Claribase (Formerly AirOps Consulting)

Streamlining Success in Festival Planning: FoLAR’s Airtable Transformation with Claribase

“Working with Claribase was exactly what we needed. After seeing this project through, we’re very happy that we ended up choosing Claribase. And from my perspective, from a project management side, not using Airtable is equivalent to not using the internet.” Dennis Mabasa, FoLAR


Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) is an environmental organization dedicated to helping communities build capacity to advocate for nature and climate on the Los Angeles River. FoLAR runs multiple programs throughout the year, including K-12 environmental education, LA River clean-up and habitat restoration volunteer events, community events, local advocacy work, and more.

We join FoLAR as they are preparing for one of their yearly flagship events, River Fest. River Fest celebrates the Los Angeles River through film screenings, live music performances, interactive art installations, food trucks, and more. In the process, it brings together dozens of community groups, local nonprofits, government organizations, and other partners, and welcomes up to a thousand attendees.

FoLAR had previously used Airtable as a project management platform for managing events, but had new team members joining their organization. They knew a well-trained and transitioned team was critical to a successful event. This success story delves into how Claribase helped FoLAR train their internal Airtable champions to organize a successful event.

FoLAR’s Need for Interim Airtable Training for Teams

With River Fest 3.0 on the horizon and a new event team, FoLAR wanted their key builders to be confident using their Airtable base. This included both understanding what data and automations existed within the current base, as well as understanding how they should navigate each of the various stages of their event planning and production process within Airtable. 

Entering the project, the team identified two clear goals: Firstly, they wanted to ensure the database was scalable and the architecture was correct. Secondly, FoLAR wanted to improve how they utilized the platform and automate their overall event management process. 

Our goal was to use [Airtable] as a project management platform. So, even bigger than just the data, it was important for us to make sure that within all of our internal collaborators, we knew what they were doing, and they knew what they were doing with specific milestones, timelines, and deadlines. 

As part of their research, FoLAR came across Claribase and after the initial conversation about Airtable consulting and Airtable training options, knew Claribase was a good fit for their needs. 

“Our team member did the research to figure out a couple of different vendors. We researched them, and based off our initial conversations, we realized working with [Claribase] was exactly what we needed.”

The Solution: Partnering with the Right Consultancy for Training for Airtable for Non-Profits

Claribase partnered with FoLAR to establish a series of training sessions, offering a 5-hour package for the team to review their internal base and engage in discussions about Airtable Best Practices for non-profits.

Throughout the sessions, the team conducted a comprehensive review of the, database design, data stored in the base, encompassing crucial elements such as vendor contracts, timelines, budgets, sponsor details, logistics, deliverables, and internal communications. 

The team also spent time developing skills for using their base as the central information hub for the stakeholders involved in planning/executing on River Fest. The training further equipped the team with a better understanding of database architecture, the configuration of automations, as well as a series of tips about how to create both simple and complex formulas.

The results of the training was a well-educated team, and confidence throughout the entire event:

“Two things that I felt after the training: Number one, I saw a well-planned and organized event. All of the individuals in our team knew they’re part of the project during the debrief of the event. When asked the team what worked well, I would say a majority of our staff mentioned Airtable as something that they were really happy that they integrated into the work process.”

But, the result for FoLAR was so much more than that – Post RiverFest, with the team’s new knowledge, FoLAR started utilizing Airtable for their non-profit organization throughout the grant management process! 

“We’re going even bigger than just an event, we’re now utilizing Airtable to manage all of our grants. From the application process to the delivery process after we have received the grants…Airtable has really streamlined our internal communication processes and has streamlined our ability to keep an eye on the grants that we’re applying for…. some of the departments are internally creating their own Airtable hub.” 

Now, FoLAR teams are using Airtable to see grant submissions, track the usage of grants, and monitor the progress of deliverables they commit to when accepting grants. Certain teams have even established hubs within Airtable where they can centrally manage training and other workflows for their team.


Experience Working With Claribase: 

After the Claribase training, both the event management teams and other teams within FoLAR members expressed thanks for how much value the training had brought to the organization. 

“Working with you was exactly what we needed… and after seeing this project through, I’m very happy that we ended up choosing to work with Claribase. ”

They described working with Claribase as easy, collaborative, and, most importantly, completely tailored to their needs. And for anyone considering Airtable for project management, the team had this to say: 

“From a project management side, not using Airtable is equivalent to not using the internet. We see it as a tool that’s incredibly helpful, and almost essential, to managing any project successfully. I can say, if we didn’t use it, we wouldn’t be able to manage the projects we currently do.”

Exemplifying The Power of Airtable for Project Management:

The collaboration between FoLAR and Claribase transformed not just the management of River Fest but also significantly influenced other crucial areas within the organization. 

  • Tailored Airtable Training: FoLAR received customized training from Claribase that helped their team familiarize themselves with and understand the full capabilities of Airtable, leading to better platform utilization.
  • Broadened Application of Airtable: Beyond event management, FoLAR extended the use of Airtable to other functions like fundraising and grant writing, showcasing the platform’s versatility.
  • Centralized Grant Management: FoLAR developed a “single source of truth” for the grant management process. This system facilitated tracking from grant application to delivery, offering transparency and efficiency. 
  • Streamlined Internal Communication: Airtable, as implemented with the guidance of Claribase, allowed FoLAR to enhance its internal communication processes. This improvement was especially noted in the tracking and application processes for grants.
  • Departmental Airtable Integration: With the learnings from the training, some departments within FoLAR continued their initiative to set up their own Airtable hubs, indicating the platform’s positive impact and its adaptability to varied workflows.


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