Fulton County Schools (FCS) is the fourth largest school system in Georgia with more than 14,000 full– and part-time employees, including more than 7,500 teachers and other certified personnel, spanning 106 school, administrative, and support buildings.
Looking for a way to efficiently track partnerships and activities between multiple entities, FCS turned to BPA Solutions. With BPA CRM and the flexibility of BPA No-Code Solution Builder, solutions built on SharePoint, FCS was able to build a powerful system to manage relationships, donations, programs, and events. Using Power BI, they can now identify which schools need help establishing partnerships with local businesses.
To track partnerships and activities among local businesses, learning communities, and schools, Fulton County Schools relied on a large Excel workbook. This made it difficult for FCS staff to quickly find which schools lacked partnerships and which partner organizations attended varying events or programs.
A small team of 5 people in the FCS Communications Department managed the workbook, referred to as the Excel Partner Relationship Tracker. For every group of stakeholders, the team maintained a separate Excel tab (Schools, Community Partners, Faith Database, etc.). For the partnerships, the team maintained a column titled “Partners.”
They also added Excel tabs for each new event or program. The team copied and pasted information about partners attending the event into the new tab. The manual process of copying and pasting information from one tab to another made putting together reports time consuming and inefficient.
Overall, the process lacked the functionality FCS needed. Further complicating things, other departments couldn’t easily access the information because a small team in the Communications Department owned and maintained the tracker.
Having already moved to Office 365 and being adept with SharePoint 2013, FCS decided to replace their Excel Partner Relationship Tracker with a solution based on SharePoint Online.
BPA CRM gave FCS a great starting point to track stakeholder details and their related contacts. The BPA Solutions and FCS team next developed a place to track activities and assign contacts to campaigns (events/programs).
The BPA Solutions team and the FCS developers spent most of the development time designing the many-to-many relationships between schools and partners. With the initial architecture built using SharePoint lists and views, the team extended the BPA CRM interface and its out-of-the-box Detail Pages using the BPA No Code Solution Builder to allow users to see the affiliations between schools and partners. Now when viewing a School Detail Page, a user can click on a partner name and be redirected to the Partner Detail Page showing what schools they support and in what events and programs they’ve participated. From this page, a user can select an event or program and immediately see which partners participated.
With the addition of Power BI, users can now open a map of Fulton County and see which schools have partnerships with different colored geo-location bubbles based on their number of partnerships.
Users can also review the Donation Dashboard to see donations received, as well as those in process. In addition, they can check the Campaign Dashboard to see the number of events held and the number of attendees at each event.
The team is currently working on a Grant Submission Application, using Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms. Once a grant is funded, it will be added into BPA CRM and show up under the Schools by adding a new tab “Grants.” A new Menu entry will allow users to quickly find Grants and manage their expiration dates and follow up on the payment schedules. The team will also build a Grant Dashboard with Power BI to illustrate the industries providing grants, funding over the life of the grant, and 5-year projections of grant funding.
With BPA CRM and Power BI, Fulton County Schools has been able to leverage their existing SharePoint infrastructure to create a Community Relationship Management system that meets the needs of the schools, the Community Relationship team, the partners, and ultimately the students who rely on the community partners to support their learning.
The flexible nature of the BPA product enables the customization required to meet the district’s unique needs. The process is now more efficient and less labor-intensive because the system automatically manages relationships, donations, programs, and events. By providing key users access the system in a self-service mode, FCS staff now longer wait for the small team from the FCS Communications Department to manually pull reports and communicate results. The cloud-based system eliminates redundancy, allows users who are not in the Communications Department to have visibility into the relationships, and permits wider access to partner contacts. Dashboards give insight into the overall community relationship landscape and promote better collaboration and communication.
FCS is looking forward to further expansion of BPA CRM and Microsoft 365, and are considering several new use cases.