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Narrating the Numbers: Getting to Human Results Through More Powerful Data Stories

On Wednesday, June 21, GuideStar partnered with Atlantic Media Strategies, the creative consultancy of The Atlantic, to present “Narrating the Numbers: Getting to Human Results Through More Powerful Data Stories,” a panel of leaders from across the nonprofit community. Panelists included Jean Ellen Cowgill, President of Atlantic Media Strategies; Lori Kaplan, President & CEO of Latin American Youth Center; and Rella Kaplowitz, Evaluation and Learning Program Officer at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Jacob Harold, President and CEO of GuideStar.

“No numbers without stories, and no stories without numbers,” GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold explained as he introduced the panelists.


Find Data in Your Organization's Everyday Activities

With the ever-increasing emphasis on data, its collection, and its many applications, many nonprofits are wondering where they can find useful data sets without spending a fortune. Nonprofits often fall under the misconception that Big Data has to cost Big Bucks for expensive database subscriptions or hiring data analysts. 


Are Emotional Attachments Obstructing Your Nonprofit’s Growth?

The emotional attachments that some nonprofit stakeholders possess are remarkably powerful. It takes enthusiasm, pride, dedication, and passion to coagulate a community of supporters who are loyal to an organization and its mission.

These emotional attachments might include ideas, mindsets, feelings, programs, relationships, people, and places that are associated with a nonprofit. They may be time-honored and woven into the fabric of the organization, and can even inspire stakeholders to donate, contribute their time, and put the organization’s strategic goals on a pedestal.

But what happens when organizations must develop new approaches to advance their services in an environment that is continuously changing?


Afraid Your Data Isn't Good Enough? It's Probably Not You. It's The System.

“How many donors should I have on my mailing list?”
“Did our students meet their growth targets for this school year?”
“Are the goals for my organization truly long term?”


The IKEA Effect and the Social Sector

You worked hard to find and hire the best staff. You completely revamped your programs to make them new and innovative. You built a solid reputation within the community. And you have really great hair. Either you truly are as wonderful as you think, or, as research suggests, you may be the latest victim of the “Ikea Effect.”


Three Ways to Step Up Your Data Game

Data can help purpose-driven organizations make better decisions and achieve greater impact. This much is agreed upon. However, in a 2016 survey of nonprofit professionals conducted by EveryAction and Nonprofit Hub, only 6 percent of respondents felt their organizations were effectively using the data at their disposal. In other words, while we know data is important, we are still struggling to use it.


Data Playbook: A Measured Approach

Repair the World has one goal: to make service a defining element of American Jewish life. To achieve its mission, Repair relies on its programming to engage thousands of young adults every year in meaningful service opportunities. But the real magic of their work comes when they are able to inspire someone to go from one-time participant to serial volunteer.

So how do they accelerate this process? In a word: data.


Attracting Talent & Scaling Impact Through a Culture of Evaluation

How do you know if your organization is achieving its goals or creating impact?

Many nonprofits are evaluating their performances using data analytics, which has helped them to allocate resources and address organizational challenges. This information doesn't just help to drive better outcomes. It has the potential to help organizations strengthen credibility, become more transparent and build an action-oriented workforce.

Impact measurements offer prospective funders and partners evidence of your organization's success while verifying your organization's influence and authority in the sector.


What is the Cloud, and is it right for your organization?

By now, most in the nonprofit world are familiar with the Cloud, although many are still not taking full advantage of its numerous benefits.


No numbers without stories, no stories without numbers

 

Philanthropoids, donors and nonprofit leaders want (and use) data for different reasons. Philanthropoids and donors hope to compare options and allocate investments while nonprofit leaders hope to learn and prove impact using data. But in all cases, the data they seek needs to tell a story and have a narrative in order to provide the full power for which it is sought.