Pay It Forward leverages RPA for faster, error-free data entry at scale

Based in Gainesville, Georgia, Pay It Forward Scholarships is a nonprofit organization that provides roughly $6 million annually to fund students’ educations at private schools throughout the state. The organization receives contributions from individuals, families, and businesses, which then become scholarships for children in grades K through 12, 50% of whom come from low-income households. Pay It Forward also has access to $58 million in dollar-for-dollar tax credits to reserve for Georgia taxpayers who donate money.

The state of Georgia gives Pay It Forward just 24 hours – January 1st of each year – to enter relevant information on each of its thousands of donors into their Department of Revenue’s (DOR) online portal.

It is a tedious, time-consuming manual process that requires considerable resources to accomplish. The non-profit risks losing the tax break for every potential recipient they cannot get entered into the system. Pay It Forward sought a better way with Nintex RPA.

Pay It Forward Scholarships
Capabilities Used
Robotic Process Automation

Who they are

Pay It Forward Scholarships is a Georgia-based non-profit that provides about $6 million per year to fund students’ private school education throughout the state.

What they needed

They were looking for a faster and more efficient way to input thousands of donors' information into the state database so that donors could receive tax breaks for their contributions.

How they did it

Pay It Forward adopted Nintex RPA to automate the process of moving, copying, and pasting all donor’s information into the online state database. By doing so, Pay It Forward increase efficiency from 20 records per minute to 120 records per minute – without error.

The challenge

Pay It Forward’s process for entering donor information was itself not as complicated as it was tedious. Pertinent data on each of their benefactors is collected throughout the year and stored in an Excel spreadsheet. To secure a tax credit for those donors, Pay It Forward must enter the names, addresses, social security numbers, and other data on each, one-by-one, into an online form provided by the Georgia DOR. The job involves copying, pasting, typing, and submitting a single form for each of Pay It Forward’s thousands of donors.

Because the state’s unusual stipulation gives Pay It Forward just 24 hours to enter all this information, the non-profit has historically been forced to hire up to 30 temporary data entry workers to help with the work.

The influx of manpower is onerous, growing their staff to six-times their regular workforce for just one day each year. It is also costly; Pay It Forward operates on just a 5% operating margin and much of that was spent on their day of temp labor. “In order to get this work done, we would have to bring in temporary labor, train them on how to enter the information, manage them, and monitor their progress,” explained Cary Sinnet, Director at Pay It Forward.

The organization considered several alternatives to make this big job easier. They arrived at Nintex RPA, software, which would automate the process of pulling data from their donor spreadsheet and entering it into the state’s online forms.


The RPA solution

Roughly two weeks before their January 1 deadline, Pay It Forward purchased and downloaded Nintex RPA. In the two weeks that followed, the group tested the software and wrote the scripts that act like a set of instructions for Nintex RPA. Just after midnight on January 1st, Pay It Forward commenced their Nintex RPA project.

Working in and between the user interface of their spreadsheet and Internet Explorer, Nintex RPA moved, copied, and pasted data into the online database just like a person would. Unlike a person, Nintex RPA completed 120 records per minute, a rate six times faster than the 20 records per minute that their human labor could muster. Moreover, with Nintex RPA, data was entered without error.

“We do not get any second chances in this process,” explained Sinnett. “The state gives us 24 hours and won’t notify us that there was a keying error afterward. We have to do each application right the first time.”

Pay It Forward completed their data entry early and although the Nintex RPA Support Team remained on stand-by throughout this unusual project, no early-morning help was needed. “Nintex RPA made an enormous difference in our ability to enter all of our applications in one day and minimize the amount of HR resources we had to use,” said Sinnet. “It took what was normally a very difficult day and made it a very easy one. We just let Nintex RPA do its job.”


Nintex RPA made an enormous difference in our ability to enter all of our applications in one day and minimize the amount of HR resources we had to use. It took what was normally a very difficult day and made it a very easy one. We just let Nintex RPA do its job.
Cary Sinnet, Director, Pay It Forward
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