It is becoming more necessary for organizations to use actionable insights to preserve a competitive advantage as the digital era advances. Business intelligence (BI) plays an essential role by transforming data visualization into valuable insights across many industries. Business intelligence (BI) for nonprofit organizations is a tool that allows these groups to make data-driven decisions to achieve their goals effectively.
With donor information at their fingertips, nonprofits can track how much money they’re bringing in, where it’s coming from, and what donor trends are emerging. This information is crucial in understanding how to use resources most efficiently. For example, BI tool can help nonprofits with donor acquisition and retention by understanding what motivates donors to give and then using that information to create targeted campaigns. Additionally, by analyzing donor behavior, many nonprofit organizations can identify opportunities for soliciting more significant gifts or setting up donor-advised funds.
Donor information isn’t the only data that business intelligence can help with. For example, if a nonprofit mission statement is looking to expand its programs, understanding which ones are most successful and why can inform decision-making. Additionally, nonprofits can use BI to track employee productivity or social media engagement. The bottom line is that business intelligence allows nonprofits to make data-driven decisions that can help them achieve their goals more effectively. As the world goes digital, BI will become an increasingly important tool for philanthropic organizations.
There is a disconnect between donors’ expectations and what nonprofits are providing. To bridge this gap, nonprofits need to use BI tools and techniques better. This will not only improve donor retention and satisfaction but also allow nonprofits to make more informed decisions that can ultimately increase donations and philanthropic activity.
Why aren’t nonprofits utilizing actionable data insights to their advantage?
Data can be used to help nonprofits achieve their goals in a number of ways. For example, key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to measure progress and identify areas where improvements need to be made. Additionally, data can be used to inform strategic planning and decisions, assess program effectiveness, and track fundraising success.
This is a missed opportunity. Actionable data insights can help nonprofits improve their operations, target their fundraising efforts, and measure their impact more effectively.
So why aren’t more organizations using data analytics to its full potential? There are a few possible reasons:
1. Data can be overwhelming.
Nonprofits often work with limited resources, so it can be tough to dedicate the time and workforce needed to dive into data analysis. What’s more, data sets can be complex and hard to understand.
2. There’s a lack of data literacy.
Many nonprofit staff members and volunteers don’t have the skills needed to analyze data effectively. As a result, they may not be able to identify the most important insights or know how to act on them.
3. Data can be expensive.
Collecting and storing data can be costly, especially for small organizations. And hiring someone with the skills to analyze it effectively can also be a significant expense.
4. There are privacy concerns.
Nonprofits often work with sensitive data, such as personal information from donors or beneficiaries. As a result, there may be concerns about sharing data internally or with outside parties.
Though these challenges exist, there are still a number of ways for nonprofits to overcome them and start using data more effectively. Here are a few ideas:
1. Work with a data partner.
There are a number of organizations that specialize in helping nonprofits make the most of their data. Working with one of these partners can help reduce the burden on staff and volunteers and ensure that data is being used effectively.
2. Invest in data literacy training.
Educating staff and volunteers about data analysis can help them feel more confident in working with data and make it more likely that they’ll be able to identify meaningful insights. There are a number of resources available to help with this, including online courses and workshops.
3. Use data visualization tools.
Visualizing data can help make it easier to understand and identify patterns and trends. There are a number of software options available to help with this, including Tableau and Google Sheets.
4. Make data privacy a priority.
Data privacy should be a key concern for all nonprofits. When collecting and storing data, organizations should take steps to ensure that it is secure and only accessible by authorized staff members.
Actionable data insights can be compelling for nonprofits. By taking advantage of them, organizations can improve their operations, target their fundraising efforts, and measure their impact more effectively. However, collecting and using data effectively can be challenging. Nonprofits will need to overcome a number of obstacles, including a lack of data literacy and privacy concerns. But those who can do so will be well-positioned to succeed in the coming years.
In this day and age, it seems like data is everywhere we turn.
Many nonprofit data types, such as donor profiles, accounting records, website visits, and so on, are stored in many locations and file types. Manually combining this data is a time-consuming process; frequently, it becomes out of date when all of this data is collected and organized. What a waste of precious resources!
Business intelligence provides analysts with a thorough understanding of data relationships in a fraction of the time, allowing for more confident and influential decision-making.
There’s much more to it than that.
Business intelligence has come a long way since its inception. Now, it is a modernized system that looks ahead instead of documenting what has already happened. In addition, it relies on various data analysis techniques, strategies, and technologies to be effective. As a result, business intelligence (BI)provides more value than ever before.
More simply, business intelligence (BI) comprises data, strategies, and technologies.
Primarily, it allows you to answer essential questions quickly and easily:
- How can you keep your current donors and attract new ones?
- What was the impact of your outreach efforts, and which digital touchpoints were the most effective?
- What adjustments do we need to make to build our fundraising pipeline for the current year?
Before devising a strategy, you must understand what questions you need answers to. Here’s a tip that can help you identify and categorize the most critical questions:
Use your 3 Ps:
People – Donors, volunteers, staff, beneficiaries, etc.
Process – Operations, finances, marketing, etc.
Purpose – Mission, goals, objectives, etc.
Make sure that your ‘Why’ encompasses these 3Ps, and list the key questions you want BI to answer for you.
Now, consider the question of “How?”
The first step in solving the vision puzzle is to figure out how BI may assist you in turning data into something meaningful. Here are a few examples:
This process will help to ensure that your data is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
Use advanced data transformation methods and intelligent data integration to ensure that raw data is accurate and trustworthy before applying business intelligence (BI). For example, donor information enhanced with wealth, demographic, biographic, lifestyle, and other variables offers a more accurate view of the situation. This allows you to comprehend your existing pool of contributors and suggests methods for attracting new ones.
By analyzing the data, we can paint a clearer picture of what is happening.
Data’s usefulness increases exponentially when analyzed to uncover patterns and trends. All three types of analytic techniques are descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analysis; all of which can be beneficial to nonprofits:
Descriptive analysis is the study of what has occurred in a specific period. Analyzing donor demographics, charity giving patterns, and new donor advancements are just a few examples of this.
Based on tendencies, predictive analysis extrapolates future events. Applying predictive modeling to strategy and planning, major giving, and planned giving initiatives is a good example.
Prescriptive analysis, for example, advises the campaign on where it should focus its efforts based on the predicted results, such as where campaigns would do better or which volunteers would be more receptive to future events.
Generate reports and graphs to visualize your data.
Dashboards are a powerful and valuable way to grasp detailed information quickly from different stakeholders at centralized locations. These reporting demands might be nonprofits’ fundraising goals or other operational data and statistical points crucial for their success. In addition, they have drill-down capabilities and filters, allowing you to see the data in greater detail by focusing on specific aspects of it.
Creating and maintaining reports for business intelligence reporting is often a one-time process. Information may be scheduled or run-on demand once it has been configured. The notifications are immediately sent to the specified distribution list. BI eliminates a lot of manual work, making this automation more efficient.
Make an effort to devote some time and thought to your ‘What.’
Nonprofits may strengthen their operations significantly by using improved resources like visual dashboards and short reports, provided they have the appropriate vision and toolsets. The decision-makers can keep track of what they’re doing, pivot around issues, and achieve outcomes in various ways. Here are a few examples:
Being forthright and communicating effectively:
A reporting system that is more reliable and efficient for everyone involved.
Improved operational efficiency through personalized messaging and content automation based on real-time behavior. Improved production efficiency:
- Identifying risk and roadblocks using forecasting models.
- Issues should be prioritized.
- Improved management of stakeholders and programs.
- Maintaining a database of new contributors/volunteers, as well as evaluating, recruiting, and retaining them.
- Obtaining more helpful information from digital sources of customer interaction, such as social media
- Identifying gaps in knowledge and identifying areas for improvement.
- Developing a never-ending supply of new potential donors.
By understanding your organization’s needs, you can start making improvements. Here are three ways business intelligence software can help your and any other nonprofit organizations succeed.
Businesses that use BI tool to inform their decisions are more successful than those that don’t. Over half of the for-profit companies use business intelligence (BI) at the center of their decision-making process. Utilizing BI gives them an edge over the competition by providing essential data that keeps them informed about current trends in their industry, which can increase revenue.
Your efforts as a nonprofit are no more complex than those of a business regarding marketing. Unfortunately, it’s even more difficult in some ways. There’s so much dependency on fundraising strategy that you need the proper guidance to increase contributions and promote community involvement. You can design your marketing plans around the data that will provide you with verified answers, allowing your organization to continue making improvements in the world.
Every nonprofit’s primary objective is to increase its number of supporters. When you have more donors, you usually receive more funding. This additional money allows your organization to progress towards its goals and bring attention to the cause you support. If your message resonated with the demographics of people who are now your supporters, you likely did so. You may tap into why they donated by providing them with the appropriate information. For example, they might have given because of a fundraising campaign, an email list, or a social media post. If one of those campaigns appears to be more successful than the others, put more effort into promoting it, knowing that you’ll get good results.
With Business Intelligence, you may keep an eye on trends outside your organization while also reporting on internal concerns. For example, you can follow the departments in your organization to see if they’re underperforming. Once you’ve discovered the flaws, you may work to mend them or come up with ideas that will get you back on track. This will improve overall efficiency and allow you to determine whether your firm is losing money and, if so, how it might be reduced. BI tools assists in the reduction of fat by allowing you to look for efficiencies within your company.
Business intelligence is rapidly changing the way nonprofits operate. You no longer need to waste time and resources trying to piece together data from multiple sources. Instead, stay connected to your base and maximize and raise funds with a business intelligence solution.
Whether you’re a startup organization or a leading corporation, CommunityForce provides fully customizable, all-in-one online grant management solutions to maximize your efficiency, simplify complex processes, and improve collaboration so you can focus on increasing your impact. We’ve helped organizations streamline their entire process no matter the size and scope of their giving.