Use of Data in Philanthropy (& Beyond?)
|August 31, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Management, Philanthropy, Research, Technology||
The folks at The Social Velocity Blog recently interviewed Lucy Bernolz, a visionary strategy consultant, author and blogger at the Philanthropy 2173 Blog in a post entitled Data and the Future of Philanthropy.
Ms. Bernolz shares her thoughts on open sharing of data, including the benefits and drawbacks when data are used by the community (crowd-sourcing) to bring about change, how foundations are responding to drivers of change around technology, the role government can play in bridging gaps between funders, donors and nonprofits as well as what may be next for nonprofits in terms of leveraging emerging technology and social networks. If you’re busy today, bookmark it.
I am just beginning to really grasp the possibilities of real data sharing or data openness, particularly in a community setting such as an educational institution or a multi-state nonprofit where sites may have varied program regulations or policies (formal and informal) and similarly silo-ed employees and clients. Lately, I have been most curious about the four-way intersection of intent, expectation, utility and outcome when nonprofits tap into digital connectivity not only for fund-raising or assessment purposes but also for use in outreach activities and even service models.
Considering how we make virtual choices – who we link to, what we “like” and what we share about ourselves on the Internet – it is clear that we are a data-driven society and that is unlikely to change (even though, as Ms. Bernholtz points out, not all data are objective or even used well). I am eager to see the eventual results of this kind of daily data sharing on the structures (and cultures) of nonprofit organizations, from large foundations to small service agencies, ten years down the road.