Nonprofit organizations must unite relationship-building with the metrics and data needed to run, in order to maintain sight of the individuals behind the data.
As the Executive Director of National Dance Institute, a nonprofit arts education organization, I’ve seen the nomenclature once reserved for big business and high finance quickly become the language of philanthropy. Terms like leverage, utilization, capital, productivity and maximization are dominating conversations within the non-profit sector, often with beneficial outcomes. But while data and metrics can help us understand our practical capabilities, they are also limited lenses, and should not be the only ones through which we see the world and our place in it.
I’ve seen the nomenclature once reserved for big business and high finance quickly become the language of philanthropy.
At our organization, we strive to make something meaningful and resonant come from every meeting, and that requires conversation. Once we bring someone into our “family,” that’s only the beginning. We want to know more about them—the why, who and what of their engagement—both for our benefit and for theirs. Exchange is critical; it is as important to be interested as it is interesting. When statistics become the focus of the conversation, it is easy to lose sight of the individual, whether she sits on our board or dances in one of our free programs.
When statistics become the focus of the conversation, it is easy to lose sight of the individual…
RelSci helps create competitive advantage for nonprofit, corporate and financial organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers.