5 Main Factors That Prevent Nonprofits From Joining In The “Data Revolution.”

5 main factors that prevent nonprofits from joining in the data revolution

Picture yourself as a Nonprofit about to unveil a giving campaign. You’re eager to make a splash and maximize donations, so you’re planning to promote it through all of your channels – your website, local events, virtual platforms, and social media. But here’s the catch: to make this strategy work, you need to ensure that all of your communication channels are working together seamlessly. That means taking a 360-degree view of your existing customers and integrating company data, industry data, and social data. It’s a tall order, but it’s essential for the success of your launch. To make it happen, you’ll need to fully integrate data across multiple systems. So, if you were in this position, would you be able to pull it off? It’s a challenge, but with the right tools and resources, you can make it happen.

Without further ado, here are the 5 challenges.

Data Interpretation

Are you a nonprofit struggling to make sense of the data you have? You’re not alone. Many organizations face the same challenge of interpreting and utilizing their data effectively. It’s like having a treasure chest full of valuable information, but not knowing how to unlock its secrets.

In today’s digital age, technology has made it possible for all nonprofits to capture data to some extent. However, having the data is only the first step. The real challenge lies in understanding what insights that data can provide and how to use it to improve your organization.

Nonprofits face a myriad of data interpretation challenges. They struggle with understanding the business insights their data can offer, determining the value and return on investment of implementing analytics tools, selecting the right metrics to track, and translating analytics results into actionable steps that drive their mission forward. Additionally, they must ensure that their analyses are accurately answering the right questions through sanity checks. Now, you might be thinking, “Can’t nonprofits just hire data analysts or consultants to solve these problems?” While that may be a viable solution for larger enterprises, nonprofits often face financial constraints that make hiring data analysts prohibitively expensive. Leadership tends to prioritize filling essential positions that directly contribute to revenue generation, leaving data scientists lower on the priority list.

This lack of in-house data expertise further complicates the decision-making process when it comes to hiring for data analysis. But no worries! There is hope for nonprofits seeking to unlock the power of their data. By recognizing the challenges they face and seeking innovative solutions, organizations can overcome these obstacles. Whether it’s through partnerships with data experts, seeking affordable analytics tools, or investing in training and development for existing staff, nonprofits can pave the way for data-driven decision-making.

So, if you’re a nonprofit struggling to make sense of your data, know that you’re not alone. With the right approach and a little bit of creativity, you can harness the power of your data to drive your organization’s success. Don’t let your data remain a mystery. Embrace the opportunity to unlock its potential and propel your nonprofit forward.

Data Collection

In the world of business, web analytics, customer relationship management, and ecommerce are essential components for success. Luckily, there are a plethora of tools available to help companies navigate these areas, such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Sharpspring, Salesforce, Shopify, and Woocommerce.

Data Collection

While these tools have certainly made data collection easier, there are still some challenges that remain. Firstly, they want to collect qualitative data about their customers, which can be tricky to turn into quantitative data. Additionally, they need to gather accurate information about customer behavior on their website and products. Finally, they want to ensure that the data they collect is clean, standardized, formatted correctly, and accurate. Overall, the focus has shifted from collecting as much data as possible to collecting high-quality data that can be used to make informed decisions. With the right tools and strategies in place, businesses can overcome these challenges and thrive in the digital age.

Data Integration

Did you know that most Nonprofits use at least three SaaS tools to collect data across their businesses? That’s right, from Facebook Analytics to Google Analytics to Operation Database, these organizations are using more and more tools to capture valuable information about their customers. In fact, some companies we’ve worked with use up to 15 tools at the same time! But here’s the catch: these tools are often only good at one kind of task, which makes it a daunting challenge to make them talk to each other.

Data Integration

In order to get a complete picture of a customer’s journey from awareness to revenue, companies have to pull data from all of their platforms and merge them together. Unfortunately, there are major challenges preventing Nonprofits from integrating their data. These include a lack of structured guidelines and procedures for data management, technical inability to connect various data sources together via databases or API connections, and the lack of bandwidth to set up a logical, holistic data infrastructure. And let’s not forget the huge time cost of reformatting data so they are compatible for integration.

The main barriers to solving these problems among the Nonprofits we spoke with are a lack of management bandwidth to manage all data sources and a lack of technical human capital to construct a sound data infrastructure ahead of time. But why is data integration so important? Well, the biggest benefit is being able to answer bigger business questions more accurately. So, if you want to take your Nonprofit to the next level, it’s time to start thinking about how you can integrate your data and unlock its full potential.

Analytics Automation

The truth is, data analytics can be an incredibly demanding task, even for companies with all the right tools and expertise. You see, data analytics is like embarking on a thrilling expedition. Analysts have to navigate through a maze of metrics, slicing and dicing them across various dimensions like demographics, time, and product categories.

Automation Analytics

It’s a complex puzzle that requires patience and precision. But here’s the catch – the more dimensions we add to our analysis, the more time and effort it takes. It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube with hundreds of variables, just to uncover a few precious insights. Without automation, it can feel like an impossible feat to accomplish within our time constraints. And that’s not all. Nonprofits face additional challenges when it comes to automation. They lack the necessary tools to automate tedious data cleaning and repetitive analysis processes. They struggle to efficiently guide analysts towards the most impactful insights. And they often lack a streamlined reporting mechanism after the analysis is complete. But why are these challenges so persistent? The answer lies in the scarcity of analytics tools that can automate data cleaning and basic exploratory analysis. Without these tools, even the most seasoned analyst can find themselves lost in a sea of data, unsure of where to look or where to start. So, let’s break free from these limitations. Let’s embrace the power of automation and unlock the true potential of our data. With the right tools at our disposal, we can navigate the vast ocean of information with ease, uncovering valuable insights that will propel our operations to new heights. It’s time to dive in and discover the hidden treasures that await us.

Analytics Adoption

Have you ever felt like you’re drowning in urgent tasks and can’t even think about optimizing your nonprofit’s operations? You’re not alone. Many nonprofit owners know that data can create value, but they simply don’t have the time or resources to leverage it. The adoption problem is real, and it’s probably the most difficult challenge facing nonprofits in their path to joining the “data revolution.” Fear of commitment to expensive analytics tools, frustration with the time cost of setup and implementation, and the feeling that they could be using their time more efficiently are just a few of the reasons why nonprofits are hesitant to fully embrace data analytics. But here’s the thing: data-driven decision making is how nonprofits can optimize their limited resources and make each dollar stretch further. It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. And with a lack of transparent and low-commitment ways to see the value data analytics can add to their businesses, nonprofits will remain stuck in outdated business practices. So let’s break free from the fear and frustration. Let’s embrace the power of data and join the “data revolution” of the large enterprise sector. It’s time to make each dollar count and achieve our nonprofit’s mission with greater efficiency and impact.


There you have it. As mentioned in the introduction, this article is not the end , but rather the beginning. In the next part of this series, we are going to drill down into each of the 5 challenges, and propose a roadmap for Nonprofit owners to overcome each of these roadblocks to joining the data revolution.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *