Category: Viewpoints

When Algorithms Run the Government

The Impact Lab’s Andrew Means calls for transparency in algorithmic decision-making to ensure proper, equitable practice in service of the public good.

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The BRIDGE Project: Progress and the Path Ahead

I’m glad to be prompted into writing, as I think we’ve been remiss about keeping people posted about the progress we have been able to make on BRIDGE, as well as any evolution of our thinking about what BRIDGE could be. I’m hoping that in this and future posts we might address some of the […]

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Building a Better BRIDGE: Open Infrastructure for the Social Sector

I’m surprised to be writing this piece. I’m surprised because a public-interest technology project led by Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, GuideStar, and TechSoup — and supported by luminary funders like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation — doesn’t seem like it should be a source of concern. And yet the BRIDGE […]

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The Market for Nonprofit Lemons: Andrew Means on Transparency in the Social Market

I’m not going to bury the lede. I think the nonprofit sector has too many ineffectual organizations with too many resources. I think it’s a problem when the quality of impact isn’t correlated with the quantity of dollars donated. But to get us all to my point of frustration we’re going to take a nerdy […]

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That’s Not Privacy: A call for truth-in-labeling of online data use policies

Before you read this blog post, I need to ask: when was the last time you read a website’s “privacy policy?” I bet you never have. I wouldn’t blame you—who does read those things? The answer is almost no one. And, to be frank, it would be a real problem if they did. If the […]

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Do Good Data: Revolutionizing the Social Sector

  On April 27th, the Chicago Hyatt Regency ballroom began filling up with 900 people from 20 countries and nearly every state. They were gathering for two days of learning, community, and nerdery at the fourth annual Do Good Data conference.   When I started Do Good Data three and a half years ago, I […]

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The New Social Calculus – minimize risk and maximize gain

  For a long time, nonprofits and foundations have been seeking to improve outcomes. Getting there requires all kinds of new measurement schemes, thus the last two decades have brought us talk of social return on investment, quality-adjusted life years, and many other calculations.   I think it’s time we recognize we’re operating with a […]

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The 7 Biggest Mistakes in Handling Donor Data

  So much is written every month in various nonprofit publications and blog posts regarding the insights and best practices revolving around fundraising. Virtually all of them are truly insightful and can lead to greater successes.   However, just a few mistakes here and there in the handling of your data can easily decrease your fundraising […]

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This Time It’s Personal

  As organizations start to get serious about feedback, things inevitably come to the moment where feedback gets personal. To be really useful, feedback must touch on an individual’s performance.   This is tough stuff. People resist feedback in many different ways. A growing part of Keystone Accountability’s Constituent Voice work with organizations is to help staff recognize auto-immune-type […]

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Helping Cities Ride a Wave of Data to Improve Lives

  In cities across America, mayors are eager to make use of ever-growing streams of data to enhance the effectiveness of city services and improve residents’ lives. If you can track why some blighted buildings take so much longer than others to be demolished and rehabbed; if you know that some residents routinely call an […]

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