Non-profit organizations rely on funders and grantmakers to support them in achieving their social mission. In many ways, it’s challenging to survive in such an industry where they also have to prove their worth and transparency to secure funds.
For NGOs, a solid data strategy can take their image and activity to another level. The latest improvements in data science and data storytelling have served the non-profit sector to greater heights. In addition, easier access to data analytics has equipped NGOs with new ways to showcase their value to benefactors.
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Every NGO needs a data strategy to thrive
Using data helps NGOs develop their services and measure the impact of their actions. It is essential that they collect, store, and analyze data to grow as an organization and secure funds.
How does data help non-profit organizations?
1. Present meaningful statistics and show transparency
One of the biggest challenges for NGOs is to gain and preserve trust from their donors. Legally, non-profit organizations are bound to demonstrate transparency regarding organizational data, including financial information.
Additionally, presenting meaningful statistics to donors and grantmakers significantly increases the chances of receiving more funds. Gathering and showcasing data to show the positive impact you have as an NGO is often critical to their success. Show the effect created by your organization and how the donations are used on the field. It will encourage funders to provide more financial backing. The way you present the data should tell the story of your NGO and the communities you help in the field. Data is a powerful storytelling tool. Presenting relevant information and using data visualization techniques can entice people to take action and contribute to your cause.
2. Create a targeted message for donors
NGOs rely on multiple sources of funding: grants from other public or private organizations, memberships, donations, and so on. Like in any other business, having various types of “buyers” means adopting a personalized approach for each of them. This will help you connect with potential donors on an emotional level and increase the chances of them relating to your mission.
Donors support NGOs that align with their values and passions. Data can allow you to identify and segment donors in different categories to personalize your brand messaging. Create segments based on demographics such as age, gender, location, or even interests, then use this data to craft a message that resonates with each group.
In social media, you can access a large set of information regarding your follower base. You can also analyze the data of your past donors to identify patterns and define your segments.
3. Measure success and focus efforts
It’s vital to demonstrate that the NGO’s actions fulfill their objectives. To ensure that the resources are allocated to the right activities, it is beneficial to implement a tracking system and collect data on your different campaigns. This way, you can ensure time and money are in the right place and provide real value. Tracking progress and improvements in the communities is essential to ensure the NGOs are achieving their social goal.
In large NGOs, multiple actions are organized at the same time. Gather data and analyze future outcomes of these actions to make sure they have the most impact. Data analysis helps in monitoring key activities and identifying opportunities for improvement. This could be related to team distributions, allocation of resources, or areas to focus on. Use data to determine which actions have the most impact and which are not delivering the expected results.
You can also use data to monitor and motivate volunteers. Showing transparent numbers can help improve performance and close any gaps in resource management.
Artificial intelligence for good and to assist emergency response
We have seen artificial intelligence assist communities during emergencies. Machine learning algorithms process humongous volumes of data and can perform predictive analytics by analyzing past events. Using past data, we can predict natural disasters and deploy the necessary resources in a timely manner.
Additionally, AI uses satellites to capture images of damaged property and affected regions during a disaster. Using these images, NGOs can analyze the magnitude of the disaster and send the right aid to the affected area immediately.
In the case of natural disasters, social media analysis has proved to be another helpful tool for better management. As users post information on social media, AI can analyze the content and direct the efforts where most needed.
In pandemic situations, we have seen the use of AI to identify root causes and prevent outbreaks. AI technologies can help map the most affected areas and ensure the outbreak is contained as much as possible.
Get your NGO up to speed
Data and technology have made non-profit organizations more efficient and effective in their approach. Every NGO needs to adopt a data strategy and implement the right tools to tackle systemic risks.
If there is something that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught NGOs then it is to take nothing for granted. It is necessary to maximize existing data and adapt to technological trends to survive in the market. If you’re an NGO looking to improve or implement a data strategy to maximize your operations’ efficiency, reach out to our team to discuss.