Data collection for your organization can make or break your success. Collecting the right data, inputting it into the right form and analyzing it can be a huge undertaking for any organization, especially if it is a small one.
It is important to have the right type of data. Yes, you do need to know how many people you’ve helped for each program under your organization. But you also need to know how and when to report this information.
Data collection should be done on a weekly basis. Systems need to be developed to easily input this information. If you do not believe the importance of data collection, this may be something you need to invest into hiring someone to do for you. A contract or part-time basis may be an option.
Data drives decisions
It is important to understand that proper data collection drives the success of the entire organization’s common goals, missions and vision. Having data readily available is crucial to funding opportunities.
After the data is collected, you need to analyze it. Is there a lack in services from a particular day of the week, time of the year, or a particular program? This is where you will make decisions on data analysis and not on feelings.
Often funders require organizations to report the success or failure of the use of their funds. This can impact long-term and short-term future funding opportunities.
Quality data collection
Ensure quality data collection. For example, how many donors do you have and the amount and time of year they contribute. How often someone visits your website, even which pages they view more (this could be where you really need to make your donation button very visible).
If you provide job skills training, how long does it take for the client to be hired, how long do they stay employed, did this job help them get a better job? Did they refer others to your organization for help as well
Making sure you collect data and the right type of data is something that will prove to be what will make your organization successful.
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Genola B. Johnson, Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC. As executive director, Genola provides seminars on grant writing and non-profit development. For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JACFNET.