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Association of American Universities

The American Association of Universities trusts Fonteva to help manage all of their membership, events, and marketing data in one powerful ecosystem, allowing them to surface powerful insights that prove their real value to their members.
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities represents the nation’s leading research universities, and is committed to transforming the world through education, research, and innovation.

Key Results

Renewals process is now fully automated

60% user adoption in 6 months

Pertinent data all housed under one roof in Salesforce

The Challenge

The Association of American Universities (AAU) has worked for over 100 years to build a better future through research and education. AAU’s 62 member universities earn the majority of competitively-awarded federal funding for academic research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens. AAU unites these institutions by bringing them together to help shape public policy, promote industry best practices, and leverage their combined economic influence.

However, when it came to building innovation abilities into their AMS, AAU was stumped. With Microsoft®, they found that each new patch took months to implement. Despite the constant updates, membership renewals remained a manual nightmare, critical data and reports stayed frustratingly siloed, and the user experience lacked the polish and intelligence worthy of the world’s best research universities.

Unable to innovate and stuck using an AMS with tons of unnecessary homework, AAU turned to Fonteva and its Salesforce-based association platform.

The Solution

Fonteva began by working side-by-side with AAU to understand their unique membership management, data reporting, member engagement, and communication needs in order to implement the ideal association management platform that would provide the power to solve their short-term challenges while enabling long-term innovation.

“On our old system, the data and information we needed just wasn’t readily available because it didn’t all live in the same place. We’d have to go ask someone, who would then have to calculate it, and then go into another database to try and get it,” says Andrew Parrish, Data Systems Analyst at AAU.

“The more I show the staff the capabilities of Fonteva and Salesforce, the more it encourages them to push the boundaries of their expectations. We can change a lot of things.”

Andrew Parrish, Data Systems Analyst at The American Association of Universities 

The Fonteva Platform is built completely on Salesforce, so AAU can leverage the full power and personalization of the world’s leading CRM to build their perfect unique platform. And because all their membership, events, and marketing data now lives in one place, AAU can quickly react to whatever its stakeholders need, and prove value beyond any doubt.

“We can manipulate things so quickly, and deliver them on faster timelines,” Parrish explains. “By being able to collect and manage all this data in one system, we’re able to show our members how valuable we truly are to them, and what we do.” 

Because Fonteva is designed with the needs of the world’s top associations in mind, every aspect of membership management can be uniquely configured without changing the core of the platform delivered out of the box . From membership renewals to communications enablement to events management, the Fonteva Platform is built to make life simpler for associations and their membership.

The Bottom Line

“When we switched to Fonteva, our renewals process went from an 8-day nightmare that required the involvement of the CFO and a whole committee, to a completely automatic dream,” Andrew Parrish, Data Systems Analyst 

“And with our emails and newsletters we can now see open rates, click-throughs, content interactions…and you get all that data and insights directly in Salesforce.”

Additionally, AAU’s member universities are finally getting the polished 21st-century portal experience they deserve. With Fonteva’s badging system, AAU simply assigns permission parameters to various constituency types. Each member gets smooth access to only the areas and information they need – all while maintaining AAU’s consistent branding across the entire experience with just a single log-in.

In fact, because Fonteva is so easy to use, AAU’s user adoption grew 60 percent in just six months. That means more team members running reports, checking dashboards, and investing in the success of AAU’s mission. And if Parrish or any member of his team ever have a question, they trust that Fonteva will be there to help them with personalized support. 

“Whenever I have a question, I get the exact same person at Fonteva in support. I have a real working relationship with the support staff. They know my history and my goals, so we can have more in-depth conversations and real things get done,” Parrish says. 

For AAU, accomplishing more with fewer costs is the name of the game – and the definition of innovation. “We’re a 501(c)(3), so we try to find as many ways to use the resources we do have as efficiently as possible and Fonteva helps us do that better.” That’s building a better tomorrow thanks to a smarter today. That’s Fonteva.

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