Data will continue to play an important role in an ever-changing world.
Key Takeaways from Nonprofit Summit 2022
Salesforce’s Nonprofit Summit 2022 took place last week and featured inspiring conversations with activists and changemakers like Jane Fonda and chef Jose Andres who both discussed how technology amplifies the impact of their work. Two topics came up at several of the sessions—data management and the important role change management plays in digital transformation. It makes perfect sense given the critical role data plays in nonprofits being able to communicate their mission, measure their impact, and determine the actions they can take to increase engagement and improve results.
Liz Liston, Chief Development Officer of HOPE Atlanta, emphasized how focusing on digital integrity, specifically collecting more robust donor data, has been critical to developing long-lasting supporter relationships.
Paul Zevenbroom, Head of Digital, eCommerce and Data at WWF Netherlands, spoke about WWF’s transition from a campaign driven organization to a data driven one. They realized that by harnessing the collective power of their constituents, they can have greater influence, leading to faster change.
WWF Netherlands changed their marketing strategy to engage in a variety of ways – from making it easy for constituents to give their time, connecting them with resources to broaden their knowledge and understanding, empowering them with tools and information that can lead to changes in behavior, and facilitating their ability to make donations. The results have led to an impressive 209% growth in new donors and 1,285% growth in donations.
From Tim Weeks, Director of Industry Solutions at Salesforce, we learned that 76% of nonprofit organizations still need to develop a data strategy. A surprising figure given his assessment that almost every high-impact nonprofit, regardless of size or budget, share one common trait – they all have a data management plan that allows them to strategically use data to drive efficiencies and increase constituent engagement.
Tim acknowledged that getting started with data management can be a daunting task but can be done efficiently and effectively by creating a two-part data management plan, starting with creating a business plan for your data that includes a maturity assessment with goals, data inventory, and a governance framework. This is followed by creating a technology plan for your data that includes a data infrastructure map to your data strategy including integrations, analytics, and automation tools.
Four Nonprofit Trends for 2022
Zohra Zori, VP of Networks at Candid presented her top Four Nonprofit trends for 2022:
1. COVID as the Great Accelerator – The pandemic accelerated trends that were underway in the past decade. It has taught us that we can’t afford to think in terms of geography.
2. Pivoting quickly – The nonprofit sector has to look for data from outside traditional sources and needs to be able to respond in real time—whether addressing pressing issues like racial equity or responding to the war in Ukraine.
Two-thirds of nonprofit orgs around the world had to pivot their operations during the pandemic, including adding new services.
3. Funders continue to evolve – Streamlining the burden and process on nonprofits seeking funds. Trust-based philanthropy continues to expand—led by McKenzie Scott who has given over $12 billion in grants to over 1200 organizations—with no application process and very little reporting requirements in place.
4. Increased demographic data collection – Greater scrutiny from funders who want to know what the leadership structure looks like at nonprofit organizations from a diversity standpoint.
Overall, my impression from the Summit is how rapidly evolving the landscape is for Nonprofit organizations. It will continue to be extremely crucial to not only collect, but to quickly analyze and make use of, all the data they collect. Organizations that create an effective data management strategy will be able to embrace these trends in this dynamic ecosystem.
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About the author
Esteban Silva is an Associate Business Development Director at Attain Partners who partners with Nonprofit Organizations to guide them to successful and impactful digital transformations. He brings a perspective that includes working for as well as consulting with Nonprofit CEOs and leaders for over 15 years – helping him to understand the unique challenges and opportunities facing them.