Case Study: The Tow Foundation (Non-Profit)

The Tow Foundation uses Skuid & Lightning to put people first.

The Tow Foundation is built on the simple but bold principle of investing in positive outcomes, and technology investments are no exception. With Skuid, The Tow Foundation reinvented how they managed grants and relationships, accelerated their Salesforce Lightning migration, and positioned their organization for growth.


Challenge

The team at The Tow Foundation envision a society where all people have the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life and have a voice in their community. They make this a reality by funding innovative programs and system reform. The foundation prides itself on being an agile organization—and that’s why Skuid became a part of their journey.

The Tow Foundation realized that the grants management systems they were working with focused only on transactions, and not on connecting partners to build collective impact, or on managing the relationships they love.

“Our field, philanthropy, has moved very strongly towards this metric-focused work,” says Emily Tow, executive director and president of The Tow Foundation. “But with so much of what we do, you can’t really measure it quantitatively. It’s much more qualitative. We were really looking for ways to create a system where we could measure those qualitative improvements that we were seeing in people’s lives and communities.”

The Tow Foundation installed Salesforce to better manage their relationships, but they soon found that they had additional customization needs. They also needed to be able to make those customizations quickly in-house, and adapt instantly.

Solutions

The Tow Foundation chose Skuid to consolidate multiple disconnected and manual applications, processes, and reports into one unified application. To put it in the words of the foundation’s developer, Joseph Ucuzoglu at CRMDNA, “What we hate, we automate.”

Users can now get high-level visibility into operations and manage each relationship according to its unique needs—all without leaving the app. Collaboration between the foundations and its grantees is also simplified because multiple users can log into an application at once, and work together.

“We’ve changed the way our entire organization works and thinks about their work,” says Nadia Alia, Director of Operations.

When asked how long it took The Tow Foundation to transition to Lightning using Skuid (with a team of three including one developer), Nadia replies, “Days, maybe? Hours.”

With the new Skuid and Lightning solution, the foundation has taken off three weeks in their grant cycle processes and are able to implement suggestions grantees make in a short amount of time.

Emily adds that the Skuid and Lightning solution has made it possible to deliver the best information possible to the foundation’s board.

“Skuid has allowed us to implement changes in-house, and the end result is that our board of directors is having more dynamic and high-level conversations than before,” Emily says. “It feels great that we have achieved this in the last year and with such relative ease.”

Results

Since they moved their Skuid app to Lightning, The Tow Foundation can continue to be revolutionary, while receiving all of the benefits of future Salesforce updates. When they need to make last-minute changes, Nadia can pop into the application and make adjustments on the fly.

The most exciting result from the Skuid solution The Tow Foundation built in Lightning is that this is only the beginning. Because it’s so easy to adapt Skuid and Lightning apps to rapidly changing needs, these solutions can evolve with the organization.

“Salesforce alone was a game-changer for my work in philanthropy. These mobile tech integrations are stepping things up to a whole new level,” says Beeta Jahedi, Director of Strategy and Communications at The Tow Foundation. “I love the Skuid and Lightning duo we have here.”

 

“Skuid and Lightning are seamless. My team doesn’t have to think about what system they’re working in, they just know that they can get their job done.”

Nadia Alia, Director of Operations, The Tow Foundation