Midtown Educational Foundation is standing proof of what a community of dedicated people can achieve when they rally behind a cause. For Midtown, a nonprofit organization, the goal is to help low-income Chicago youth get on pathways of success through enrichment and academic programming, which the organization does through two separate operations: the Midtown Center for Boys, and the Metro Achievement Center for Girls. Essentially, they offer supplementary after-school programs for at-risk 4-12th grade students who need just a little extra help to get ahead in life, whether that means academic training or basic life skill improvement. 

It’s a tall order, but Midtown has always been up for the challenge. Over the past 17 years, the two academic centers have celebrated a 100 percent high school graduation rate and college enrollment rate amongst their students. Needless to say, the program is incredibly effective. 

Like many Midtown employees, Chelsea Gibson, Marketing and Development Associate, wears a lot of hats -- everything from event planning to digital marketing. And when the board decided to redo Midtown’s website, she took the project head on. 

Midtown Educational Foundation

As is the case with many nonprofits, every penny matters with Midtown. So when Chelsea saw that the organization was going to pay double the processing fees on their donation forms using SquareSpace’s built-in payment integration with Stripe, she knew there had to be better options. 

That’s where JotForm came in. Since JotForm offers several payment processors, she was able to find one with lower fees, Authorize.Net. The result? Midtown Educational Foundation now saves more than $8,000 each year in processing fees. And that’s money that can be spent creating new programs for Chicago’s youth. 

A Simplified Way to Collect Donations

Parents of the children served at Midtown pick up roughly 9 percent of the total cost of Midtown’s programs. The rest comes from a healthy dose of fundraising. Midtown uses an array of custom donation forms to get the funds they need. JotForm allows for the ability to customize the “thank you” email sent to each contributor, which Midtown uses to show their appreciation to donors immediately following their donation.

Event Registration Made Easy

From annual chili cookoffs to comedy shows, events are a big part of Midtown’s operation, and having a reliable, simplified way to collect and organize attendee information is crucial. Because JotForm connects with their payment processor, they find it easy to use JotForm to sell tickets -- and sometimes even signing up new volunteers -- straight from their online event registration forms. Event attendees who’ve responded to the registration form are redirected back to the Midtown website instead of a “thank you” page so that visitors never even realize they left the site in the first place. 

With JotForm, Midtown will continue to seamlessly plan events, sign up volunteers, and collect donations -- all without needing to know how to code. And with all of the time and energy they’re saving from making better forms, the more time they’ll be able to spend helping Chicago’s future. 

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Chad is Director of Communications at JotForm. He’s also a frequent contributor to various tech and business publications, and an absolute wizard with a Vitamix. He holds a master’s degree in communication and resides with his girlfriend and cats in Oakland, California. You can reach Chad through his contact form.

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