IPA Blog

Data-Informed Philanthropy: Turning Data to Dollars

Friday, September 16, 2022

Author: Amanda Lopez, President & Founder, Transform Consulting Group


Are you overwhelmed by data or not sure what to do with the data that you have? Maybe you are frustrated with how your grantees are using their data. You’re not alone! In fact, 60% of nonprofit professionals say they don’t use data!

As a philanthropic partner, we know you’re doing incredible work. You are moving the needle in your community, and at Transform Consulting Group (TCG), we applaud your efforts.

You are: 

  • Meeting basic needs
  • Building financial stability for families 
  • Strengthening the workforce
  • Improving health outcomes
  • And so much more

But how? All of this costs money, and the need continues to grow. Your opportunity to raise more money is linked to data that shows impact. 

At TCG, we are noticing a growing trend with funders who no longer want to only write a check, but desire to be a part of the solution through stepping into a community leader and convener role. You want your work to be effective and lead to supporting a thriving community. 

Each year there are more nonprofit organizations who are formed and more individuals giving to charitable causes. Yet, the social issues plaguing our communities seem to be getting worse while charitable giving increases. 

There is a disconnect.

We see the use of data as a critical lynchpin to helping move the needle on addressing our social issues.

What is a Data-Informed Organization?

A data-informed organization blends the “lived experience” and knowledge of staff with the objective data to make data-informed decisions. We often see an organization that operates in one end of the pendulum where they rely more on individual and collective experiences with minimal to limited regard to the data compared to organizations that only look at the data to inform decision making. 

Being a data-informed organization requires a higher-level strategy that answers “how” and “why.”

We all know data is important, and we collect it - a lot of it! It is not the lack of data that is the problem, but how it is collected, organized and managed in a way to make sense of it all. Then we can use it to tell our story of impact. 

This all goes back to your mission. Why do you exist, and what is it your organization wants to accomplish? We know that data plays a critical role in accomplishing your goals. 

Let us help you do more.

Here’s how: 
  • Are you attending the Indiana Philanthropy Conference next week? We’ll be there! TCG President and #datanerd Amanda Lopez will lead a conversation about how you can use data to drive impact. Attend our session to learn more about our approaches to help philanthropic partners use their data. Register to participate in her session on September 29 at 9:00 am. 
  • We will also have a booth at the conference! Visit us anytime and sign up to talk with one of our consultants during a break about your data needs and challenges. Sign up here to schedule a time. 
  • Take the self assessment to determine if your organization is Data Informed on our website. We’ll help you determine where your organization is at and what areas to strengthen as you become data informed.  

You can also contact us at anytime with questions! Amanda Schortgen, Communication Manager (a.schortgen@transformonsultinggroup.com and 317.324.4070 ext. 807).


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