Digital Data

All nonprofits and foundations are dependent on digital data and infrastructure. Just like financial and human resources, these data must be managed safely, ethically and effectively toward mission.

We are all digital organizations

While some organizations are more “digital” than others, any office with e-mail addresses, internet-connected computers, voicemail systems, or networked printers is collecting, using and managing digitized data.

Data are all around us

Most organizations are awash in digital data: – from email, websites, social media, phones, surveys, sensors, multimedia, databases, and more. Data are a resource and can be both an asset and a liability.

We need new approaches

The ubiquity of digital data, the opportunities it offers, and the questions it raises about power and access require the entire sector to reconsider how we use digital data to advance our missions safely, ethically and effectively.

Degrees of Access

Digital data can be shared in ways that advance your mission and in ways that cause harm. Decisions about access should align with your principles, values and mission.

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Characteristics

Digital data have unique characteristics that require new approaches to managing them differently than time and money.

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Data Lifecycle

The data lifecyle is a framework for understanding your organization’s processes for interacting with digital data over time.

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Four Principles

Organizations should manage data in alignment with mission and with an eye toward privacy, permission, openness and pluralism.

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