Leveraging Data-Driven Analytics To Drive Mission Impact Throughout The Nonprofit Sector

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Mission impact is an important metric for nonprofit organizations, but are nonprofits leveraging the tools they need to reach mission goals and objectives?

Most nonprofit organizations collect tremendous amounts of data, but that data in its raw form can be overwhelming. For that reason, nonprofits tend to use data to report on what has already happened rather than use it proactively to influence future actions.

When nonprofits implement a data-driven approach, they can increase their impact, provide information to constituents and the board, and make decisions that go toward fulfilling their mission.

Common Data-Sets Nonprofits Must Obtain and Store

Nonprofit professionalsNonprofit organizations rely on diverse revenue streams. They sell products, charge fees for services, apply for grants and generate donations. With limited resources, many nonprofits lean on volunteers to help them reach their goals.

Nonprofits collect and store data on grants, donations and volunteers. And successful nonprofits leverage those data-sets to drive their mission.

Grants Management

Throughout the grant application and disbursement process, nonprofits need to consistently and accurately collect data. They have to track grant guidelines, application requirements and deadlines, while closely monitoring the internal and external grant review process.

After winning a grant, nonprofits need to track funding disbursements and the ways the organization uses the funds, as well as report on compliance to remain eligible for future grants. It’s also critical to track the impact of grants on their mission.

Each of these steps creates a rich data-set for nonprofits.

Donor and Gift Management

Do you know your top donors? How about the fundraising methods that are most effective for your organization? For nonprofits that rely on charitable giving, donor and gift management represents a critical investment. Collecting data on donations helps nonprofits maximize their impact.

Donor data comes in many forms. Nonprofits collect data on the size and timing of donations. They also track donor engagement, gift frequency and fundraising effectiveness. Making data-driven decisions based on these data-sets can directly translate into more donations.

Volunteer Management

Many nonprofits rely on volunteers. For these organizations, managing volunteer data is critical. Organizations need to store volunteer hours, match volunteers with shifts based on their availability and the organization’s needs, and track volunteer tasks.

Often, nonprofits face challenges like matching volunteers with jobs or covering assignments with the current volunteer pool. Data-driven systems for obtaining and storing volunteer information help nonprofits operate more effectively.

Why Nonprofits Need To Leverage Data Similar To For-Profit Organizations

Nonprofit technology conceptMany nonprofits are taking note of what other industries are doing to integrate business analytics at every level of the business. For example, retailers use data about their customers and their buying habits to choose what is featured on their website home pages, when to run promotions on certain items, and when to target them with specific deals tailored to their preferences or previous purchases. Many nonprofit organizations can see similar benefits by leveraging data they already collect. Though it can be time-consuming up front, investing in analytics offers a strong return in the long run.

What can data do for nonprofit organizations? A data-driven approach can identify new donor sources or improve public visibility. It can also provide a roadmap of realistic goals. Like how retailers can hone-in on the best times of year to offer deals on products, nonprofits can use data to understand the best times of year to solicit donations.

When nonprofits use data effectively, they can expand their reach and drive mission impact. Most importantly, they can continue to operate and provide much needed services to their constituents.

Creation Of Strategies To Find New Donor Sources

Data analytics can help nonprofits both identify new donors and increase donations from existing donors. For example, nonprofits can leverage data on current donors to implement a relationship mapping strategy to find new donors.

Data-driven approaches can also identify gaps in current gift management approaches. By drawing on that data, nonprofits can see their donor base grow.

Improvement To The Overall Effectiveness Of Marketing Initiatives

Analyzing data on the effectiveness of marketing strategies and campaigns helps nonprofits boost revenue without wasting time or money.

Marketing goes hand-in-hand with public relations. Data helps nonprofits identify effective communication and outreach strategies, which goes toward building a brand identity in line with the organization’s mission.

Development Of Concise Reports Related To Mission-Critical Objectives

Nonprofit professionals meetingEvery nonprofit knows its central mission. The organization’s vision and mission statement give it purpose. However, day-to-day tasks can sometimes distract from the big picture.

A data-driven approach helps nonprofits center the mission, and a concise, focused reporting system makes it easier to integrate daily operations within the broader mission.

Successful nonprofits bring together data on donations, marketing, volunteers and grants to measure impact. By merging these data silos, nonprofits can more easily track mission-critical objectives.

Implementation Of Realistic, Quantitative-Driven Goals

Many nonprofits want to grow their grant funding, donations and volunteers. But it’s difficult to reach these broad objectives without a clear roadmap.

Rather than focusing on broad goals, organizations need to set realistic, quantitative goals, such as growing the volunteer pool by 20 percent or increasing donations by 10 percent.

Setting realistic goals also makes implementation easier. Data analytics identifies paths to reach quantitative goals. For example, an analysis of donor demographics can reveal areas for growth.

Learn More About How To Best Leverage Data-Driven Analytics With Hartman

Nonprofit organizations are experts in their mission. Hartman Executive Advisors are experts in data-driven analytics. Contact Hartman today to learn more about leveraging data to improve your organization’s mission impact.

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