Giving Compass' Take:

• Alex Miller and the Inspiring Impact team have joined forces to give resources, self-assessment tools, and peer learning networks to motivate and guide people who work for voluntary organizations that are supporting people during COVID-19.

• Are there opportunities for you to fund research on COVID-19?

• Here are some more resources for donors during coronavirus. 

Rapid decision-making is inevitable
Charities and social enterprises are adapting services, making better use of digital, and making decisions quicker than ever before with whatever information we have access to. Many are fire-fighting and just making sure that things don’t get any worse for people. Common questions we hear are:How do you support users when you can’t do everything for them? How do we engage stakeholders, especially those who we aren’t easy to reach? What does good look like during a crisis?

A lot decisions are based on user needs and how those needs are changing
We’re considering what information we need to collect now to better understand who we’re reaching, what they think of our work, and what difference it’s making. Many of us are also worried about those we are not reaching and how to connect with people who fall through the gaps.

People have changed their data sources and collection methods
Understanding what people really want and need can be tricky. Most services are now remote and survey fatigue is a common issue. Frontline staff have rich insights about what’s happening, but little time to capture and store that information. So there are practical challenges for data collection, and strategic challenges in deciding what information you really need and can access at the moment.

But, collecting & using data during the crisis has several benefits
For some people, data clarifies decisions and narrows down options. For others, stories and numbers help to motivate staff and volunteers. For others, the data can be a conversation starter with funders, partners, the media and other stakeholders.

We know that people find it helpful to focus on data that helps them to answer the key questions that matter to them right now. Such as, accurate data about who’s using your service, in what ways, and what they thought is invaluable. This should focus on learning and testing quickly, rather than proving anything. People are finding 5 types of data to be a helpful tool for breaking things down and deciding how you want to collect and use data.

Read the full article about learning lessons from COVID-19 by Alex Miller at NPC.