Attention Nonprofit #DataNerds: A Few Recent Research Studies on Data, Technology, Funding, and Trends
In the last few weeks, there have been a few good research studies and web sites relaunched that cover technology, data, funding, and trends. Here’s a roundup.
1. Foundation Center’s Glasspockets Site ReLaunches with A Wealth of Data About Foundation Transparency
The Glasspockets Site has just been relaunched. It has a new sleeker look. Lots of great data, resources, examples, and action steps foundations need to understand the value of transparency, be more open in their own communications. What caught my eye immediately was the infographic that summarizes data about how foundations are using social media. One of my favorite sections of the site includes the benchmarking data for foundation use of social media by channel which makes it very easy to do research. You can find data on philanthropists who have signed the Giving Pledge and data shared by 54 foundations on a set of “transparency indicators.”
2. Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better
Monitor Institute and the Foundation Center released a new report called Harnessing Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better. As part of the research, they looked at more than 170 different technological tools now available to funders, dove deeply into the literature on philanthropic collaboration, analyzed the results of recent Foundation Center surveys, and spoke with a wide range of experts from the worlds of both technology and philanthropy. The report’s main headlines won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone: (1) more than ever before, funders are recognizing that they will need to collaborate to effectively to address the complex, intractable problems that we now face, and (2) new technologies—from simple group scheduling tools to comprehensive online collaboration workspaces—are now available to help facilitate the often challenging process of working together.But there’s a deeper story beneath the headlines: about how these emerging technologies are enabling new types collaborations that weren’t possible (or at least much were more difficult) just a few years ago.
The report organizes the tools in different use areas and the Foundation Center has created an interactive tool that lets you search for a tool to accomplish and goal. The tools in each category are rated by price, ease of use, and ability to use on a mobile device. The report covers strategic use and work processes, so this is an excellent way to do some due diligence on finding the right tool for the job.
3. Media Impact Funders New Site, Data Tool, and Reports
Media Impact Funders has just launched a new site where you find data on grants made by funders to support media and curated list of research reports covering trends and projects of interest to Media Funders.
4. Geek Cities: How Smarter Use of Data and Evidence Can Improve Lives
This report is from The Bridgespan Group. The Bridgespan Group interviewed more than 45 people to better understand how some of America’s most innovative cities are using hard data and evidence to steer funding decisions and set priorities. The examples and case studies show that data by itself is no panacea, but is how cities organize themselves to act on the data that matters. The actions include improving jobs, the quality of education, children’s health and other innovations.
5. 2014 Nonprofit Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Blackbaud have released the findings from a first-time study that shows how nonprofit professionals in North America approach content marketing. According to the study, 92% of the nonprofit professionals we surveyed are using content marketing. Sixty-nine percent have someonewho oversees content marketing strategy and 65% are producing more content than they were one year ago. These nonprofit professionals use an average of four social media platforms to distribute content, with 91% using Facebook. You’ll find lots more benchmarking data in the report. Download here.
6. Technology for Good Report
From suitcase-sized communications networks after disasters to SMS-based drug and outbreak reporting, innovative technologies can overcome once-insurmountable barriers. Technology for Good, TechSoup Global’s joint report with the Guardian tells how nonprofits are adapting tech to their missions, with little funding. Technology for Good identifies ten technologies being used in innovative ways to create positive social change. Examples are drawn from charitable organizations working on widely varied issues around the globe. This makes Technology for Good a unique repository of inspiration for the public and private sectors, funders, and other change makers who support using technology for social good.
7. TrustRadius Report on Social Media Landscape of Tools
The TrustRadius Report analyzes the array of social media management, content, and analysis tools. It is based on in-depth interviews and discusses factors of most concern to users. It is a consumer reports like guide on ever increasing selection of social media tools.