Grant Data Collection
I wanted to start a discussion around data collection, specifically to see what kind of data you all are collecting from your grantees. I am going through my first round of analyzing accountability reports since joining the organization I am with and sad to see we aren't collecting much quantitative data; a majority of the data we are collecting is qualitative, which isn't helping me to show the impact we had with our funding in numbers. After watching many of the amazing webinars provided by Foundant, I was left with a lot of hope that we can improve our data collection so we can better show our impact in the community. We help support tennis programs in FL, so currently the only quantitative data I can collect and show is how many people participated in a program. With that said:
1.) What kind of quantitative data are you collecting?
2.) How are you collecting that - through follow-up reports, as the program goes, at the grantee's discretion?
Since I am not in a position to make decisions for changes made to our programs as I please, I am hopeful that I can use what I get from here to advocate for changes to our data collection process. Essentially, I don't want to give out money just give out money - I want us to be able to show our donors and our constituents that we are truly invested in bettering our communities. Thanks in advance for those that provide input 😄
In the past, we had a similar system of capturing qualitative data. This was great for our donors to hear specific results and stories about each grant, but didn't tell a data driven story about our grants as a Community Foundation over 14 years. This summer we have been working to change our processes in Foundant to capture more quantitative data.
1) So far, quantitative data we are collecting includes:
2) We are collecting this information in the application and follow up reports - this gives us the ability to use Foundant's reporting programs to analyze our grantmaking data.
Ultimately we will use our grantmaking data to compare to our community needs and make sure we are making an impact in our community where it is most needed. I also manage Indian River Indicators, which monitors how our community needs are improving over time. You can check it out here: https://dashboards.mysidewalk.com/indian-river-cna
We are still in the process of changing to a quantitative system, so I'm interested to hear from others as well!
Wow, I can't thank you enough, @ChiakaNwosu! This is incredibly helpful. I was drawing such a blank and don't know why I couldn't remember the term 'unduplicated people served' - this is data I definitely want to see. It would be interesting to see the demographic we are serving and if it is an underserved population or not. You have my brain buzzing with ideas now.
I also really appreciate you sharing the great work being done in Indian River County. I am in Orlando and had no idea this much work was put into assessing the needs of the residents of Indian River County on a comprehensive basis. This is something I am trying to push for in the areas we serve.
Since you are in FL and in the Foundation world, it would be great to connect. Would love to learn more about the work you are doing and just connect with other likeminded grant making professionals.
Thank you again!
@CameronWood, glad I could help!
Great to meet another FL grantmaker as well! Feel free to email me at [email protected]
I just saw this post so I know I'm a little late to respond.
Data collection is cumbersome on both sides. We hear it from our grant committee - "are we getting reports back? What is our impact?" It takes effort on CF staff part to collect all this! We are a smaller community and have a good pulse on the nonprofit landscape here. We also don't give very large community grants (max is $10,000). We are always weighing the pros and cons of requiring MORE from our nonprofits when it comes to grant reports.
We don't track quantitative data right now. But the qualitative data we get - we turn into short news stories for our website and social media. While it may not be numbers and hard facts, it showcases the people, faces and lives we change which connects better to audiences anyway - in my opinion. Stories about people get way more 'traffic' than our stories of numbers and data.
I can speak from the other side too - that nonprofit professionals are busy, wearing many hats. Always chasing the dollar to support their mission! Sometimes it's hard to find the time to track data points all the time!