What does big data mean to your nonprofit

The Brief
To address the roadblocks nonprofits face with regard to dataand explain how to break throughRelationship Science recently hosted a webinar with three nonprofit data experts: Kathy Howrigan, a consultant at Marts and Lundy, James Dobrzeniecki, vice president of Information Technology at Guidestar, and Velma Hutchins, senior account executive at Relationship Science.

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Nonprofits continually hear about the benefits of big data from the corporate sector: it’s smart, efficient and increases impact. And while it’s easy to understand why quality data science is important, it can hard to see how big data fits into your nonprofit’s fundraising and marketing strategy. As such, nonprofits already struggling with human and technological resource gaps end up shelving what could be a critical asset to their operations and mission execution. 

“Nonprofits must decide how data analysis furthers specific strategic goals within the organization”


Two of the biggest big data pain points the panelists addressed were organizations’ difficulty in reporting and understanding the usefulness of data. Howrigan believes both of these problems have the same solution: nonprofits must decide how data analysis furthers specific strategic goals within the organization. “Ask yourself,” she says, “why are you doing this?” Instead of compiling data for its own sake, Howrigan says, nonprofits should focus their data science resources on solving specific problems like engagement and fundraising.

To hear more on this topic as well as how to achieve institutional buy-in from executives and the link between data and relationships, watch the full webinar, “What Does Big Data Mean to Your Nonprofit: An Interactive Panel Discussion.”
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RelSci provides a relationship capital platform that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. 
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