Study reveals nonprofits are not all using data effectively
November 21, 2012
A recently released report by the National Technology Network (NTEN)
found that there is a divide between nonprofits that are using data effectively and those that are not doing much with it. The State of Nonprofit Data found that while 99 percent of surveyed organizations were tracking data and analyzing metrics, those efforts weren't necessarily translating into actionable insight that could be used to make better decisions.
The dichotomy between groups that are using data and those that aren't stems from a lack of resources and understanding, the study found. Many nonprofits that aren't harnessing and using important data failed to do so because they didn't have the time to dedicate to analytics strategies or the manpower to assign individuals to the task.
"This is really an important snapshot of where nonprofits are in their current data collection and use practices," said Annaliese Hoehling, publications director at NTEN, as quoted by Associations Now
. "There are real eye-openers as well, especially in the relationships between internal and external factors that can help or hurt a nonprofit's progress."
The study found that 89 percent of nonprofits are collecting data about financial information, but just 39 percent are tapping donor data for budgeting decisions and even fewer (26 percent) are looking to information about contributors to select their programs.
As foundations tap into emerging digital channels to raise funds online
, they can benefit from nonprofit fundraising software
that tracks incoming donations and quantitatively measures the success of their efforts.