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Jolkona Partners: What’s Your Data Trying to Tell You?

Jolkona’s co-founder Adnan Mahmud spent the last few days at the NTEN Nonprofit Tech Conference, sharing and learning how nonprofits are gathering and evaluating data to improve fundraising, operations and programs. Check out his latest Huffington Post Impact column for his insights into three Big Data challenges we need to overcome: quantity vs. quality, imperfect tools, and funding priorities.

At Jolkona HQ, our team has a mix of people from Microsoft and the nonprofit sector; let’s just say that some of us are more naturally data-oriented than others! As communications manager, my work includes monitoring our website traffic, social media analytics and audience demographics — but it’s a constant challenge, especially as we evolve from our startup phase, to keep up with all the recommended metrics and figure out what they mean. Donor data can also be a real head-scratcher: Why are some of our Give to Girls projects attracting large contributions from new donors, while others are more likely to attract small contributions from repeat donors? Why are some donors supporting multiple projects, but others just one of the nine options? When the campaign is over on March 31, we’ll have to take a look at this information and see whether it means we should structure next year’s campaign differently…

Jolkona partners and peers: What are some problems you have experienced related to gathering data about your donors, clients and programs? How can we improve, as a sector, to engage more funders and help more people?

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