Demographic information collection across multiple stakeholder groups

Hi Compass,

I am seeking your stories and helpful strategies for tracking demographic information at your Foundation. If you are tracking demographic information at your Foundation, can you share any insight into the following:

  • What demographic information do you collect?
  • What stakeholders are you tracking? (Board, grantees, staff, donors, Professional Advisors, etc.)
  • How do you collect that information? (On new fund form, Board orientation, survey, etc.)
  • What system(s) do you use to track this? (CSuite only, some in CSuite, some elsewhere, etc)
  • What do you do with that information? (Do you set goals? Does it inform your internal strategies, and if so, how?)
  • Any other tricks and tips that have worked (or not) for your organization?

My Foundation has tracked demographic information inconsistently over time for donors and board members based on volunteered information. In the last few years we began tracking whose stories we told via Marketing. We ask for Leadership and Board demographics on grantee applications. It is safe to say we have approached this differently according to stakeholder groups. We want to do this more holistically, and see a future where we can do that with custom fields.

The first goal we have related to this project is to assess whether our internal strategies are increasing the representation of our stakeholders (compared to new Census data). Historically, we've found that we often overrepresent one county of the 4 that we serve and our donors do not reflect the racial diversity of our geography.

I would love to hear specifically about your internal strategies and operations related to demographics collection. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight.


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