Tracking and measuring data can give nonprofits a better understanding of the populations they serve and how they serve them. It can also help them identify areas they can improve to boost the reach and effectiveness of their programs. But many organizations struggle with the idea of using data.
How do successful nonprofits go about the process of implementing their data practices? What software do they use? What are the obstacles they face, and how do they overcome them? To find out, we reached out to our network of experts and consultants for examples of organizations that were successfully using data to improve and direct their work, and narrowed their list of recommendations down to 10 nonprofits of different sizes, missions, and locations.
We talked to staffers at each who were involved with data and analyzed the information we gathered for common themes, best practices, and any patterns that might be useful. We also asked them for advice for other organizations looking to replicate their successes and learn from their mistakes.
From those 10 organizations, we chose seven for case studies about the different ways they were using data. This report is built around those case studies and the additional conversations we had.