Metrics That Matter Most to Your Data Management
Nonprofit data matters. This is especially true for small organizations likes yours. Not only does it track performance metrics and other important information, but it tells the story of your impact. Everyone, from all levels of your organization (to the clients you serve), wants to see and know that nonprofit programs are working and the positive impact you have on your community. Data management is an important tool for nonprofit organizations.
Understanding the true impact your organization’s work has on its clients is an integral part of the story your nonprofit tells. Capturing data in the field helps to tell that story by tracking, measuring, and evaluating individual progress. To know what is happening in the field, however, staff must enter various types of information into the tracking system your organization is using. The input of this data sounds easy enough, but it can also take up valuable time and resources which could have been used to deliver more mission. Rather than using various spreadsheets and files to gather this information, you can save time and resources by investing in a platform that makes data management and outcomes easy.
Along with capturing a multitude of data, your staff could also be tracking metrics that do not point directly to the impact you are trying to prove. That is why it is important to track only what matters. What are those metrics that matter you ask? Here are three examples of valuable data management points that every organization should be tracking:
Mission-minded & Goal Oriented Data
This is a basic metric to capture and it will translate directly into proving your impact. Set attainable, measurable goals and capture the data that can point to what your organization is doing in the field and how that translates to your impact on your constituents. This is essential for understanding what success will look like for your organization. It’s also crucial in building your story and credibility with funders, donors, staff, and your community.
Target Driven Data
Though it’s important to prove how you are impacting the community, it’s equally important to know who exactly you are impacting. The people you serve are the purpose of your mission. Understanding your clients, their stories, and their backgrounds is necessary for your organization to best serve them. It is important to be socially aware and knowledgeable, not only to help your clients but also for funders and government regulators who require such information.
Tracking performance helps to measure the outcomes and impact of your mission. You should collect data that lets you efficiently compare and evaluate results and allows you to assess performance over time. One way to do this is to gather data and measure impact points year-over-year to ensure that your data is consistently aligned with your mission.
The Impact of Data Management
After tracking the data points mentioned above, the information they uncover can be used to help drive performance and keep your organization informed. You can also use the information as a guide for your organization in the way it performs its operations. Data allows you to see what’s working and help you to learn from mistakes, giving you a picture of what worked and what didn’t. It also allows you to become more confident in your service delivery and drive progress at every level of the organization. Lastly, data will help your nonprofit gain more funding and support so you’re able to deliver more mission to those who need it. Overtime as your organization becomes more data-informed, each of these things will begin to surface, leading to the potential growth and success of your nonprofit.
Capturing metrics is crucial to the continued health of your nonprofit organization. Collecting data helps to give evidence to your mission and provides the ability to prove your impact. It tells a story about your clients, programs, volunteers, and staff and donors – all of whom are important components of your mission. By tracking and analyzing data in an efficient and effective way your organization, including both staff and clients, will be set up for successful growth.
We’ve created a useful guide which expands upon the principles of Data tracking. Check it out!
If you want to learn about how your nonprofit can easily track outcomes and generate reports with Apricot Nonprofit Software by Social Solutions, please visit www.socialsolutions.com/apricot.
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