Nonprofits and transparency: Who’s walking the walk?

Recently we announced the launch of our 2013 Communities of Impact program. As part of this pilot, 19 people representing organizations large and small are working together this year to try to unlock and solve some of the challenges nonprofits face when it comes to:

  • measuring and managing data
  • making data-informed decisions
  • and sharing the results with colleagues, partners, funders, and the public.

We’ve been conducting research into what’s happening in these areas already to be sure our work adds value. In addition to the case studies NTEN has compiled, here are some more examples the Communities of Impact and I have spotted: 

  • Children’s museum data informs health policy. This Markets for Good article about the Children’s Museum of Manhattan describes how CMOM has collaborated with National Institutes of Health, providing real-time data to develop a health curriculum for young children through an unusually speedy process. CMOM Executive Director Andrew Ackerman acknowledges that an active knowledge network and  “philanthropists who are willing to provide ongoing support and venture into new areas” have been critical.
  • Global nonprofit measures and shares its impact in real time. The nonprofit Splash has developed an entire site called Proving.It where they showcase the status of each of their projects so that funders and supporters can watch as they track their progress toward “a world with clean drinking water for all children—and a museum telling of when it was not so.”
  • Building a movement through innovative open source tools. Data Commons is made up of 10 cooperative development centers and others who are creating tools to most effectively use shared information, including “common directories, maps, and databases as well as membership engagement platforms, marketplaces, and tools to embed shared information around the internet. Tools are licensed as open source, available for anyone to use and improve.”

Now it’s your turn…
What are your favorite examples of nonprofits or networks who are doing this work well? The more we know about what’s currently happening, the better job we can do this year.

Please share links and shout-outs in the comments section. Thank you!