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4 Ways to Manage Your Nonprofit Programs Better with Data

By August 30, 2018

In a recent study on nonprofit trends by and Salesforce Research, 64% of nonprofit leaders said there is an increased demand for transparency from their donors. At the same time, 74% struggle to capture and maintain accurate data on their constituents. How do you demonstrate that your programs are meeting your mission and objectives, and have measurable successes?

Here are 4 ways that nonprofits can use data and technology to manage and scale your programs:

1. Centralize data in one place, like a nonprofit CRM platform

Imagine having your program’s data in the same place as your fundraising and volunteer data. What if you were finally able to understand which volunteers are also program alumni, how many of your volunteers are donors, or the impact of a donor’s gift on program outcomes. With one centralized platform to collect, store, manage and analyze data, you can be free of having to check multiple spreadsheets, legacy systems, or paper sheets to understand your organization and its stakeholders. The difference between having your data in multiple file cabinets and in one constituent relationship management (CRM) platform in the cloud means

  • Your team can take a vacation, knowing that your colleagues have access to the same data you do!
  • Nonprofits can collaborate on the same report or client easily
  • You can get a full view of your constituents
  • You can scale without having to grow your staff: see how Baltimore Corps did this.

2. Drive automation and efficiency

Now that you have your data on one platform, what next? One of the key benefits of managing your programs on a technology platform is your ability to automate processes and workflows. How much time do you spend on manual processes or how much data is lost in your inbox? With Nonprofit Cloud, you can set up rules that automatically trigger based on an action. For example, Open Door Legal has automated their case intake process ensuring no potential client falls through the cracks. When a potential client visits Open Door Legal’s website and fills out a form, a case is automatically created. Then, once an appointment is scheduled with the potential client, a task is automatically triggered for a paralegal to review the case. Read more about the impact they’re making with Salesforce.

3. Measure your impact

Picture this: you need to convince your key donors to fund critical programs. Do you foresee yourself spending time collecting data from various sources and then spending more time in putting it together to show all the inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes from your program? Instead, picture the possibility of impact storytelling where you have easy access to tools for program impact measurement. The persuasiveness of your story is greatly enhanced when you can provide data on inputs, resources consumed and the impacts on your target beneficiaries, drawing from one CRM that tracks all of this data in one place.

4. Use the power of predictive analytics and AI for Good

Artificial Intelligence (AI) empowers you to make data-driven decisions that further your core mission. Going beyond mere reporting on data, AI can give you deep insights into the impact that your programs are making. With machine learning technology, the more it’s used, the more AI becomes smarter about understanding your business model and factors for success. Whether it is predictions on the best interventions to help certain types of clients or whether or not your constituent is at risk of dropping out the program, AI makes it easier for your already strapped staff to manage your programs more effectively and provide better services to your constituents.

Watch this webinar introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Nonprofits for an overview of the field.

Curious about what other nonprofits are doing today? Check out this research report from Salesforce Research and learn more about trends in program resourcing, delivery, engagement, and impact measurement, as well as how nonprofits are using technology today.




Nonprofit Trends Report

About the Author
Aruna DhallAruna Dhall is a Product Management Director at Salesforce. She is passionate about collaboration and has extensive experience working on projects using agile development methodologies and globally distributed teams. In addition to her work in technology, she loves cryptic crosswords, tea, and social justice. Aruna volunteers with Southasiaforce, the South Asian employee resource group at Salesforce, as the Global Communications chair. Her nonprofit experience also includes work with Open Heart Kitchen of Livermore, Habitat for Humanity, and other social causes.