Case Study

Engagement Tracking Increases More Than 1,000% with Social and Mobile Application

Hillel is the largest organization in the world with a focus on university-age Jews, serving young adults at more than 550 colleges and communities in North America, South America, Israel, and the former Soviet Union. Hillel seeks to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.

  • Headquarters: Washington D.C.
  • Website: http://www.hillel.org

Challenge

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life aims to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students, fostering their Jewish growth, so that they may make an enduring commitment to Jewish life. In 2006, Hillel released a five-year plan, which included a goal of doubling the number of Jewish students who are involved in Jewish life and who have meaningful Jewish experiences. Hillel created a peer relationship-based strategy engagement to meet this goal and developed REACH, an online application to capture and evaluate student relationship and participation data and track Jewish growth over time.

Solution

After considering Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Hillel chose SugarCRM Professional to support its redesigned REACH application. Hillel and gold-level SugarCRM solution partner, Atcore Systems, implemented Sugar Professional with a phased approach. The initial deployment for 1,300 users was completed on time and on budget in less than six months. The entire process included design of the application, customization of 36 new modules, data migration, implementation, testing, deployment, and training in a multi-server environment.

Results

  • Raised student enrollment in REACH by over 1,000 percent—from 6,000 to 88,000 students
  • Boosted campus adoption of REACH from 7 to 145 campuses
  • Increased Jewish Journey tracking from 15 to 66 campuses
  • Engages and tracks student involvement in the Jewish campus community with more depth than ever before
  • Supports a smartphone version of REACH compatible with popular social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Encourages high user adoption among REACH engagement interns
  • Enables users to create Facebook wall posts and Tweet directly from REACH
  • Supports quantitative measurement and reporting of program effectiveness

Atcore Systems Adds Value through Customization

Atcore Systems expertise in the areas of analytics, customization and social media integration within Sugar Professional has greatly enhanced Hillel’s ability to track engagement with college students in its REACH application. Atcore seamlessly embedded LogiXML analytics into Sugar Professional to provide business intelligence capabilities such as advanced trending and OLAP-type reporting.

Hillel wants to inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life. To help Hillel measure students’ growth towards this end, Atcore built a new Jewish Journeys module. This module allows Hillel staff and interns to plot the stage of a student's Jewish Journey in five critical areas: peoplehood/community, knowledge, Jewish self confidence, memory, and relevance-from "discover" the lowest level in each are to “own”, the highest level. Hillel staff and student interns can use this information to be more thoughtful about creating Jewish opportunities on campus that help students grow in their Jewishness. And, over time, it shows how Hillel professionals and interns help students grow in ownership of their Jewish identity.

“Our newly updated REACH database program powered by Sugar Professional even features a mobile application that allows students and professionals to track their interactions and relationship-building in the fast-paced and constantly changing world in which our college students live.”

Wayne L. Firestone
President, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

“Working with Sugar Professional has vastly exceeded all of our expectations.”

Matt Braman
CTO, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

Business Benefits

REACH powered by Sugar Professional complements Hillel’s relationship-based model for student engagement. With REACH, Hillel can engage and track student involvement in the Jewish campus community with more depth and breadth than ever before. Sugar’s social and mobile capabilities have allowed Hillel to implement a mobile-friendly version of REACH and to integrate REACH with popular media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. This encourages high user adoption among staff and interns. Users can enter new student data into REACH from any location, anytime.

As part of the initial deployment, new student records and interactions could be entered into REACH via a Facebook application. With the appropriate access rights, users could even Tweet directly from REACH. In the latest deployment, users can now also sync Facebook event information, including attendees, with a customized Sugar events module. Users can view a contact’s Facebook profile picture and create Facebook wall posts from inside REACH. “Working with Sugar Professional has vastly exceeded all of our expectations,” Braman states.

With its advanced analytics, the Atcore Systems Sugar Professional solution has had a dramatic impact on Hillel's ability to measure the effectiveness of peer engagement programs and report tangible results to sponsors and funders. Using REACH, Hillel tracks information about students, the interactions that Hillel staff and interns have with them, the events they attend, and where they have been on their Jewish Journeys.

In 2006 when Hillel’s peer engagement programs began, REACH was used by only seven campuses to track a total of 6,000 students. With the implementation of Sugar, use of the REACH system soared from 85 users on seven college campuses to 784 users on 145 campuses. By the end of the 2011 academic year, the enhanced system was tracking over 88,000 students-an increase of over 1,000 percent.

The use of the Jewish Journey module created by Atcore Systems, far surpassed the initial pilot goals. For the pilot phase last year, 15 campuses were asked to track the journeys of 20 students each. Instead the Jewish Journey module has followed 2,215 students on 66 college campuses. 51 campuses found it valuable enough to use it without being required.

"Instead of fighting against the waves of technology and innovation that are changing the look and feel of our communities, we are harnessing those energies to create stronger networks,” says Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone. “Our newly updated REACh database program, powered by Sugar Professional, features a mobile application that allows students and professionals to track their interactions and relationship-building in the fast-paced and constantly changing world in which our college students live.

Integrations

  • Flexible enough to allow data migration from a highly customized legacy system
  • Optimized for different user levels, including hundreds of Hillel staff and student interns
  • Cross-browser compatible
  • Multi-lingual

Solution Partner:
Atcore