Nonprofit deploys a mobile guide for its training event in less than 2 days

At a nonprofit, time and resources are often very limited. For events – where communication and information-sharing is critical – it can be difficult to find a method that is effective but not time-consuming. Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) faced this challenge in previous years with their SEO Career institute: a series of full-day sessions in New York, in which 350 interns learn technical skills. They wanted to keep students informed, but maintain staff efficiency in the process.

Nicole McRae, the vice president of SEO Career, shared how her team previously used a variety of methods to inform program participants, each with its own set of difficulties.

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Seeking a better solution, towards the end of 2014 Nicole’s team began exploring using a native mobile app. They quickly realized that building it internally would be a multi-month, high-budget endeavor. They decided to find an existing app solution that could be customized to meet their needs, and ultimately chose Guidebook.

The SEO Career app provided students with useful information via speaker bios, handouts, and personal agendas. Attendees noticeably asked fewer questions due to better distribution of materials. Nicole also took advantage of features that boosted engagement like live polling, surveying, and linking to their fundraising website.

However, the biggest benefit was reducing operational inefficiencies. Nicole populated the guide on a very tight timeline:

“We found it, configured it, and populated it in a day and a half, a week before our event started. The systems we had used in previous years had taken months to create.

Guidebook was so intuitive you could really just kind of “do it,” without needing to spend a lot of time figuring it out. You’re not spending hours trying to make something look cool that just isn’t cool, or troubleshooting and walking people through it, or having to maintain information in multiple places. Guidebook can be your one-stop shop after your staff is trained on using it.”

Addressing the needs of their modern, demanding audience

SEO Career serves a discriminating audience – high-performing college and pre-law students who are technologically savvy and expect a quality program. Connecting with their younger audience on devices they used every day also helped elevate the organization’s brand. As Nicole shared,

“There’s a cool factor to being on technology. We wanted to represent that we’re in the know and that we get it. We’re modern and forward-thinking.”

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Key Stats

  • 1.5 days to populate and build the guide
  • 466 downloads: 100% of interns downloaded it, plus additional vendors and staff.
  • High engagement during the program:
    • 55.6 seconds average session duration
    • 6.6 average sessions per user

After years of trying different technologies that were difficult to manage, Guidebook’s user-friendly, clean interface was a big win for SEO Career’s staff. Because of the initial deployment’s success, they are now expanding usage of Guidebook to a year-round app for recruitment purposes.

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) provides achievement opportunities for talented youth in underserved, underrepresented communities. Since 1980, SEO Career has prepared participants for careers in business, technology, and law, by providing skills training and access to networks and internships. An alumna of the program, Nicole pursued a career in banking before deciding to give back to the community by joining SEO Career.

For Guidebook, it’s exciting to be part of furthering SEO Career’s mission of transforming college students into polished professionals ready to embark on amazing careers. If you work or volunteer at a non-profit, we encourage you to explore how an app can save you time and resources. Contact sales@guidebook.com today, or try our platform for free.

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