What We Learned in 2021

It is hard to believe it has been a full year since we reflected on 2020 – the year that threw the world into upheaval and refocused priorities for all of us. At that time, UpMetrics CEO Drew Payne stressed the importance of the sector coming together to drive the level of change required in this blog post Data Alone Won’t Drive the Change We Need. While 2021 has been another year of grappling with the unexpected, philanthropy met these changes with changes of their own to support positive impact in areas it was needed.

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Own Your Impact Story in 2022

As the world searches for solutions to take on social and environment issues at scale, a new era of impact has arrived. 

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The Glue to Any Successful Collaborative Effort is Data

The below is an excerpt from How to Make Data Actionable, published earlier this year. Don't miss Kaci speak further to successful collaboration and her experience with the Black Equity Collective in our webinar October 19th.

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The Secret to Getting Stakeholders to Listen: Creating Trust and Value

At UpMetrics, when it comes to our marketing efforts, we are focused on one thing: building trust. That may seem counterintuitive since we are a revenue generating SaaS company selling an impact analytics platform to impact-focused organizations. Why not stress the features that make up the platform? Lead with stories of your peers who have seen success with the technology, or speak to how we are different from other data analytics tools out there?

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How to Create a Theory of Change Framework

Are you in search of procedures to aid in the organization of project components? Almost any logic model will show how you can present your project in terms of resources, activities, and short and long-term outcomes. These are essential tools that may aid in the clarification of goals and communicate the fundamentals of how an initiative operates to others.

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The Importance of Qualitative Measurement in Driving Social Good

Qualitative measurement is a broad and complicated field of approach necessary to determine the success of a social impact endeavor. To help ensure that your initiative is prosperous, we’ve compiled an overview of measuring qualitative data (and how it differs from quantitative data) and background on the many forms of qualitative data, techniques, and methodologies. Before embarking on qualitative measurement, here are a few key concepts to consider.

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​​We need to shift the funder-grantee dynamic, but where to start?

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.

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New Ways to Build Grantee Capacity: Setting Them Up to Scale

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. 

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The Importance of Storytelling

Trust is a key pillar of philanthropy. Donors trust that nonprofit organizations will responsibly use their funds to inspire positive change in the areas they’ve detailed in fundraising communications. Communities trust that local philanthropic organizations will have their back when hit by the unexpected, and therefore offer their support. Trust is crucially important when building strong relationships - an easy connection for most in the sector to make since much of philanthropy is built on relationships. But trust offers more power than you might have realized - in the Edelman Brand Trust in 2020 report, it is reported that in today’s world, trust is the number two reason people buy something (after price). That’s before other attributes like quality, performance and how easy the item is to find. To influence behavior and drive action, organizations across the private, public and social sectors need to prioritize the creation of trust.

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Are You Using Data to Drive Action?

We are at a crossroads in philanthropy, where access to data has increased in recent years but data capacity within impact organizations has not. As a result, only 50% of surveyed organizations are using the data available to them to inform their decision-making (Source). This fact presents a significant challenge to the ability of impact organizations to drive the level of positive change needed to tackle today’s complex issues.

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