Techqueria builds social capital for Latinx in Tech with Asana

Asana Case Study - Techqueria
  • Techqueria logo
  • Number of employees
    • 2 Employees 40 Volunteers
  • Annual fundraising
    • $250,000

Asana impact:

  • Hosted 66% more events in 2020 by using event templates and managing workloads.
  • Increased fundraising by over 280% by tracking grant applications with Asana.
  • Streamline partnership management by inviting partners and sponsors to collaborate and communicate directly in Asana.
  • Prevent burnout by tracking individuals’ workloads and capacity.

The Latinx community and tech have a lot of overlap: Latinxs are the largest nonwhite demographic in the US, they rely heavily on technology, and tech is one of the largest wealth-generating industries in the country. However, Latinx people still hold less than 10 percent of jobs in tech. That’s where Techqueria comes in—it’s a nonprofit focused on increasing the number of Latinx leaders in tech through events, partnerships, and jobs.

Since its inception in 2019, Techqueria has grown to two employees and increased its fundraising to $250,000 annually, and they do it as a part-time staff: Every Techqueria employee also has a full-time job in technology. This is even more impressive considering the Techqueria community has over 15,000 members and allies across seven chapters. Members join for a sense of community—they’re likely the only Latinx person at their workplace—and to find job opportunities.

Frances Coronel is on Techqueria’s Advisory Board and acts as the organization’s Technology Director, in addition to being a full-time software engineer at Slack. She’s helped grow the organization, overseeing day-to-day operations and growth. When they first started working together, Frances and her small team relied on Slack to communicate and Google Docs to manage events. As they grew, Frances realized that a work management tool would be crucial. With more events, partners, sponsors, and volunteers—the organization has over 40 of them—being brought into the fold, as well as a growing team, she knew that Techqueria needed a better way to work together to achieve their full potential.

“We recognized the need for a tool to unite the team, knowing it would harm us down the road if we didn’t implement a solution before we experienced rapid growth.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director

Focusing on scalability and simplicity

When Frances set out to find a solution for their growing organization, she knew Techqueria needed the following:

  • A platform that would scale as the nonprofit grows.
  • The ability to invite partners, sponsors, and volunteers to collaborate directly within the platform.
  • A platform that wouldn’t deplete Techqueria’s budget as it expanded.

After trying several options, Frances chose Asana because of its scalability and ease of use across a growing organization, nonprofit pricing, and friendly UI. As an engineer who works on frontend development, this was a big selling point for Frances—and would help her seamlessly onboard her existing team and new employees.

Because Techqueria adopted Asana when the team was still small, Frances kept the rollout simple. She invited every team member to join her in Asana and shared resources with them, such as the Asana Academyand several Guide articles. She helped her team hit the ground running by creating templates for projects they do often, like events. Using templates helped her team understand how to use Asana for a common workflow right off the bat and translate that into other projects.

“Templates were a great resource for our team when we rolled out Asana because people instantly understood the use case and could get to work right away.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director

Over time, Frances started onboarding new hires and board members to Asana so that they’d be exposed to the platform from day one. Now, when folks have questions about how to do something in Asana, they message the internal tech support Slack channel and get tips or Guide articles from teammates.

Streamlining workflows to maximize outcomes

Events are core to Techqueria and are hosted across all 7 chapters. In 2019, they hosted 60 events and grew that number to over 100 in 2020. For events like panels, resume office hours, and their annual conference, Frances and chapter leaders—who are volunteers—use Asana to plan and coordinate logistics and event marketing. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the team immediately updated their event template to optimize for virtual events, which made the transition easier for everyone to manage.

By using Asana to manage events, there’s one source of truth through the entire planning and execution process. As soon as an event is scheduled, a project is created and the team gets a sense of the workload involved. This empowers event leads to redistribute work or move an event on the calendar so that no members of the team are overloaded. If the event involves sponsors or partners, external collaborators are invited as guests to the project to streamline planning and communication. Having visibility into the event workload and a clear line of communication with partners and sponsors is critical because Techqueria relies on a small team and doesn't want to burn them out.

“We're able to manage event workloads because we have a single source of truth for our entire calendar–Asana.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director

Frances and her team also use Asana to manage partnerships with event hosts, sponsors, and donors—including their partnership with Asana. They invite their partners into an Asana project so they have a shared workspace to collaborate and track action items. Using Asana streamlines communication between Techqueria and partners so deliverables don’t fall through the cracks and both parties can maximize their impact.

“Working with partners is always more effective when they have access to the same tools as your team. Asana makes it easy by allowing us to invite partners as guests to projects.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director

As a growing organization, tracking OKRs and growth is critical to understanding their impact in the LatinX community. Using Goals, Frances and her team know what’s being accomplished and areas that need more attention. They can also see how work ties into the bigger picture and mission of the organization. Finally, using Asana to track OKRs helps Frances and her team streamline the pace of projects and understand how they can improve execution.

Techqueria tracks several metrics to determine success, such as event attendance, grants awarded, and number of members. Using Asana has directly impacted two of the organization’s core metrics: event attendance and grants awarded. By managing all of their event marketing in Asana, they increase attendance of events—after all, nobody would attend if they weren’t marketed. By using Asana to track tasks for grant applications, they ensure grant applications are submitted on time and with all the necessary documents.

Overall, Techqueria now has visibility and transparency across the organization. By helping team members understand what others are working on, everyone maintains a shared sense of commitment and momentum towards their mission. What’s more, the team has identified transparency as a value of the nonprofit, which Asana helps the entire team maintain and embody in their work.

Techqueria

The value of partnerships

Because the majority of tech jobs are landed through referrals, partnerships are a critical step towards improving social capital for the LatinX community. For organizations like Techqueria, acquiring and managing partnerships smoothly helps open channels between LatinX talent and tech companies. As a Techqueria corporate partner, Asana is proud to support them by hosting events, such as an engineering mentorship event. Partnering on events helps Techqueria members build social capital and network, find mentors and mentees, as well as discover new job opportunities.

It also benefits the team at Asana by fostering community connection and driving the recruitment process. According to Dan Ubilla, an Asana Engineering Manager, “Playing a part in creating a forum for LatinX folks to express their interest in working at Asana and get to know our teams is really rewarding—and helps both the community and our team grow.”

The way Frances sees it, partners provide networking, mentorship, and community connections—all of which are part of how Techqueria works to fill the social capital gap faced in the LatinX community. That’s why events and partnerships with companies like Asana are so crucial to their success. Ultimately, they want folks to be elevated in their careers, get promotions, and land new jobs—and the best way to do that is to be exposed to tech companies.

“Because we’re still in the early stages of being a nonprofit, having access to the Business version of Asana through the Social Impact Program is a godsend. We’re empowered to provide more benefits to our community because we have access to a supercharged tool.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director

The next chapter for Techqueria

As Techqueria secures more corporate partners and grows its memberbase, it’s also growing its team. In the year ahead, they hope to bring on a new, expanded board of directors as well as hire their first full-time executive director. They’re also launched new features for the community, including a job board, resume bank, and an improved website. All of these projects are being tracked in Asana from inception to completion to drive visibility, efficiency, and results for the organization.

“We didn’t intend for all of our biggest projects of 2021 to happen at the same time, but they are culminating in what feels like a new chapter for Techqueria. We wouldn’t be able to get it all done without Asana.”
- Frances Coronel, Technology Director