Nonprofit outcomes. That’s the subject of this ongoing blog series highlighting why (and how) organizations must prove their mission is working to keep funding streams flowing.
Nonprofit dashboards are the final component of any effort to track outcomes. After identifying what KPIs to track, and how, nonprofit dashboards offer a means to put those outcome metrics to work on behalf of the mission; where the rubber meets the road.
Our last blog article introduced the concept of a nonprofit KPI dashboard: A tracker that collects the most important outcome metrics in one place and updates them automatically based on changes to the underlying data, financial and operational. Like the dashboard of a car, it makes the performance of the nonprofit clear in a glance.
A Reminder About Donor Trust
A study from the Journal of Accounting, Audit, and Finance showed that nonprofits with a seal of transparency from Guidestar, a charity evaluator, increased their donations by 53%. People are enthusiastic to support causes they believe in, but first they need to believe in the nonprofit too. That’s where nonprofit dashboards come in.
With the right dashboards, nonprofits can monitor outcome metrics to understand their own performance, then make targeted changes or improvements as necessary. In that way, dashboards help deliver the positive results that funders, volunteers, staff, and program participants all hope for.
Another advantage of nonprofit dashboard, when properly implemented, is the ability to highlight outcomes in an instant. When someone wants to know how program participation is trending, for example, that information is available on demand – an example of the kind of transparency expected of nonprofits.
Finally, when a nonprofit has dashboards that incorporate the right financial and operational metrics at its disposal, it has other advanced ways of utilizing data and leveraging outcome metrics. Financial reports for nonprofit boards, for instance, are simple to produce when all the data already lives on the same platform. The same goes for program performance audits or disclosures about financial management. If data can feed into a dashboard, it can serve any purpose, including the most important of all: running a nonprofit that people trust.
Making Success the Message
As nonprofits gain a better understanding of their performance – informed by the right nonprofit dashboards and focused on outputs and outcomes – they can make success a bigger part of their message. Instead of emphasizing who they serve and how, they can shift the conversation to the results they achieve and why.
Whether your nonprofit wants to make outcome metrics the centerpiece of your fundraising strategy or just a component, it takes data – fully-integrated, automatically-updated, intuitively organized, and carefully analyzed. Without it, and without the nonprofit dashboards to reference it, a nonprofit is basically flying blind.
In our next and final post, we outline the easy way to add nonprofit dashboards to your toolkit and optimize the insights within. Think of it as a shortcut between where you are and where you want to be. To learn more now, download the eBook.