Case example: How to create a culture of data at your nonprofit

So what's important when creating a culture of data and impact at your nonprofit? This past week, I coauthored a paper with Delana Murdock and Shantiqua Neely of A Child’s Place in the Journal of Children and Poverty that provides a case example of how we have worked together to build a culture of data at the organizational level and shares what we’ve learned along the way.

In the paper, Data culture as a change agent for organizations serving families and children experiencing homelessness, we describe:

  1. Challenges facing the field of child and family homelessness with respect to data use

  2. Recent advancements in the use of data, and

  3. Strategies to create an organizational culture of data that makes use of recent advancements in data use and addresses current challenges facing the field.

While you can access the full article online, I wanted to share with you some of what we’ve found working at A Child’s Place around creating a data-driven culture throughout the organization. Check out the video below to learn more!

** Can’t access the article through a library? Send me an email at drew@commongooddata.com - the publisher gives us access to some prints we can share free of cost and we’ll send them your way!

 
 

Article abstract

Over the past decade there have been considerable developments in the use of data in the field of child and family homelessness. The development of high-quality data collection processes—including Housing Management Information Systems (HMIS), community point-in-time counts, and school district data and evaluation infrastructure—has given nonprofit and social sector leaders unprecedented access to client-level data. However, it remains a challenge for nonprofits and community-based organizations to engage in work with families experiencing homelessness and demonstrate meaningful impact across a variety of outcomes. In this policy brief, the authors discuss (1) challenges facing the field of child and family homelessness with respect to data use, (2) recent advancements in the use of data, and (3) strategies to create an organizational culture of data that makes use of recent advancements in data use and addresses current challenges facing the field. The brief makes the argument that fostering a data culture at the organizational level has the capacity to operate as an organizational change agent that improves programs.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10796126.2019.1568831

Andrew Reynolds