As a Marketing Professional by day, I understand the importance of using data to make strategic decisions and measure quantifiable results of campaigns.  The truth of the matter is that data is shaping much more than just organizational marketing departments. All departments can reap rewards of capturing, analyzing, and making strategy optimizations based off of data.  Your nonprofit organization is no different.  Capturing data is easier than it has ever been before, and the ability to truly understand your target audience, how they interact with you nonprofit, and what variables they base decisions on is no longer complex.  If your organization has not already transitioned to having a foundation of data, at the base of all strategic directives, then you are probably off course.  Here are a few ways that your organization can become a data-driven nonprofit.

Think of data as a strategic asset

The first step in becoming a data-driven nonprofit is to acknowledge data as a strategic asset.  Keep in mind that data may not always provide you with the positive results that you are looking to gain.  The good news is that data can be used to keep an organization on track towards their goals.  Data can provide us with valuable insights into variables such as:

  • How our audience is engaging with our online assets
  • The demographic of our online audience
  • What content or collateral our audience is most interested in
  • What volunteer opportunities is your audience is most interested in
  • The ROI of individual fundraiser events
  • What customers really think of your nonprofit organization

All of the above information can be captured via business data and analytics.  This data is crucial for being able to respond, and optimize the way you communicate, engage, and retain potential stakeholders for your organization.  Keep in mind that it is important to create a strategy for what information you want to capture, what tools will capture it, how will it be analyzed, and what adjustments will be made to support its findings.

Set clear organizational goals

One of the best ways to identify what data your organization wants to capture, and what decisions should be based on data, can be accomplished by reviewing your organization’s goals.  What is your nonprofit hoping to achieve, and how can data support those goals? Keeping your goals in mind when creating a list of the data points you want to capture can help your organization avoid becoming overwhelmed.  As I mentioned earlier there are thousands of data points that can be captured so it’s important to really think about what is needed, and what is not at this point in time.

The good news is your organization can always make adjustments to what data you are analyzing if your nonprofit’s goals change in the future.

Becoming data-driven is an organizational goal

The process of adapting data into your organization’s decision-making process needs to be accepted by the organization as a whole if it is going to be successful.  This acceptance starts from the top of the organization and works its way down.  In other words, you need to have the blessing of your executive team if the data is going to be taken seriously, and adoptable by all the departments in the nonprofit.  The truth of the matter is that becoming data driven is much more than just implementing tracking tools, or measuring analytics.  The process of becoming a data-driven nonprofit is a shift that the whole organization must take.

How can VolunteerHub help to create a data-driven nonprofit

Volunteerhub can assist your nonprofit by providing volunteer management software that makes analyzing data and performance a breeze.  Our software can integrate with your existing CRM, and Google Analytics accounts to give you real actionable insights.  Request a consultation to learn more about how VolunteerHub’s volunteer management software can help your nonprofit make a strategic decision.