Strong Partner Management processes and practices help K12 organizations build supportive relationships with their community. Whether it’s tracking organizations that provide wrap-around services for students and families, managing in-kind gifts and sponsorships opportunities, or facilitating apprenticeships and internships, for many K12 organizations, monitoring partner organizations and contacts at those organizations is a key driver for the success of the district and individual school.
The Current State for Many K12 Teams
K12 organizations often face obstacles with siloed and fragmented information. In many cases, partners are tracked separately on spreadsheets or across various email lists tailored to specific groups within the organization. For example, the CTE group at a K12 school may be engaging with a partner to provide an internship for a WBL offering while a school board member is cultivating a relationship with the same partner for an in-kind gift. This creates a disjointed experience for partners and also makes it difficult for K12 leadership to see a holistic view of a partner’s engagement with the institution. For several of our clients, we’ve implemented a partnership management solution using Salesforce’s new Education Cloud to give K12 teams a 360 view of the organizations they work with and the impact they are having throughout the school and district.
In some instances, prospective partners need to go through a qualification process to become a formal partner with the school. Meaning a CTE partner may need to provide additional credentials or documentation such as a background check or work release before they can be paired with a student or group of students. In other instances, partnerships require additional contracting, memorandum of understanding (MOU) tracking, etc. The good news is that with Salesforce Education Cloud, much of this is native to the platform. Partner qualification can be tracked using Salesforce Opportunities while Contracts can be used to track MOUs. We’ve had clients connect with 3rd party document signature platforms such as DocuSign or PandaDocs which have connectors with Salesforce. Elevation Solutions has configured automation using Salesforce flow to indicate if a contract is expiring or needs a renewal and approval processes should additional parties within the K12 organization require review. With these out-of-the-box features and the ability to connect to 3rd party systems, partner qualification is a relatively simple but effective “quick-win” for schools and school districts. Education Cloud truly provides a centralized hub of partner organizations, contacts within that organization, and qualification status school-wide or district-wide.
Because Salesforce Education Cloud is built to track students, parents, courses, etc., the next step in tracking partner engagement is through a partner’s connection to students and parents. This could be tracking WBL offerings and a student’s placement into that offering using Course Offerings and Course Offering Participants. Or, using the Student Success module to track wrap-around services, such as mentoring, counseling services or tutoring. Education Cloud’s Care Plan and Service Appointment functionality can be used to track how students are engaging with services provided by outside partner organizations. We’ve built integrations with SIS systems such as PowerSchool and Infinite Campus to pull in student and parent data so it’s connected with these wrap-around services or programming offered by partner organizations.
Schools can also use Salesforce to track in-kind gifts, volunteer hours, and sponsorship opportunities provided by partner organizations. Salesforce plans to release more sophisticated functionality pulled from their proven track record with fundraising to cultivate and manage incoming gifts and donations. In the meantime, schools can use the included features of Salesforce Education Cloud to track in-kind gifts from partner organizations, or even sponsorships, using Opportunities.
It’s important for K12 leaders to be able to “speak the partner’s language” and provide true business value to create a deeper, long-lasting relationship with the partner organization that can grow over time. While a charitable relationship is great for the short term, a partnership that provides business value creates a deeper, long-lasting relationship with the partner organization that can grow over time.
We know it’s difficult and time-consuming to provide partners with the valuable analytics needed to support and grow the partnership when utilizing disparate systems and spreadsheets. The good news is that Salesforce comes with out-of-the-box, sophisticated reporting and dashboard tools that can help K12 teams provide key metrics to their partners. Because all of the partnership engagement is tracked in one system, partners can be provided one centralized report of all of their engagement instead of separate reports from different divisions at the institution. Advanced tooling such as Tableau or integrated 3rd party products can be used to enhance partner analytics even more.
We have clients that are using a document generation tool to produce ad-hoc partner summary reports with key participation and student demographics (specifically, how many students participated in a partner’s internship program including student demographics such as age, grade level, ethnicity, and gender). While initially it took some work to get this setup, the team now uses a simple button within Salesforce to email partner contacts right within the system.
If you are interested in learning more about how Salesforce Education Cloud can help your K12 organization track and manage partnerships, connect with us! Email is at email@example.com or use the form at the bottom of this page.