Program & Service Delivery

Nonprofit Data: The Case of Central Texas 4C

January 7, 2013
In four neighboring cities, Central Texas 4C administers Head Start, the federal program to promote school readiness for children five and younger from low-income families, to a population that includes a lot of transients as a result of a nearby military base; which means theres a lot of client turnover. To help keep track of that changing population, the organization relies on data, said Executive Director Janell Frazier.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of the Arcus Foundation

January 7, 2013
The Arcus Foundation focuses it's grant making on two areas: social justice and conservation. The Foundation has 25 staff members spread across offices in New York City and Cambridge, UK and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In social justice, the foundation is particularly interested in global lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) rights; in conservation, Arcus' focus is on the protection of the great apes and their habitats.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of the Women’s Center of Montgomery County

January 7, 2013
Based in Pennsylvania's third-largest county, the Women's Center of Montgomery County serves as many as 4,200 women each year through a domestic violence program and two hospitals. Director Maria Macaluso said the 800-member organizations 14 staff-members and 185 volunteers use data in a number of different ways across its seven offices—primarily to improve the services it is able to offer clients.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of YMCA of Metro Chicago

January 7, 2013
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is a big organization, with a $110 million budget and a physical infrastructure that includes 23 gyms, five camps and 14 community schools, all supported by nearly 600 full-time staff and thousands of part-time fitness instructors, afterschool staff, and other human services personnel. In addition to gym visitors, the nonprofit provides services for hundreds of Chicago public school students and as many as 700 seniors each week.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of the Alliance for Climate Education

January 7, 2013
When the Alliance for Climate Education wanted to use data to measure impact and engagement, among other uses, it turned to consultants for help—first Seattle-based Groundwire Consulting, and then Percolator Consulting, a Groundwire spinoff. The award-winning national nonprofit is dedicated to using fun-based methods to educate America's high school students about the science behind climate change, and inspiring them to do something about it. The organization is based in Oakland, Calif., with teams in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta, New England, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of York County Library System

January 7, 2013
Data is dynamic, not static, and so are organizations—which means that over time, the data they need to track changes as they change. Identifying those evolving data points takes effort and thoughtfulness, especially for an organization whose staff is already burdened tracking data for funder-mandated reporting requirements.

The Multi-Generational Appeal of Gamification in Online Communities

November 16, 2012
Gamification is employed by multiple websites across a variety of industries – LinkedIn, Merriam-Webster, FundingWorks, and Marketo marketing automation software – to name a few. Many industries are adopting gamification as a way to keep people involved and drive participation. Deloitte named gamification as one of its top tech trends for 2012.

The 2012 State of Volunteer Recruitment Address

November 5, 2012
We love volunteer recruitment at VolunteerMatch. I suppose it might be a weird thing to love, but it’s just kind of our thing. And we also love working with experts and members of our own community to help nonprofits do it better. So as we approach the second half of 2012, we figure it’s time to share some of the great trends we’re seeing this year that are shaping the future of volunteer recruitment.

Measuring Social (Media’s) Impact and Reaching the Policy Makers that Matter

October 17, 2012
No matter what anyone tells you, it's almost impossible to measure the success of your social media campaigns by using only one measurement tool: accurate reporting relies on a suite of analytics tools (most of which are available for free) and a fair share of thoughtful analysis. To truly determine if you're using social media to reach the right people, you're going to have to take a deep look into how your target audience behaves.

Learn From Each Other, Not Just the Data

September 19, 2012

A simple rule of thumb is that you should spend more time learning from your data than gathering it. When you get your data, make sure you understand why things happen. This doesn't mean that you need to prove causality, most of the time a simple correlation will do. The important thing is that you think through the results, analyze them for insights and learning, and, most of all, look for failures

Make sure you educate through examples. Show how adding a data-informed approach to your social media or other media or programs can avoid ineffective campaigns and increase audience satisfaction.