In June of this year UpMetrics developed and distributed a collaboration-themed survey to over 1,000 foundations and nonprofits. Our intention was to understand if nonprofits and foundations had the same understanding of key areas of collaboration like key performance indicators, the capacity levels of nonprofits to deliver on reporting, and expectations around what a successful collaborative initiative looks like. As we as a sector look to effective collaboration more and more as a powerful tool that will support our ability to tackle challenges in our communities today, it is imperative that all stakeholders are approaching the partnership with the same expectations and goals in order to see the expected positive change.
In February I had the pleasure of chatting with my friend and colleague Jessica Mindnich on a webinar that focused on the importance of shifting the funder-grantee relationship toward one that encourages continuous knowledge sharing between parties. This is a topic close to my heart as well as Jessica’s, who is the Senior Director of Evaluation, Learning and Impact Stories at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The truth is that trust-based relationships that prioritize collaboration and transparency are the only way we will be able to move the needle on some of the social issues that philanthropy, and the greater public, are looking to take on.
What is Social Impact and Why Does it Matter for Businesses?
What an inspiring #PEAKOnline2021conference. Congratulations to the PEAK board and host committee and especially to Satonya Fair whose leadership was embedded throughout every session and every conversation. Satonya has unleashed the PEAK community who dove deep on topics and brought PEAK’s many new members into the excitement. It was particularly inspiring to learn about the different ways the PEAK members are working to support their grant partners and the way they are championing to approach their work with an equity lens at their foundations.
Last week, PEAK Grantmaking hosted their annual premier conference for grantmakers. Couldn't make it? Stephen Minix shares his experience answering three big questions below.
April is volunteer month, and before it comes to an end I wanted to take the opportunity to call out the importance of giving a voice to your volunteers and, by extension, your community. At UpMetrics, we often speak to the power of qualitative data. Numbers can only provide so much information – to translate those numbers into desired action, next steps, and a strategy that will impact the areas with the most need, you need qualitative data. Those on the ground can tell you whether they are seeing an impact of your efforts with the audience you intended, or if you’re indirectly solving for something else with your efforts.
Your organization has spent years collecting, inputting and storing data, ensuring you have your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed in terms of following best practices and requirements of data tracking and management. However, have you ever looked across your organization at the breadth and depth of the data you have, only to realize you’re not sure how to use all of this information? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. UpMetrics has been collaborating with many organizations like yours who are at a similar stage in their data journey. In order to get your data to work for you, to help guide your program, operations and overall strategy, there are a few key questions that you need to ask. In return you’ll have data with purpose that you can learn from, take action on and communicate out to your board, funders, or other partners. Here are a few questions to to guide you as you advance in your data maturity and start to get your data to work for you:
The concept of digital transformation is not new in philanthropy. It is necessary to have a digital strategy to meet stakeholder expectations (and often requirements) around data collection and reporting. What we saw in 2020 was a shift in how we view this data. It is no longer enough to simply track and evaluate one’s data once or twice a year. This year demanded that impact organizations take an active stance to collecting and analyzing data, pivoting as events trigger unexpected areas of need or when data has identified areas of optimization for existing programs.
It’s the time of year for lists. Whether it be a grocery list for a (smaller than usual) holiday dinner, a shopping list for gifts for your family, or simply a lengthy to-do list for the week, there are a lot of items competing for your attention as we reach the end of 2020. For most working in social good, that list also extends to two crucial items: end-of-year fundraising and board meeting prep. It can be challenging to find the time needed to truly dive into the data that drives the development of donor outreach materials and presentations, but without that information it can be difficult to speak to the current landscape and the strategic direction for next year. Both of these items are areas where insight can lead to stronger donor conversion rates.
As we head into Thanksgiving we’re receiving constant reminders from virtually every channel that we’re nearing the end of the year. Whether it be Black Friday discounts, cold weather or holiday plans, you can’t ignore the fact that we’re creeping towards the end of the year that was 2020. For the social sector, that also means a heightened period of fundraising, both around #GivingTuesday and general year-end appeals.