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The Financial Clinic Receives Expert Support for Data Migration

10.24.19 By: Luis Sevilla

The Objective

Mae Watson Grote founded The Financial Clinic after she saw that reforming welfare did little to solve the increase in working poor Americans. Without access to the resources that would propel them to a better financial future, many Americans only had jobs that kept them on the threshold of homelessness and malnutrition. To help solve that problem, the Clinic helps working poor Americans to build their financial security in three critical ways: 1) The Clinic provides direct financial coaching services to working poor Americans. Using a goals-oriented framework, the Clinic’s Financial Coaches work with customers to achieve outcomes in the areas of assets, banking, credit, debt, and taxes; 2) The Clinic meets people where they are. Through training and technical assistance for nonprofit partners across the spectrum of social service sectors, the Clinic integrates financial coaching in a way that best meets the needs of the customers and the capacity of the practitioners; 3) Using its own financial coaching platform, Change Machine, the Clinic collects and synthesizes customer-level data to surface insights on the overall state of financial security in the communities served. These insights are used to make product, practice, and policy recommendations that will meaningfully and systemically improve financial security for working poor Americans. 

Their goal is to help at a national level by leveraging one-on-one successes they’ve had with their customers to make change across the nation and help working Americans get out of the poverty cycle. To expand and facilitate their impact, they needed to set themselves and their tools up for efficient growth using Salesforce.


The Problem

The Financial Clinic built a web app that integrated with Salesforce. Paying clients around the country were using a customer community portal to access it. In order to allow clients to integrate financial coaching data into their existing databases, The Financial Clinic decided to move from a web app to a Salesforce App. This would involve decentralizing the data from their instance and migrating it to the clients’ respective org. The data would have to be extracted, translated, and would need a change in architecture. Using Excel would have been time-consuming, expensive, and borderline impossible to execute at scale. Hard coding wasn’t feasible because there were about 250 companies that needed their data migrated. They also needed to decide whether it would be best to do the work in house or outsource the project to another firm.  There were multiple approaches to their problem, each with its pros and cons.


The Solution

The Financial Clinic chose Idealist Consulting, based on reputation and recommendation, to help them decide how to go about the project.

An expert from Idealist Consulting worked with The Financial Clinic to lay out the pros and cons of the multiple solutions they could consider.  By having high-level conversations and coaching, The Financial Clinic was able to ask the right questions to find the data migration tools and approaches that fit their needs, and this helped them to anticipate the challenges that lie ahead in any direction. “It was great to have someone on our side. Like having a doctor who goes to the doctor with you and can be your advocate in this technical environment,” said Peter Olivier, Director of Product at Financial Clinic.


The Result

The support from the consultant gave them a technical perspective that helped their team produce a convincing document to educate leadership about what the best options were. The Financial Clinic decided to migrate the data with its in-house team. And with the thoughtful, careful, and helpful information they received, The Financial Clinic was able to choose the right software to conduct the data migration on their own.

While Idealist Consulting didn’t build their app for them, our consultant provided the support that would allow their team to successfully launch their app and set them up for growth.

In their words:

“We’re going to have an impact that will allow us to raise funding, enter new markets and scale in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to. It’s the foundation of the future of the company. If we can’t do the migration, we can’t do what we set out to do,” said Peter.

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