Category: Field Notes

Digital Policy and Practice for the Nonprofit Sector

On Jan. 17, Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (home of Digital Impact) hosted Digital Impact: Policy and Practice for the Nonprofit Sector in 2017, a panel exploring key questions such as: What are the key digital policy issues that matter to nonprofits in 2017? What are the most pressing challenges to nonprofits and activists? What should […]

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Leveraging donor data: Four common mistakes (and how to fix them)

Nonprofit technology is advancing rapidly, meaning that organizations are now better able to capture donor data than ever before. Not only does new technology make data capture a seamless process, but it can also provide nonprofits with a wider range of data points to draw off of when developing their donor stewardship plans. To remain competitive […]

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Only you can prevent forest fires

Most organizations seek to focus the majority of their spending on programs and services, with the result that infrastructure like IT is often neglected. It can be difficult to see any advantages of investments in technology until after entire systems have been implemented and integrated, but the disadvantages of inefficient IT can negatively impact the […]

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Measuring what matters: A hub for impact reporting tools

Measuring what matters is a persistent challenge for a social entrepreneur. The emerging field of impact investing has increased demands on social entrepreneurs to report both financial and impact metrics to their investors. Social enterprises also need to track a variety of internal metrics that help them hone their products and operations. With an already […]

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The DATA Act: A look ahead

Whether they are providing disaster relief, pre-school education, or assistance to people with disabilities, nonprofits often partner with government – through grants, contracts and other payments – to address social concerns. Considering the close working relationship between government and nonprofits, it is surprising how little is known about the details of this partnership. This is […]

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Are robo-advisors the future of philanthropy?

The financial sector has benefited from tech innovation in the form of  ‘robo-advisors,’ which help individual investors manage their money.  Popularized as an innovative way to democratize investing, these services provide automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice (in some case supplemented with human advisors). In particular, wealth management tools which augment human advisors through scalable technology, […]

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Social media data for social good: The pros and cons

With each passing day, new technologies crop up and become integral parts of our social media-entrenched, smart device-embedded lives. When we use these new technologies, we trade access to our intimate moments for convenience and entertainment. The petabytes of data generated by each waking (and sleeping!) nanosecond are a treasure trove for the companies that […]

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Funding need, not want

Perpetual Limited is one of Australia’s oldest trustee companies and largest managers of philanthropic funds. The story of how Perpetual refocused its philanthropy business to build non-profit capacity (particularly digital capacity), as opposed to project funding, is nearly 130 years in the making.  In this article we look at how that change occurred and the […]

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A model for statewide open data

The CT Data Collaborative (CTData) is a public-private partnership between the state government and the nonprofit sector in Connecticut, created to advance effective planning and decision-making through the use of open and accessible data. CTData serves residents, nonprofits, policymakers, and funders in using and sharing data to drive policy, program, and service improvements. CTData provides […]

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The Nonprofit’s Guide to Managing Health Data

Data has been called “the new oil” as private companies discover its value for generating business insights and driving profits. Likewise, the nonprofit and civil society sector — including healthcare organizations — is increasingly using data-driven insights to design better interventions and programs. Unfortunately, the unethical and unsafe use of data in the nonprofit healthcare sector […]

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