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May 2016
Nonprofit Dashboards
Presented by Jonathan Poisner
For the Nonprofit Network of
Southwest Washington
ABOUT JONATHAN POISNER
STRATEGIC CONSULTING
Services:
Strategic and Campaign Planning
Facilitation
Fundraising
Communi...
WHAT WE’LL BE COVERING
 What is a Nonprofit Dashboard?
 Why Dashboards?
 What should go into a Dashboard?
 How to deve...
What is this?
What is its purpose?
WHAT IS A NONPROFIT
DASHBOARD?
 A 1-2 page document
 Using a combination of charts, graphs,
and tables
 To visually pre...
SO WHY A NONPROFIT
DASHBOARD?
In light of our conversation
about the purpose of car
dashboards, what is the
purpose of a n...
DASHBOARD PURPOSES
My top purposes . . . .
 To track overall organizational performance
 To focus the board’s attention ...
SO WHAT SHOULD A
DASHBOARD MEASURE?
“Key Performance Indicators” or KPIs
Key – because you’re not measuring
everything
Per...
SO HOW DO YOU SELECT
YOUR KPIS?
IF YOU HAVE A STRATEGIC
PLAN . . .
 Look at the Strategic Plan’s Goals
 Hopefully the plan already contains
measurements...
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A
STRATEGIC PLAN
 First, consider investing time into a strategic plan
before developing a Dashboard.
...
“COMPARED TO WHAT”
For any KPI, you must also answer: compared to
what?
 Will it be enough to just track performance over...
SOME CONCEPTS TO KEEP IN
MIND
OUTCOMES V. OUTPUTS
Outcomes – the ultimate results from
your work that represent advancement
towards your mission or enha...
WHICH DO YOU WANT,
OUTCOMES OR OUTPUTS?
 Both may be appropriate . . .
 Too much outputs and you may be doing lots
of ac...
WHAT ARE YOUR RISK
FACTORS
If one purpose is to get an early indication things are
going wrong, think about what indicator...
GOVERNANCE V.
MANAGEMENT
 If this is an organizational
dashboard for the board, make
sure it’s focused at a level
relevan...
WHAT ABOUT FINANCES?
WHAT ARE SOME POTENTIAL
FUNDRAISING KPIS
 Total fundraising
 Revenue broken out by fundraising strategy
 Possibly as a ...
WHAT ABOUT OTHER
FINANCE KPIS?
 Cash on hand
 Perhaps just unrestricted
 Months of cash on hand
 Expected cash as of 6...
OTHER POTENTIAL CAPACITY-
FOCUSED KPIS?
 Staff focused KPIs
 Communications focused KPIs
 Board governance KPIs
YOU MAY WISH TO CREATE
NEW METRICS
“Sum of All Actions” example at OLCV
 Instead of reporting each and every
communicatio...
HOW MANY KPIS?
 The sweet spot is 4-15, but there’s no magic
here.
 Too many and it will be hard to focus the board’s
at...
WHO DOES THIS?
 A subcommittee of board and staff should launch
the process. And probably meet for a couple of
hours.
 N...
DISPLAYING YOUR
DASHBOARD
 Excel is your friend
 May wish to use green, yellow, red indicators
 Scorecard-type display ...
EXAMPLES
PROGRAM EXAMPLE
Source: Blue Avocado
Source: Blue Avocado
Source:
Nonprofit
Quarterly
HOW OFTEN TO REVIEW?
 Dashboards should be reviewed by the board at
least annually.
 For some metrics, it may make sense...
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
 Don’t even try this until you have good data
(finances, fundraising, programmatic)
 Put someone in ...
CLOSING REFLECTION
 I’d like you to each think for a minute on your
own and answer the following question: What
two thing...
QUESTIONS
RESOURCES
 Board Source, The Nonprofit Dashboard (2012),
2nd Edition.
 https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/05/09/finan
c...
TO CONTACT ME:
 www.poisner.com – for email newsletter signup
 Twitter.com @jpoisner
 Via phone: 503-490-1234
 Via ema...
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A primer on nonprofit dashboards

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Presentation for the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington, May 2016

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A primer on nonprofit dashboards

  1. 1. May 2016 Nonprofit Dashboards Presented by Jonathan Poisner For the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington
  2. 2. ABOUT JONATHAN POISNER STRATEGIC CONSULTING Services: Strategic and Campaign Planning Facilitation Fundraising Communications Organizational Development Executive Coaching Author: Why Organizations Thrive: Lessons from the Front Lines for Nonprofit Executive Directors
  3. 3. WHAT WE’LL BE COVERING  What is a Nonprofit Dashboard?  Why Dashboards?  What should go into a Dashboard?  How to develop your Dashboard  How to display your Dashboard  Institutional considerations
  4. 4. What is this? What is its purpose?
  5. 5. WHAT IS A NONPROFIT DASHBOARD?  A 1-2 page document  Using a combination of charts, graphs, and tables  To visually present information about organizational performance  Intended (usually) for a board governance audience.
  6. 6. SO WHY A NONPROFIT DASHBOARD? In light of our conversation about the purpose of car dashboards, what is the purpose of a nonprofit dashboard?
  7. 7. DASHBOARD PURPOSES My top purposes . . . .  To track overall organizational performance  To focus the board’s attention on the most important things  To help the board (and staff) think strategically  To identify on a timely basis if the organization is going to have a problem
  8. 8. SO WHAT SHOULD A DASHBOARD MEASURE? “Key Performance Indicators” or KPIs Key – because you’re not measuring everything Performance – you want measurements that evaluate how well you’re doing Indicators – you want measurements that point you in the direction of taking action.
  9. 9. SO HOW DO YOU SELECT YOUR KPIS?
  10. 10. IF YOU HAVE A STRATEGIC PLAN . . .  Look at the Strategic Plan’s Goals  Hopefully the plan already contains measurements of success under each  Identify which of these are most critical at this point in time for the organization  Probably contains a combination of programmatic indicators and institutional capacity indicators (like finances/fundraising)
  11. 11. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A STRATEGIC PLAN  First, consider investing time into a strategic plan before developing a Dashboard.  But if you insist . . .look at your programs and ask:  Which of these are most important?  What measurements of success make sense in light of the challenge of generating data?  Then look at your institutional capacity and ask, what are the biggest indicators of success?
  12. 12. “COMPARED TO WHAT” For any KPI, you must also answer: compared to what?  Will it be enough to just track performance over time, so compared to prior years? Prior quarters?  Should you also compare towards specific objectives you’ve set.
  13. 13. SOME CONCEPTS TO KEEP IN MIND
  14. 14. OUTCOMES V. OUTPUTS Outcomes – the ultimate results from your work that represent advancement towards your mission or enhanced organizational capacity. Outputs – the activities you engage in that you hope lead to outcomes.
  15. 15. WHICH DO YOU WANT, OUTCOMES OR OUTPUTS?  Both may be appropriate . . .  Too much outputs and you may be doing lots of activity, without knowing if you’re advancing towards your mission.  To much outcomes and you may miss out on early indications whether you’re on track to achieve outcomes.  Plus, for some organizations outcomes are really, really challenging to have good data.
  16. 16. WHAT ARE YOUR RISK FACTORS If one purpose is to get an early indication things are going wrong, think about what indicators would apply. Examples:  Volunteer  Repeat Volunteers  Repeat Patients  Patient Satisfaction  Membership fundraising  Renewal rate
  17. 17. GOVERNANCE V. MANAGEMENT  If this is an organizational dashboard for the board, make sure it’s focused at a level relevant for the board.  Staff may ultimately use other Dashboards to help them keep track of performance within programs.
  18. 18. WHAT ABOUT FINANCES?
  19. 19. WHAT ARE SOME POTENTIAL FUNDRAISING KPIS  Total fundraising  Revenue broken out by fundraising strategy  Possibly as a net instead of gross  Number of donors/members  Renewal/retention rate for donors  Diversity of fundraising (by strategy, geography, etc.)  Percentage of contributed funds that are unrestricted  Many more possible KPIs
  20. 20. WHAT ABOUT OTHER FINANCE KPIS?  Cash on hand  Perhaps just unrestricted  Months of cash on hand  Expected cash as of 6 months from now  For nonprofits that generate revenue through fee for service, some of the KPIs may relate back to programs (such as people served, enrollment, etc.)
  21. 21. OTHER POTENTIAL CAPACITY- FOCUSED KPIS?  Staff focused KPIs  Communications focused KPIs  Board governance KPIs
  22. 22. YOU MAY WISH TO CREATE NEW METRICS “Sum of All Actions” example at OLCV  Instead of reporting each and every communications metric (clicks, shares, forwards, donations, etc.), create a catch-all to combine them all as “actions taken in response to a communication” and track quarterly.
  23. 23. HOW MANY KPIS?  The sweet spot is 4-15, but there’s no magic here.  Too many and it will be hard to focus the board’s attention and to display it on just a couple pages.  Too few and you won’t really be assessing organizational performance, just a small subset of things.
  24. 24. WHO DOES THIS?  A subcommittee of board and staff should launch the process. And probably meet for a couple of hours.  Not something to rush. May turn out to take a couple of meetings as you figure out what data you can reasonably generate.  Then take a proposal to the board meeting and have a broader conversation with them for substantive feedback.  Then come back into a Committee (if necessary) to adjust based on feedback and work out any details.
  25. 25. DISPLAYING YOUR DASHBOARD  Excel is your friend  May wish to use green, yellow, red indicators  Scorecard-type display (indicators in rows with the actual data, goal, trend, and variance)  Graphic-style display (pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs, etc.).  Fully automating the process is unlikely to be worth the effort since data being drawn upon will almost certainly be in different places.
  26. 26. EXAMPLES
  27. 27. PROGRAM EXAMPLE Source: Blue Avocado
  28. 28. Source: Blue Avocado
  29. 29. Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
  30. 30. HOW OFTEN TO REVIEW?  Dashboards should be reviewed by the board at least annually.  For some metrics, it may make sense to review quarterly or monthly at the staff level and then to share with the board if something is amiss.  There may be some organizations where a quarterly review of the Dashboard by the full board is worthwhile.
  31. 31. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS  Don’t even try this until you have good data (finances, fundraising, programmatic)  Put someone in charge (both creation and implementation)  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good  No Dashboard is final  A Dashboard is not a substitute for providing your board underlying financial reports
  32. 32. CLOSING REFLECTION  I’d like you to each think for a minute on your own and answer the following question: What two things you’ve learned from this Workshop that you will definitely communicate back to others within your organization.  Then report back.
  33. 33. QUESTIONS
  34. 34. RESOURCES  Board Source, The Nonprofit Dashboard (2012), 2nd Edition.  https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/05/09/finan cial-management-models-of-a-great-nonprofit- dashboard/ (or google Polanco and Walker Nonprofit Dashboards)
  35. 35. TO CONTACT ME:  www.poisner.com – for email newsletter signup  Twitter.com @jpoisner  Via phone: 503-490-1234  Via email: jonathan@poisner.com

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