Dashboards for Nonprofits can make miracles happen for your business.

Dashboards for Nonprofits can make miracles happen for your business

Oct 07 2015

BI Reporting & Dashboards, Non-Profit


Lately, the nonprofit sector has realized that no action has as much power as performance-based, donation decisions. In order to make this happen, nonprofit must gather and organize information about past performances and direct impact, and then share that information through public channels to increase awareness about the role of nonprofits in human society. Such public broadcast of pertinent performance information has the ability to influence future fund- raising efforts.

In Why Financial Dashboards Matter, and Five Pointers to Get You Started, the author argues that although most nonprofits publish financial reports as a matter of routine practice, only few of them actually leverage the results to initiate dialogues with stakeholders. For example, variance analysis can be effectively presented in dashboards to communicate the reasons behind such variances to the board to trustees. Thus, dashboards can act as powerful tools for improved sharing of financial analysis during board meetings. Dashboards, with its interactive graphs and visuals, have a way of engaging the audience through “storytelling,” which flat numbers and charts in a financial report can rarely do!

Generating public awareness about nonprofit performance

In The Nonprofit Marketplace Bridging the Information Gap in Philanthropy, HP Foundation’s Philanthropy Program has been highlighted, whose primary mission is to use the nonprofit marketplace to distribute high-quality information about the performance and impact of nonprofit organizations. The Foundation believes this increased public awareness of nonprofit impact will motivate the future donors to channel funs to the best nonprofit organizations. Moreover, the public information network will encourage all stakeholders to engage in collaborative discussions about overall nonprofit performance and social impact.

This report broadly sums up a Plan for improving the flow of information during the next five to 10 years.

Dashboards can create high-impact information for nonprofits

Dashboards can very effectively display segmented information to provide a snapshot view of the nonprofit industry’s performance on an annual basis. Some types of information that may be suitable for display through a dashboard are:

  • Real-timesharing of fundraising data
  • Profiles of high-worth donors and donations
  • Demographic makeup of donors
  • Comparative metrics like region-wide fund raising
  • Plotting of actual performance against desired target
  • Social impact of the top foundations

Dashboards can have a highly dazzling and impactful presence in a high-level executive meeting, where the performance and social impact of say, America’s top foundations are being evaluated. Dashboards can even enable interactivity so that individual evaluators can add their own data to dashboards for predictive analytics or reports.

Who benefits?

Nonprofit industry consultants such as private banks, wealth managers, attorneys, or accountants can offer philanthropic advisory services to their clients—by reviewing performance dashboards. This kind of service can be viewed as a value-added advisory service by clients. On the other hand, social sites can install dashboards to enable their members to discuss nonprofit performance, thus allowing future donors and other stakeholders more informed about their decisions.

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