In the ever-evolving landscape of organisational success, the pursuit of data maturity is no longer exclusive to corporations. Nonprofits in South Africa are carving their path toward data-driven decision-making, aiming to elevate impact and operational efficiency. However, many nonprofit boards find themselves at an early stage of data maturity, longing to harness the power of information without the burden of high costs or insurmountable challenges. But the story doesn’t end there. As a college enhanced its fundraising strategies through meticulous data analysis, unveiling a trove of potential donors, the narrative shifted.
From that single dataset emerged a substantial contribution, igniting the potential for transformative change. This success story underscores the power of data and technology when united to steer nonprofits towards meaningful impact. How can these boards embrace data and technology for success? Let’s explore this transformative journey further.
How to advance your nonprofit data maturity for success
Many non-profit boards in South Africa are at an earlier stage of data maturity than they desire. Acquiring the right data to enhance fundraising, measure impact, and optimize efficiency can seem overly challenging or expensive.
But it doesn’t have to be. Unlocking and using data to drive success is achievable, as evidenced by a college that sought to improve its fundraising efforts. By analysing data from six months of solicitation emails, a consultant helped the college identify recipients most likely to engage with the messages and, with a wealth-screening tool, further refined the list to potential donors.
The outcomes were game-changing. “We discovered that out of the 20 people identified, based on their capacity, five could make a significant contribution to the university — a gift of R350,000 or more annually,” the consultant told The Chronicle of Philanthropy. “So, within the first year of engaging with these five individuals, we secured one major donation — just from that one dataset.”
By adopting data-driven decision-making supported by technology, non-profit boards in South Africa can significantly enhance their success and ensure their organizations make meaningful contributions to the communities they serve.
So, how can boards use data — and technology tools to access it — to drive success?
Technology partnerships in data-driven decision-making
We’ve outlined some key benefits of using data for non-profit success. Let’s delve deeper into how the right technology partnerships can enable these efforts.
One inspiring example is Biokind Analytics, founded by a student at a South African university. With an initial interest in Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses, Alex Han used analytics to support health care non-profits. Biokind Analytics initially succeeded in helping Alzheimer’s organizations in South Africa analyse geospatial trends in their donorship and interpret previous donation trends. Now a registered non-profit organization (section 21 company), Biokind Analytics has chapters on several South African campuses and has assisted various medical non-profits.
Such collaborative partnerships driven by technological innovations exemplify how organizations can leverage data and serve communities. They focus on tailored targeting, similar to the college example, allowing organizations to strengthen fundraising and donor engagement by studying preferences, behaviours, and needs.
6 ways nonprofit data maturity and technology can drive success
In the era of Big Data, it’s easier than ever to collect, analyse, and use data for strategic decision-making related to service efficiency, fundraising, grant applications, public relations, and more. Consider how technology — particularly modern non-profit board management software — can simplify complexities and shed light on the insights data provides.
- Focus on Data that Maximizes Impact: Finding the right balance in data collection is crucial. Tailored surveying through digital board management software ensures that organizations collect the right data at the right time for better decision-making regarding their goals and mission.
- Analyse Data to Identify What Resonates with People: Nonprofits can use existing or readily available data to understand what messaging resonates with potential donors and stakeholders. This includes email campaign results, social platform engagement, and more.
- Embrace Smart Partnerships: Successful fundraising ties to the right partnerships. Many non-profits need technology to effectively serve their communities but lack the resources for in-house IT support. Partnerships with experienced organizations can make this achievable within budget constraints.
- Support Strategic Planning Efforts: The right data provides insights into developing and measuring progress against a strategic plan. By honing key performance indicators linked to mission goals, non-profit leaders can quickly understand the progress their organizations are making.
- Utilize Collaboration-Supporting Tools: Sharing data within the board, with staff, and through partnerships ensures all stakeholders work toward the same goals. Non-profit board management software such as BoardEffect offers clear, consistent presentation of data shared through granular permissions, enhancing effectiveness in strategic planning and outcome tracking.
- Employ Metrics for Efficient Resource Allocation: Efficiency is vital for organizations working with limited resources. Implementing task workflows and reporting through board management software allows board members and organization leaders to understand how work is progressing and identify bottlenecks that may impede strategic goals.
The next steps to nonprofit data maturity
Most organizations in South Africa already possess the necessary data to initiate profound change. By focusing on the right data, engaging the right tools, and collaborating with appropriate partners, mission-driven organizations can significantly increase their impact on the communities they serve.
Consider this insight from Nathan Chappell, senior vice president at DonorSearch, in The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “There’s no future where you compete effectively in a world where you’re not using big data and technology,” he says. “Every non-profit that wants to thrive needs to leverage data to some extent.”
Data holds the answers, but boards of mission-driven organizations in South Africa require the right tools to make informed decisions. BoardEffect is board management software tailored to the unique needs of non-profits, enabling leadership teams to collaborate and confidently make data-driven decisions.
Contact us today to request a demo and discover how the right solution can transform your mission-driven organization today!