As technology and data become more prevalent for businesses to make decisions, allocate resources and greatly influence customer choices, how can entities including non-profit organizations use data more efficiently to reach their mission?
Why is data analytics important?
Non-profit organizations need to understand how to collect and analyze data by identifying patterns, looking at performance, and understanding online traffic. Using these factors, non-profit organizations can identify the next steps for their organization to gain more donors and recognition, and plan their finances.
Types of Analytics
Descriptive: Looking at changes in information from one period and comparing it with other periods Ex. Compare revenue from 2021 to 2020s
Diagnostic: Answering why something has occurred and connecting it with other factors Ex. How did summer affect the number of student volunteers we have?
Predictive: Using past data and patterns to predict what will happen in the future Ex. If a business did not have enough donors in the past, they might not have enough donors this year either
Prescriptive: Replicating possible conclusions and understanding the positives and negatives of each
What should organizations focus on?
Data from own website:
- Organizations can pay attention to how many online viewers clicked on their website through a search engine like Google (organic traffic) and,
- How many online viewers clicked into their website from another website (referral traffic) and,
- How many viewers clicked on the website from the organization’s social media posts (social traffic)
This data allows organizations to discover where viewers come from when they visit the organization’s website, discover if people can find their website on search engines, which external sites are the most successful in attracting viewers, and the most successful social media posts from the organization.
Data from emails:
Email open rate: the number of recipients that open and look at emails from the organization
Given a low email open rate, the organization can look through its subscriber list and see if there are any outdated email addresses and try to revise the subject line for the emails to make it more attention-catching.
Data from donors and fundraisers:
The retention rate for donors: Given a low retention rate, try to investigate ways to retain donors including thank you phone calls and emails, encouraging them to donate regularly instead of one-time, and ways to recognize long-time donors
Data from Business and Revenue:
Cost per dollar raised: Need to determine which activities generate the most return on investment and which can be cut from the organization’s business plan
Thus, using data can help non-profit organizations understand their weaknesses and strengths while looking for ways to use their resources to improve. It is a guide that allows organizations to determine how they can continue operating.
Korcomptenz Inc. (2021, September 6). The Importance of Analytics for non-profit organizations. ERP Software Blog. https://www.erpsoftwareblog.com/2021/09/the-importance-of-analytics-for-non-profit-organizations/
DNL OmniMedia. (2022, May 24). Nonprofit Analytics: Overview and 13 Analytics for Your Org. https://www.dnlomnimedia.com/blog/nonprofit-analytics/#:~:text=Nonprofit%20data%20analytics%20is%20the,fundraising%20and%20donor%20stewardship%20goals
Ramirez, Renata. (2020, March 16). Data Analytics for Nonprofits: Using Data for Nonprofits. University of San Diego. https://www.sandiego.edu/news/detail.php?_focus=75845