Cheryl Finley, Assessment Manager, Bridge the Gap College Prep