“Big data” is a trendy buzz word. Sure, the ability to process and handle absurdly large amounts of data has become greater and more accessible, but the fact of the matter is that if an organization is not sure how to begin measuring and organizing, buying into the “big data” movement is useless. Storytelling for nonprofits is not as difficult as one might think; organizations can utilize their data in a meaningful way to emotionally connect with the public.
Steve Bowland of Non Profit Quarterly wrote something that made a lot of sense to me in trying to simplify this seeming monolith of “BIG DATA.” He says, “One of the things Big Data can do is help tell the story of how you plan to make a difference in your community.”
NGOs and non-profit organizations face difficult issues in attempting to effectively communicate the work they perform – to both potential volunteers, and donors. In practice, relationships with wealthy donors may be more personal than a ‘donate now’ button. Demonstrating social impact through an interactive catalogue of ongoing and completed projects can serve to assist the organizations themselves, volunteers, and donors as well.
The most well known misfortune of humanitarian nonprofits is their grapple with securing funding and resources to provide their altruistic services. While maintaining enough mana to proceed with status quo operations is an obvious necessity, organizations and the missions they serve ultimately benefit from expanding their reach and deepening their impact. To do so requires improving efficiency and efficacy by analyzing data gathered and implementing strategy based on that analysis.