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.
“The inequity in this district as compared to the other districts surrounding us has always been so tangible and clear,” explains Jenna Wachtel Pronovost, Executive Director of the Ravenswood Education Foundation. “Then COVID happened and the schools closed. The inequities have intensified in this environment, and we knew we would have to act quickly to support our students and the greater community.”
“We began in 2012 with three loans—it was sort of our experimental year,” explains WEALF (Women’s Enterprise Action Loan Fund) founder, Vicki Weiner. “The next year, we really got going, and things started to come together.”
While it’s clear that Special Olympics Northern California & Nevada (SONC) is having a positive impact on the athletes they serve, it’s also obvious that they’re not interested in resting on their laurels. Already, they’re using data in order to better inform their decision making and more effectively tell their story of impact. But, as is the case for many nonprofit organizations, those steps involve navigating multiple systems and adding to workloads across the chapter.
“The MVP organization was started by Jay Glazer and Nate Boyer back in 2015,” explains Executive Director, Jacob Toups. “Jay Glazer has been in the sports industry for 25-plus years, so he’s been interviewing and tracking athletes for most of his career. Nate Boyer was a Green Beret, and was on the Seattle Seahawks—he landed in Los Angeles after his time in the NFL.
Soccer Without Borders, a youth soccer program built to serve refugee children in the United States and disadvantaged youth abroad, has long been a leader on the field. But their approach to data collection is putting them leaps and bounds ahead off the field as well.
UpMetrics and the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition have been working together since the Spring of 2018 to build a data-driven approach to music access and curriculum across multiple program sites. We recently connected with Strategic Programs Director, Ryan Zellner, from GMEC on why the coalition is committed to collecting and learning from program data.
Talk to Jen Salerno for even five minutes, and you already understand how much thought and care she puts into her work at the San Francisco YMCA’s Youth Workforce Development program. As the Director of a five-person department dedicated to helping end the cycle of poverty that affects many urban youth, Salerno brings together an understanding of the challenges facing program participants with a commitment to support them over the long term as they pursue careers in their chosen fields.
Walk into the office at Create Now in Downtown Los Angeles, and it’s immediately obvious that everything centers on the kids. In the second story of what looks like a former warehouse, rooms are filled with music equipment and art supplies, with a recording studio located near a drumming room that’s lovingly built into a closet, the egg crate foam insulation hand-applied to the walls.
The America SCORES program, which has affiliates across the United States, is built on a platform that extends from the soccer pitch to the poetry slam. That unique combination also speaks to its origins, which walked the line between the classroom and after school.