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Data On Purpose

MFG Archive, Profiles

A recap from this week's Data On Purpose conference that brought together data enthusiasts to discover and discuss the art of data driven storytelling in the social sector.


This week Stanford Social Innovation Review hosted the two day Data on Purpose conference, giving “data geeks” a chance to explore the realm of using data to tell stories in the social sector. The conference featured an impressive lineup of journalists, technology innovators, computer scientists, data visualization designers, and professional communicators, all providing tips, ideas, and strategies for data-driven storytelling.


Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University, introduced MFG’s sister initiative to attendees. She focused primarily on sharing three core principles in working with data:

  • Consent: The data you need that come from your constituents are theirs. Ask for them and treat them with integrity.
  • Privacy: Protect those data. They’re valuable. Best approach to protection? Minimum viable data collection
  • Open: You’re here to serve a public purpose. Design your data practices with openness and sharing in mind from the beginning. is a newly launched project to support civil society organizations in using data ethically, safely, and effectively (MFG and Lucy published a piece introducing that can be found here). You can view Lucy’s presentation slides regarding best practices in social sector data protection and management here.


The two day conference brought a diverse and engaged audience to the Stanford campus and created a buzz on Twitter with the hashtag #dataonpurpose. Check out our Storify below to see the traction #dataonpurpose received! But, if you missed the conference, don’t fret! You can still access some of the presenter’s slides and get a glimpse into how to use data on purpose.


Stay up-to-date and connect with Stanford Social Innovation Review on Twitter.


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[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “Data on Purpose ” on Storify</a>]