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FormAssembly Provides Creative Ways to Encourage Event Participation During the Pandemic

The Form Advocate
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Peter Bernardi,
Principal, ElevateActual

Case Study Snapshot

We recently spoke with Peter Bernardi, Principal at ElevateActual, who helps clients navigate diverse projects and custom solutions within the Salesforce and FormAssembly ecosystems. Peter teamed up with staff members at Global Dental Relief to provide a unique virtual auction experience for their annual fundraising efforts. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit group needed a way to host an engaging and fun event while ensuring a safe and healthy atmosphere for participation.

About Elevate Actual and Global Dental Relief

ElevateActual is a boutique Salesforce consulting firm that focuses on providing real solutions to real problems in industries like government and higher education. Founded by Principal Consultant Peter Bernardi, ElevateActual is an active FormAssembly consulting partner.

ElevateActual’s pro bono work has extended to Global Dental Relief, a nonprofit organization committed to providing dental care to children in Nepal, India, Kenya, Cambodia, and Guatemala. Since the organization’s founding in 2001, GDR has hosted over 250 clinics, providing free dental care to more than 195,00 children. Together with teams of hardworking volunteers, GDR has donated over $38 million in dental services to children in need around the world.

The Numbers


Money raised through the auction


Number of active users during the live event


Total form submissions during event

The Need

Adapting to New Event Guidelines

With social distancing and physical event restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits and groups that relied on large fundraising events had to make major adjustments. For Global Dental Relief, this meant pivoting away from the standard in-person gala or large-scale event that they were accustomed to hosting as a way to raise contributions and awareness.

This meant pivoting away from the standard in-person gala or large-scale event that they were accustomed to hosting.

The Solution

Technical Solutions to Scale

When ElevateActual got involved, the goal was to provide a fun and seamless experience for attendees who registered for the 2020 silent auction. Instead of a typical annual dinner event, GDR hosted a drive-in movie as a fun alternative. When attendees arrived, they saw a message on the big screen with instructions for how to log in and participate in the silent auction activities. The bidding process was completely facilitated through FormAssembly forms that Peter customized specifically for this event.

The bidding process was completely facilitated through FormAssembly forms that Peter customized specifically for this event.

Use Case

Customizable FormAssembly features help create an unexpected experience.

The silent auction process consisted of taking pledges for individual items instead of actual amounts. In this way, the organization was able to provide the same competitive atmosphere of a normal silent auction, except all of the actions were handled digitally.

Using custom objects in Salesforce, Peter built the form process to showcase the individual items up for grabs. This included everything from basic swag, face masks, and restaurant gift cards to larger travel experiences. Using FormAssembly, the organization could receive a high amount of live bids in real time, without having to perform much processing.

On the front end, everything was designed to create a user-friendly mobile experience. A countdown timer was available on each form that a respondent opened, which built audience anticipation and let people know how long they had left to bid. Each form page automatically refreshed every minute to update current bids.

Peter used FormAssembly features like the prefill connector and conditional logic to display dynamic images and generate new bid amounts. While the forms didn’t appear on the front end as standard web forms, this flexibility allowed for a unique experience that delivered big results in terms of data capture and donation tracking.

What’s Next?

With the success of the latest virtual auction experience, Global Dental Relief can continue to provide engaging event experiences, even when traditional options are cancelled or refocused. In the long run, FormAssembly provides a path to better donor engagement and increased giving among stakeholders and community members.

Interested in learning more about advanced and creative FormAssembly use cases?

Our VIP group is home to over 300 incredible form builders who find exciting ways to use FormAssembly in everyday life. Learn more about the VIP Program here and email mark[email protected] to secure your invite!

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