Tracking and measuring data can give nonprofits a better understanding of the populations they serve and how they serve them, and help them identify areas to improve their reach and the efficiency of their programs. But many nonprofits struggle to track data--or even to define what data they should be tracking.
Once upon a time, all software had to be directly installed onto computers—but more and more, vendors are hosting software that users access via the Cloud. Maybe you use Google Drive or Dropbox, Office 365, or a Cloud-based database. Maybe you're interested in what such hosted services offer but are worried about the security risks. Moving to the Cloud is not for everyone--how do you know if it's right for your organization?
A Quick Guide to Essential Software for your Organization
For more than eight years, Idealware has researched the software that can help nonprofits more easily meet their missions.
Do you use Salesforce as a Constituent Relationship Management database at your organization, or are you considering it? Since it launched in 1999, more than 20,000 nonprofits have employed the cloud-based system, which is made available to them for free through the philanthropic Salesforce Foundation. What’s the catch? Making such a powerful system work for the particular needs of a nonprofit isn’t always straightforward.
UPDATED for 2013...
What are we really asking for when we require nonprofits to produce data on performance, effectiveness and impact? While the surface logic is clear—we need to know this information—the full context and set of assumptions surrounding the request bears closer examination. Idealware's founder and executive director, Laura Quinn, wrote the following article for the Markets For Good blog.
Everybody is talking about mobile these days, and increasingly, people are spending much of their online time accessing the internet through mobile devices. What do small nonprofits need to know about mobile to make sure they're not missing out? To find out, we looked at what big global development organizations were doing successfully with mobile and translated that knowledge to a scale that small- to medium-sized organizations could replicate.
What if a percentage of the $150 billion spent annually in online shopping could be donated to nonprofits working to make the world a better place?That’s exactly the promise a growing number of web-based businesses are making—purchase something from an online retailer you find through their site, and they’ll send a percentage to the organization of your choice. Neither users nor their designated charities pay anything—the donations come from participating merchants, who pay the sites a commission for each online purchase referred through them.
Advocacy organizations often encourage their grassroots supporters to influence politicians and corporations using different methods, from promoting a cause or opposing legislation to challenging ad campaigns or policies. A large display of public opinion can have a powerful message, and advocacy groups often help to focus and channel this support to make the most impact.
Petitions and pledges provide ways to effect change by letting people add their names to a particular cause to show the amount of support for it. They can also help your organization build a list of people interested in its causes. So how do you implement these measures?