Data Integration

Data-Driven Decision Making: Exploring Outcomes Indicators

Report published October 20, 2014 in Data Integration

As a complement to the Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making: A Workbook, created in 2013, we’ve identified issues that frequently emerge as organizations work to build data management and evaluation programs. We have developed these new worksheets in partnership with Idealware to help youl identify technologies that can help you collect and understand your organization’s outcomes data and more.

Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits

Report published January 22, 2014 in Data Integration, Fundraising, Technology’s Impact

What happens when nonprofits make a real commitment to collect healthy data about their programs and operations; manage it well; and make savvy, data-informed decisions? And what happens when you connect energized, smart, data-passionate nonprofit professionals for a year of learning and knowledge sharing?

The 2013 Nonprofit Engagement Data Management Study: A Graphic Report

When it comes to tracking and using “engagement” data – the actions, interactions, and even conversations that relate to an organization’s work but don’t necessarily represent the transactional or financial data that have been traditionally used for measuring an organization’s health – today’s nonprofits are either tracking a lot, or hardly anything at all. And very few organizations are applying that data to make decisions about their programs or measure their strategic outcomes.

In the spring of 2013, NTEN and Avectra surveyed nonprofit communications, fundraising, and leadership staff about their engagement data management practices, findings, and future plans. The results of the study are available in this graphic report.

Connecting the Dots of Nonprofit Engagement Data: A Closer Look at Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities

Report published June 4, 2013 in Data Integration

Flickr: waywuweiFlickr: waywuweiNonprofit organizations are looking beyond traditional data toward information about constituent participation and engagement. Such data might include volunteer activity, e-newsletter activity, Facebook or Twitter mentions, online petitions or pledge activities, event attendance and interaction among constituents, to name only a few.

NTEN and Avectra sought input from 10 nonprofits and associations that vary in size and work across many programmatic areas for specific examples of how they are collecting, managing and sharing engagement data -- and how it impacts their work.

We’ve compiled their responses around seven key questions, and are sharing the findings, and their stories, below.

The 2013 "Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making" Workbook is Released

Report published January 28, 2013 in Data Integration

Over the last few years, NTEN has been working with nonprofits to understand how to better wrangle all the data they’re creating and what’s available to them into improved results: more mission impact.

But what about the steps an organization has to take before collecting or analyzing the data? How do we determine which data matters in the first place, and how that data will impact the direction of our work?

We are very excited to release a free resource to help nonprofits get started with this important strategic steps:

> Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making: A Workbook

With this workbook, we hope to provide nonprofit leaders with a set of worksheets that will help guide thinking and planning around more effective data strategies.

Download the workbook for free.

The 2012 State of Nonprofit Data Report is Released

Report published November 9, 2012 in Data Integration, NPTech Community


In April 2012 NTEN worked with Idealware to conduct a survey of nonprofits about their relationships with data, and what we found was a large dichotomy—either they were doing a lot with their metrics or not much at all.

In addition, we learned that internal factors--such as staff capacity, expertise, and budget--as well as external demands and stakeholders—including funders; local, state and federal governments; donors; clients; and community groups—also hinder an organization’s ability to make strategic use of data they have collected.

Download the complete report with more statistics and valuable insights and lessons gleaned from a survey of US nonprofits and focus groups with nonprofit staff, foundation staff, and nonprofit consultants:

> Download the complete report, "The State of the Nonprofit Data," here!

Getting Your Systems Talking: A Framework to Evaluate APIs and Data Exchange Features

Report published January 9, 2008 in Data Integration

How can you assess the features that a software package offers to provide access to your data? In this report, Paul Hagen and Laura Quinn provide an evaluation framework that will help weigh the advantages and trade-offs of the data integration features across different applications.

This Idealware report was written in partnership with NTEN, and with generous sponorship by Beaconfire and Jacobson Consulting Applications.

> Download the Report

Let's Talk: How Open APIs Can Change How Nonprofits Manage Data

Report published January 31, 2007 in Data Integration

Nonprofits are challenged by managing their data effectively on a daily basis. This is hampering their work, making processes redundant and cumbersome, and adding precious time and costs to their operations – money and time better spent on services and programs.

APIs provide ways to more easily share data between applications. Open APIs also have the potential to bring data together in ways that create new ways of displaying information – such as bringing fundraising data to a content management system or blog, or by coupling geographic data with maps from Google.

In this paper, we’ll

  • Explain what open APIs are conceptually
  • Describe the technology behind APIs looks
  • Give several concrete examples of how APIs are used
  • Delve into some issues to think about as you consider using these technologies in your organization

Let's Talk. Download the report.