In recent years, leaders across the philanthropic sector have recognized and worked to shift power imbalances that exist between funders, nonprofits, and the communities that they serve. This work - called trust-based philanthropy - requires addressing deep-seated inequities at their root and implementing real changes to the structures, organizations, cultures, and norms within which so many philanthropic organizations operate.
Chances are you’ve heard this common question asked in business, academia, and scientific research settings: "What is the data telling you?"
There’s a good reason why — it reflects how data contains a treasure trove of insights and wisdom that could help drive effective, profitable decisions. However, the problem is that most people have difficulty reading and interpreting raw data.
The human mind is programmed to remember and respond to stories. For thousands of years, our minds have used stories to understand the world around us and share our experiences. Today, stories are a means of entertainment, a source of inspiration, and a method of connecting with one another in more deep and meaningful ways.
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.
As the world searches for solutions to take on social and environment issues at scale, a new era of impact has arrived.
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?
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.
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.
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.
In the future, when reflecting on the activities of all types of impact organizations in 2020, it will be impossible to understand decision-making and impact through numbers alone. Without the context of the events this year, including the Australian bushfires, COVID-19, the stock market crash in March, the US election, the many instances of social injustice and resulting Black Lives Matter protests, the West Coast wildfires and more events on a global and localized scale, how can future audiences understand the shift in resources or the new found urgency towards new areas of focus?