Category: Field Notes

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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Giving Day Advice: Prepare, Learn, and Share

After listening to Markets for Good’s Virtual Roundtable “Giving Day Technology: Making Good on the Big Day and Beyond,” the big takeaway for giving day hosts, platforms, and participating nonprofits is to be prepared when technology fails — but also learn from every experience and share it with peers. Let’s look at what a number […]

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Data for Healthy Hearts: Measuring the Impact of the Wireless Heart Health Program in Rural China

Doctors Ren Nianbao and Xie Guangguo have worked at the Lang Mao Shan Clinic in rural China for 20 years. Approximately one-fifth of their patients suffer from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), one of the leading causes of death in China. In the past, the clinic relied on a conventional, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) machine to screen for […]

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Building a Culture of Evaluation: How to empower the social sector to put data to good use

Picture this: I’m standing in front of a room of dozens of social sector professionals, ranging from Executive Directors to program assistants, and I ask, as I often do, “Raise your hand if you have taken a statistics course before.” As usual, a majority of hands go up. “Now keep your hand up if you […]

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Resources for Responsible Data Use in Humanitarian Action

Humanitarian aid and disaster response groups are regularly faced with the promise and peril of digital data and infrastructure. The opportunities to use real time satellite imagery, to improve communications in dangerous situations, and to experiment with social media feeds for information on the fly are tempting. At the same time, the ethical demands to […]

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Making Giving Day Count: Demystifying Giving Day Technology

There are more than 1,000 online giving platforms, but only one matters for your giving day – the one you chose. The Pittsburgh Foundation and 47 other foundations found that out the hard way during this year’s Give Local America Day when technology ground giving to a halt. Technology is increasingly ubiquitous and always evolving, […]

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