College Forward | 03.01.17

CoFo Receives “Force for Change” Grant from Salesforce.org

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The donation will provide students with on-demand technology that helps them access and succeed in college

AUSTIN MARCH 1, 2017 – College Forward is thrilled to announce a “Force for Change” grant from Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce, to support the development of an open-source mobile smartphone application that connects students with college resources and a network of mentors, with a primary goal of increasing graduation rates for underserved students across Texas and the nation.

As the number of college hopefuls grows year by year, so does students’ need for accurate, timely, and actionable information. The mobile app will convert College Forward’s college success curriculum and milestones — already used by the over 8,000 students currently enrolled in the organization’s programs — into a user-friendly and technology-friendly format, putting college expertise directly into the hands of students. In addition, students will be connected to near-peer mentors offering personalized advice and problem-solving assistance as they pursue their higher education goals.

The “Force for Change” grant will fund the design, development, and deployment of the app, which is slated to be available to the public by December 2017. “By leveraging our deep knowledge of college students’ challenges with the Salesforce platform, College Forward aims to create a game-changing solution that truly levels the playing field for underserved students,” said Austin Buchan, College Forward CEO. “With this mobile app, every student who is motivated to go to college will have access to the support they need to get there, stay there, and be successful.”

“Our goal is to help nonprofits and educational institutions better serve their communities and deliver on their mission,” said Ebony Frelix, SVP of Philanthropy & Engagement at Salesforce.org. “By supporting College Forward’s mission to empower more students to complete college we hope to accelerate change and create a better tomorrow for the next generation.”

The work builds upon the success of College Forward’s “CoPilot” student information system, also built on the Salesforce platform and serving over 156,000 students in 17 states and 3 countries.

College Forward was one of seven organizations to receive a Salesforce.org grant, selected from hundreds of proposals submitted from around the world.

About College Forward

College Forward is an Austin-based college success nonprofit organization that coaches underserved, motivated students to achieve the benefits of higher education and a college degree. Since 2003 College Forward has built and delivered near-peer solutions that produce measurable gains in college access and success: 99% of College Forward students apply and are accepted to institutions of higher education and 49% graduate in six years – more than five times the rate of their demographic peers. Over the past 14 years, College Forward has trained over 1,000 coaches to successfully mentor over 10,000 first-generation, low-income students. To date the organization has celebrated over 610 college graduations.

About Salesforce.org

Salesforce.org is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to empower its community of stakeholders to accelerate impact in a whole new way. It impacts thousands of organizations and the millions of people they serve by delivering the world’s best nonprofit and educational technology solutions at affordable rates. It also inspires employee giving by matching their donations and driving volunteer engagement in the community. And it leverages a unique self-sustaining model to generously re-invest the revenue generated back into the community through strategic grants focused on education and workforce development.

Since 1999, Salesforce technology has powered more than 30,000 nonprofit and education institutions; Salesforce and its philanthropic entities have provided more than $137 million in grants; and Salesforce employees have logged more than 1.8 million volunteer hours globally.