Big data in the philanthropic sector could be optimized to produce a host of positive impacts. Like any entity that requires fiscal and operational management, a philanthropic organization should be ideally guided by data-driven goals and objectives and supported by staff with the tech know-how. This ensures that big data are efficiently leveraged or used by the organization. Aside from this reason, there are several others that underscore the importance of big data in the philanthropic sector.

Analytical Tool

As an analytical tool, it helps philanthropy managers identify smart and doable goals. Non-profits, foundations, charities, social ventures are just some of the entities in the philanthropy sector. These organizations operate around a specific mission, from education, social enterprise, public health, among other social issues and causes.

Creating programs and services in support of the organization’s mission require data-driven facts. Nonprofit management, for example, cannot just claim to provide education and training for a specific stakeholder group without a data set to back-up the need. Every program and service starts with research and assessment, and this is where big data comes in.

Strategic Development Tool

Depending on the nonprofit cycle, at the end of a fiscal or calendar year, philanthropic groups often undergo an annual evaluation. The evaluation looks at different operational components, including financial management, programmatic accomplishments, among other aspects. Through big data, managers can report to the community, the nonprofit board, and other stakeholders, how far they have come in accomplishing their goals.

Nonprofit managers can collate the data sets to show whether they are fiscally robust during the previous year. They can also report how their programs were able to make a difference in the community. At the end of the fiscal year, these data sets can be used to strategize for the upcoming year, from fundraising to program development.

Conquering the Fear

While it could be integrated into aspects of nonprofit management, the challenge is to encourage organizations to embrace big data into their processes. The value of big data should be looked at based on several important factors. Aside from its analytical purpose, big data could also help the organization achieve their customer relationship management goals.

The philanthropy sector relies on public funding, grants, corporate giving, and donations to operate. They are entrusted with a responsibility to utilize the funds for the betterment of the community. With big data, these nonprofit organizations can use the information to strategically plan their programs and services.