Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this post for Glasspockets, PEAK Grantmaking’s Melissa Sines discusses the questions, challenges and learnings when it comes to gathering and using demographic data to inform effective grantmaking.
• Among the takeaways is to make sure nonprofits have the capacity to collect useful data in the first place. Are we doing enough in this area?
PEAK Grantmaking is working to better understand and build the capacity of grantmakers for collecting and utilizing demographic data as part of their grantmaking.
In the process of undertaking this research, we surfaced a lot of myths and challenges around this topic that prevent our field from reaching the goal of being accountable to our communities and collecting this data for responsible and effective use.
Some suggestions to get the field started from our report include
- Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Pilot systems for data collection, then revisit them to ensure that they are working correctly, meeting the need for good data, and serving the ultimate goal of tracking impact.
- Fund the capacity of nonprofits to collect good data and to engage in their own diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
- Engage in a conversation — internally and externally — about how this data will be collected and how it will be used. If foundation staff and the nonprofits they work with understand the need for this data, they will more willingly seek and provide this information.
- For coalitions and collaborative efforts, it may make sense to fund a backbone organization that takes on this task (among other administrative or evaluation efforts) in support of the collective effort.
Read the full article about demographic data challenges by Melissa Sines at Glasspockets.
Philanthropy is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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