Data is a powerful tool, but only when collected, saved, stored, and utilized properly.
Whether that’s donor data being entered into your CRM or ERP system, or properly managing sorting, and and filing important files for easy access. Data is how our nonprofits run in the the 21st century enterprise, and it’s imperative that your nonprofit is up on how exactly it can be more effectively utilized. The truth is, most enterprises recognize the need for making data driven decisions, but few grasp how to use data to tell a meaningful story that resonate bot intellectually and emotionally with audiences; whether that’s an internal or external.
The way we communicate is changing. And I’m not just talking text messages and emails. It’s becoming more and more clear that donation decisions are made based off of the emotional responses more so than analytical responses. Numbers alone are simply not enough to communicate how your nonprofit is progressing, no matter how impressive the number might be. That means it’s the story that people remember, not necessarily the statistics that make up the story. What’s important to remember, however, is that it’s the data that supports, enhances, and lends credence to that story.
Visually representing, and making working sense of your data is often times one of the most difficult undertakings for many nonprofits. Spreadsheets quickly become convoluted and confusing with the mountains of data pouring in to our organizations, and the graphs produced in the end often lack the clarity needed to be able to make informed decisions from.
With visualized data, your nonprofit’s achievements are easy to read, share, and communicates quickly and seamlessly with the constituents you’re trying to inform. Whether that’s donors, sponsors, or simply trying to gain internal buy-in for a new program or initiative, visualized data always gets the point across.
The first step to really effectively managing the deluge of data your organization is producing, receiving, and attempting to analyze is to write a data management plan that outlines specific guidelines and requirements for organizing, inputting,and subsequently managing your nonprofit’s data. With this kind of a plan you can ensure data is meeting specific mandated requirements, it will increase the potential impact of that data, avoids duplication of data, and saves time in the long run.