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Effective data management for nonprofits

Effective data management for nonprofits



There are a bewildering variety of database solutions for nonprofits these days. And once you commit, it’s yours for a long while. So how do you decide which platform is the most appropriate for ...

There are a bewildering variety of database solutions for nonprofits these days. And once you commit, it’s yours for a long while. So how do you decide which platform is the most appropriate for your organization?

Participants will gain an understanding of:
• What a database is
• How data and processes fit together in an organization
• How to properly size a solution and
What considerations to make when choosing a database



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  • No silver bullet!Responses ranged fromHow to manage data effectively to database options and solutions Data collection -> informationFears around SF sales presentation!Moving from existing older platforms to more current, more integrated solutionsHow to choose
  • To manage data effectively is to bridge the gap between inputs – hard data sets – and outputs – information or analysis – that an organization can use to make decisions and demonstrate a measurable community impact.
  • Goals: Why is this important? What does it prepare the organization to achieve?
  • Change is hard. The more people are involved in this discussion, the better the longer term adoption tends to be!****Avoid going directly to the computer to map processes!
  • Database report coming next month from Idealware

Effective data management for nonprofits Effective data management for nonprofits Presentation Transcript

  • Y O U R M I S S I O N I S T O B U I L D A B E T T E R W O R L D . O U R S I S T O H E L P Y O U S U C C E E D . Effective Data Management for Nonprofits
  • Agenda  About Us  Data Management  Choosing a System  Assess & Identify  Prioritize & Map  Decide  Takeaways © 501 Commons
  • Database Selection vs. Data Management Data management is the process of collecting, organizing, and managing data as an important organizational resource  What is your end goal?  Increase Capacity  Track Outcomes  Access to better information  Consistency  Basic infrastructure © 501 Commons
  • Data Management Plan  Goals  Data Dictionary: types of data, definition, source  Data Entry Protocols  Data Presentation  Data Security  Data Archival  Roles and Responsibilities  Budget  Training and Review © 501 Commons
  • Assess organizational needs © 501 Commons R E L A T E D T O : • Strategic goals • Technology systems • Processes • People W H E R E A R E W E N O W - > W H E R E A R E W E G O I N G ?
  • Strategic planning  What are your plans to grow or change your client base?  Any foreseeable organizational shifts?  Any new alliances?  Any environmental or political changes in the wind?  Any imminent Leadership changes?  Any funding changes? How do these translate to your Fundraising strategy?  Is your current technology stable, or should it be reevaluated?  How will any new technology serve your organization’s vision?  How will it enhance the community you serve? © 501 Commons
  • Technology systems considerations  Do an inventory of your current technology systems o In-house vs. Cloud o Servers ◊ File-sharing ◊ Email platform ◊ General office suite ◊ Tools and business software ◊ Databases o How do various tools intersect? Is there data entry multiple times? o Do we connect electronically to any other organization? o Do we connect remotely? o Security and access control  Use strategic technology planning to drive your database selection process – not the other way around  Avoid too big and too small © 501 Commons
  • People • What does the organizational chart look like? Staff Size? • What are current staff demographics? Their current adoption of technology and tools? What kind of staff turnover do we face? • Is there a formal information technology structure with dedicated responsibilities? • What is the role of volunteers? Is there a dedicated volunteer coordinator? • What is the relationship with the donor and accounting responsibilities? • Is the ED on board for a project of this nature? Define Project Roles  Sponsor  Owner  Project Manager  End Users ** Include staff who will be using the new database in the decision-making process ** © 501 Commons
  • Processes  Fit the technology to how your work, not your organization to the technology  Clearly Define:  Who  What  When  How  Documenting current processes can help identify possibilities! © 501 Commons
  • • Be clear about where you want to go • Document specific needs and know order of importance • Create a functional requirements outline Prioritize & Map © 501 Commons
  • Functional Requirements © 501 Commons
  • Example: Requirements -Volunteer Management © 501 Commons  Capture info around:  Volunteer Profile  Activity Tracking  Labor/health and safety regulations  Scheduling  Communication: email/print  Web integration/Online features  Reporting & Exporting
  • Review costs and trade-offs © 501 Commons
  • Software Considerations  Product vs. Platform  Buying vs. building your own  Open source vs. proprietary  Cloud-based vs. on-premise  Integration  $$ © 501 Commons
  • Customization Unique Attributes - High Cost Standardization “One Size Fits All” – Low Cost How Unique are we? © 501 Commons What’s the balance?
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO)  The software itself  New hardware  Staff training  Ongoing maintenance  Support  Data migration  Customization  Staff downtime during conversion  Lost revenue from possible technical failures © 501 Commons
  • Research • Talk to other nonprofits • Do online research at vendors website • Read reviews • Read discussion forum posts • What do your IT people think? • What do your internal stakeholders think? • Engage a consultant © 501 Commons
  • Resources  IdealWare: www.idealware.org  NTEN: www.nten.org  TechSoup: www.techsoup.org  501 Commons: www.501commons.org © 501 Commons
  • • Narrow down the list -- which choices emerge as winners? Losers? • Identify your top contenders • Contact vendors • Requests for information vs. RFP Decide © 501 Commons
  • Factors for vendor comparison  How long has the company been in business?  What percentage of their customers are nonprofits?  Any references for nonprofits they’ve worked with?  Business stability and sustainability plans.  Approach and staffing for implementation and data migration  How to they provide maintenance services and what is the cost?  Do they provide guidelines for preparing or cleaning up existing data before the transfer?  What platforms do they focus on? © 501 Commons
  • Final steps  Compare responses from vendors  Ask the reps for software demonstrations  Take advantage of free demo versions and trial accounts  Pilot the software © 501 Commons
  • Some database options* © 501 Commons  Free – “like kittens!”  Salesforce (10 licenses)  CiviCRM  Access**  SQL**  Subscription based  Blackbaud – Raisers Edge, eTapestry, Luminate  SugarCRM  Microsoft Dynamics  Little Green Light  Batchbook …and many more * Focused on nonprofits **Available to NPOs for reduced fees
  • Some databases featured in 2011 NTEN survey*  Raiser’s Edge (from Blackbaud)  Salesforce  CiviCRM  Convio Common Ground (acquired then retired by Blackbaud)  Giftworks  eTapestry  Donor Perfect  DonorPro  Volgistics  Volunteer Reporter  DemocracyInAction  Custom built software * “2011 Nonprofit Data Ecosystem Survey” © 501 Commons
  • NTEN Survey Results – Donor Platform Grades © 501 Commons
  • © 501 Commons Volunteer Platform Grades from NTEN’s 2011 survey Summary from Idealware- Techsoup’s “Consumer Guide to Software for Volunteer Management”
  • NTEN Survey Results – Activist Platform Grades © 501 Commons
  • NTEN Survey Results – Case/Client Platform Grades © 501 Commons
  • NTEN Survey Results – Multi-Purpose System Grade © 501 Commons
  • © 501 Commons
  • Take Aways Define the Objective: To create a Data Management Plan or choose a Database? While choosing a Database -  Assess the scope of organizational needs  Identify technology goals  Prioritize requirements  Map out the needed software features  Identify resources, both $$ and people  Decide which solution is the best fit In the end, it is always about people! © 501 Commons
  • http://www.501commons.org/services/technology-services/deep-dive-cohort Each participating nonprofit will receive: • An assessment of the organization’s technology infrastructure and technology usage • A key issues report and plan based on the assessment for more effectively using technology to support the organization’s mission • Access to additional tech trainings offered by the HandsOn Tech Team and skills-based volunteers DEEP DIVE PROGRAM © 501 Commons
  • © 501 Commons