Sharing a new resource developed by our friends at B3 Consults and Public Profit

We’ve all been there. Frustrated with maintaining 15 different spreadsheets, 30 word documents, and 19 Survey Monkey surveys, a nonprofit leader says, “Enough! Let’s just get a data system.”

Yes! Finally! A centralized place for all the organization’s client-level data that will help the team serve clients better and make reporting to funders a breeze.

Joy and excitement fade to sadness as the team struggles to fathom how to go about getting a new data system, much less implementing one. And the stakes couldn’t be higher: nonprofits often invest upwards of $50,000 in a new data system.

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A new free resource, Making Wise Decisions, was created with these nonprofits in mind. Developed by experts in program evaluation and data system development, Making Wise Decisions incorporates advice from small- to midsized-nonprofits that have adopted a new data system.

Making Wise Decisions offers user-friendly, step-by-step guidance to organizations that are considering adopting a new data management system. This free toolkit includes:

  • A comprehensive guidebook that walks nonprofit organizations through key considerations when selecting and adopting a data system.

  • A set of guidebook-aligned planning tools that teams can use to document their agency-specific needs and considerations.

  • An online “quiz” that organizations can take to identify data systems most likely to meet their needs.

  • Webinars and trainings to help nonprofits get started.

As they strive to advance and establish the impact of their work in communities, many of our nonprofit grantees have sought our financial support, and our advice, to implement database systems that will aid them in evaluation and reporting, performance management and other critical functions.  The right database can be a vital tool in an organization’s development.

As buyers, however, nonprofit leaders are often at a disadvantage because they have various goals and are unsure what questions and specifications will lead them to the best system for their organization. As a result, implementing a data system can be a daunting task that chews up time and money. The challenge is no less for us at the Foundation, as we try to advise our grantees and assess the likelihood of their success in these types of projects.

I believe the Making Wise Decisions toolkit will help all of us – nonprofit leaders, foundation program officers, even system vendors themselves – to find winning solutions to these common problems.
— Ken Doane, Executive Vice President, S.H. Cowell Foundation

Developed by B3 Consults and Public Profit, Making Wise Decisions is generously supported by the S.H. Cowell Foundation, with supplemental funding from the Y & H Soda Foundation.

Click here to learn more!