The state of data in the nonprofit sector

Publication language
Date published
12 Mar 2016
Research, reports and studies
Data approaches

Data is a term we’ve come to associate with the for-profit world, but in the nonprofit world it’s seemingly not as prevalent. Natural-born do-gooders came into the nonprofit sector with one mission—to leave the world a better place than they found it. Nobody mentioned data in that equation.

However, if you want to give your nonprofit every chance it has to improve and succeed, data is vital. Data can help you predict future trends, gather donor statistics, analyze fundraising trends and more. That’s why Nonprofit Hub and EveryAction have partnered to bring you a better look at the ways nonprofits are collecting data and to identify how they’re using the data for success.

To gain insight, we conducted a survey with hundreds of nonprofits. While 90 percent of 60% of nonprofit professionals don’t use data to make decisions all respondents said they sometimes or always tracked data, 48 percent said they weren’t sure of all the ways that their organization was tracking data.

It’s a good start that most nonprofits are collecting data, but simply tracking it isn’t enough. Our findings produced clear results stating that many nonprofits are collecting data, but often aren’t sure what to do with it. For example, only 40 percent of nonprofit professionals said they use data very often to make decisions or in every decision they make, and 46 percent said they do not consistently use data to make decisions.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of nonprofit data to discover how nonprofits can be more successful.