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Six Nonprofits That are Using Data to Change the World

MFG Archive

Today we take a look at six nonprofits that are using data and new technologies to empower others, originally featured on the Umbel blog.


Following our article from Richard Turner at SolarAid, we’ve been taking a look at some other nonprofits and organisations who are doing some amazing things with data. Originally featured on Umbel, ‘When Big Hearts Meet Big Data: 6 Nonprofits Using Data to Change the World‘ highlights some of these organisations who are  using data in a powerful way to drive their missions.


The list includes the likes of the Jane Goodall Institute, who are using Open Data Kits to collect data and information to help prevent deforestation and protect the endangered chimpanzee population in the Gombe National Forest. These open data kits also help to empower the local community, who help to build this database with the use of smartphones and other mobile technology.


UNICEF are also empowering their local communities in the creation of their database. The survey results are then displayed on the website dedicated to the cause, The website displays these results visually, which helps the organisation and donors distribute resources accordingly.


The Khan Academy are collecting the type of data for their e-learning platform that can’t easily be quantified in a classroom – how much time each student spends on a particular problem, or how quickly they can move from tutorial to tutorial. The Khan Academy are using this data to feedback and customise learning plans, to more effectively tailor courses for individuals.


Branch, a mobile, nonprofit money-lending service aims to use machine-learning to help make the right lending decisions and deliver the loans swiftly to those who need it via mobile.


The YMCA of Austin are looking at their members data to determine the types of programs they should be offering, the types of people they need to be targeting and where they could be better spending their marketing budget. The results so far are impressive – a 15% increase in memberships after the first month alone, helping them to attract a wider audience while providing a better service for their existing members.



To find out more about how these nonprofits are using data effectively, be sure to check out the original article on the Umbel blog. 


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