Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 4 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Program Data Management System

  • 1.  Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 16, 2019 16:22

    Hi Everyone,

    We are currently using ETO (Efforts to Outcomes) to manage our program data but looking to transition to a new system. We are currently leaning towards Salesforce but wanted to see what other systems people are using that we should also evaluate!

    Thanks,
    Sarah



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    Sarah Wunning
    San Fransciso, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 06:29
    Hey Sarah,

    Our free toolkit, Making Wise Decisions, includes a brief self-assessment you can use to better match your organization's needs with a data system, along with field-tested planning tools to assure you find and implement the right system.


    Check it out and let us know if you use the resources!

    --
    Corey Newhouse (she/hers)
    Founder and Principal
    Public Profit
    Oakland, California
    510.551.5708
    +
    Eugene, Oregon
    541.246.6850
    LinkedIn
    Sign up for our newsletter for free resources and tools!




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 08:16
    Hi Sarah,

    If you you don't mind, I'm curious about the reasons why you're thinking of moving from ETO to something else. In a past job I've developed and supported applications based on the Salesforce platform, but in my current position I'm recommending that we evaluate ETO for our program client-tracking needs.

    Salesforce definitely has its strengths, but from what I recall, there weren't many options for client or case management built-in. It all had to be customized. We were an early adopter of SF HealthCloud, and a lot of useful features are only now beginning to be released. I also learned that one of the leading Salesforce partners who had developed a social service client management system (HealthLeads Reach) is no longer supporting/taking on new engagements.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this,
    Lauren

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    Lauren Feldman Hay (she/her/hers)
    Director of Informatics, Public Health Solutions
    New York, NY
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/lfeldmanhay/
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 12:19
    Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for your response!

    It's interesting to hear that you are recommending ETO. We have been using ETO for about 10 years now and one of the options we are considering is re-implementing on ETO since we are currently still using a lot of legacy features and have not taken advantage of some of the new functionality that has come out. We have found though that ETO is clunky, the reporting isn't great, and the UI is pretty dated.

    We recently switched to Salesforce for Fundraising and Volunteer Management which is why we are considering it for programs as well but we do recognize that it requires a lot of customization. If we went with Salesforce we would probably also get something like Exponent on top of it to make it more useful for program data management.

    Outside of ETO and Salesforce though we have not really been able to find other systems that people are using for program data and we want to make sure we are doing our due diligence in evaluating potential systems.

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    Sarah Wunning
    San Fransciso, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 13:01
    We use Salesforce for our program data management. Our main programs are membership, access to literature, classes, and certification. We've been very happy with the system we've iterated out (with help!) over the last 6 years.

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    Kai Williams
    Executive Director
    Eugene, OR
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  • 6.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 14:18
    That's great to hear! Thanks Kai!

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    Sarah Wunning
    San Fransciso, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 13:05
    Edited by Medha Nanal Oct 17, 2019 13:09
    What type of program data are you talking about here?

    (Plug: My colleagues and I presented at the last 19NTC on managing program data in CRM, and we have an upcoming presentation at 20NTC as well).

    Anyway ---
    - If it's performance/concert management/ticketing, then there are a few like Tessitura.
    - Simply360 is another program CRM (Tagging @Jake Grinsted)
    - Salesforce is capable of managing program data too.
    - If your data has special needs such as the need to encrypt, for compliance purposes, then that opens another can of worms, and you may need to set up some additional features.
    - Some fundraising CRM systems have been used by organizations for managing basic program data; however, typically this is an "experiment" because many fundraising CRM vendors will not support/sustain those features.

    - Lastly, depending on your overall operation, it may be advisable to keep inter-connectivity with your fundraising CRM system in consideration.

    Hope this helps. Happy to chat privately if you wish to discuss further.

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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 8.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 14:09
    Hi Medha,

    Thanks for all of this information!

    We have about 6 different programs ranging from serving meals where we track no client information to Harm Reduction where we are tracking medical information with support groups and walk-in center services falling in-between. We actually do not want our Fundraising and Programs database to be connected so thankfully that is one problem we don't need to worry about.

    And I'll be going to NTC this year so I'll keep an eye for your talk!

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    Sarah Wunning
    San Fransciso, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 14:15
    Penelope, ExtendedReach, and Civicore are worth considering. Exponent is a Salesforce system for case management as well. I would not recommend building your own case-management system in Salesforce, and would be especially alert to HIPAA issues if you do. We're currently working with a similar client (a cancer resource center) to help them with an assessment. Feel free to ping me if you'd like to chat, https://www.calendly.com/sage70/30min

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 17, 2019 14:17
    Edited by Medha Nanal Oct 17, 2019 14:18
    Hi Sarah,

    Without knowing the related data flows and operations/stakeholders, I cannot really comment on which system would be the best fit.  However, just one word of caution: since you have programs with such diverse needs, I'd first try to figure out if there is ONE CRM that can host all of those programs satisfactorily, and take it from there. In other words, I would avoid going with a specialized system that can do one of those really well and nothing else, because that could become a nightmare to sustain!!

    Hope this helps, and feel free to reach out if you need any help with selection etc.

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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 11.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 21, 2019 09:37
    Hi Sarah,

    Like Medha, I'd caution against platforms that have too specific of a focus, because your program offerings are broad and managing them in the same platform would be a big win in terms of efficiency, impact measurement, and cost. Of course this is especially true whenever there's any crossover between programs; no-one wants data about the same person in 3 systems!

    I'll be at 20NTC co-hosting the workshop on "Using a CRM for Program Outcome Measurement" - definitely hope to see you there! (Side note: we're looking for additional co-presenters, see here.)

    My nonprofit career led me to creating Simply360, which as Medha mentioned was primarily built as a response to wanting a better program management CRM. Having spent most of my time with a large children's services organization, I soon recognized that every program has its own unique quirks and goals. Salesforce, and to a degree the Microsoft ecosystem, were really our only options - but they can be very expensive and very complicated to set up and manage, especially if you don't already have the in-house expertise. So my vision with Simply360 is to provide the flexibility of Salesforce, built for nonprofit programs, with lower costs and a lower learning curve.

    We've gotten pretty far with our goals, and are looking to partner with organizations that are considering Salesforce to discuss an alternative born out of the nonprofit world (instead of sales!). We'd be most excited to partner with orgs that would enjoy being part of the process of shaping the platform's features - the more nonprofits involved with building this, the better it can be for everyone. Please reach out if you're interested!

    I'd love to see if we can help... and look forward to meeting you at 20NTC!

    Best,

    Jake

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    Jake Grinsted
    Simply360 / The Fresh Air Fund
    New York, NY

    www.simply360.org
    www.jakeg.net
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 12.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 18, 2019 11:35
    Just want to throw my two cents in for another type of system I don't see very often in these discussions: The Microsoft ecosystem

    Out of school I got hired to administrate ETO for a inner city social service agency also focused on harm reduction. Immediately unimpressed with ETO (non-mobile, bugs, inconvenient to lookup data), I scoured everywhere for a plausible solution. Almost by luck I stumbled into Microsoft Dynamics, but found it too much. However, right beside it was PowerApps, a fairly new type of tech (Low Code Development Platform) meant to empower "citizen developers". Basically, you build apps/interfaces that work on every device from scratch, with higher-level stuff (user authentication, data storage) managed by Microsoft. I have a background in tech development so I had fun building these apps without the $$$ of traditional Microsoft partners. The licences are discounted some 70% for non-profits and the data links easily to Microsoft PowerBI, one of the best data viz softwares.

    I played around with as many case management systems as I could find. For out-of-the-box software I was impressed with CaseWorthy, but having a tech background I wanted that deeper level of customization only a CRM can provide.

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    David Woodruff
    Edmonton, AB
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 13.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 19, 2019 08:07

    So glad you mentioned the Microsoft ecosystem, David! We've been managing our contract management system, data integration, and calculation engine on Microsoft for about 11 years, and our older contract management and program management system for 19 years. This has worked really well for us because we can build out modular solutions and customize as needed.

    Our teams that currently use state systems for SNAP enrollment and other wrap-around services aren't currently using anything, which is why I'm encouraging them to look at some SaaS solutions. If we want to integrate with state systems we might have to do more custom work, I imagine.

    We are now planning to evaluate the pros and cons, costs and benefits, of upgrading our Microsoft environment vs using one or more customized off the shelf tools, and then having to deal with multiple SaaS integrations. I think the numbers and other tangible benefits will come out in favor of the Microsoft ecosystem, but we'll see.




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    Lauren Feldman Hay (she/her/hers)
    Director of Informatics, Public Health Solutions
    New York, NY
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/lfeldmanhay/
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 14.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 20, 2019 01:17
    I really appreciate all your comments as my organization is deciding which ecosystem to move forward with in the next six months. Microsoft is the front runner at this point. 



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  • 15.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 20, 2019 20:08
    Hello,

    I do program evaluation, and many of my clients have been happy with Salesforce. As long as you have a local company that can provide training to everyone it works great. Grouptrail is another great program database solution that many of my clients have been happy with.

    Good luck!
    Chari Smith, President, Evaluation into Action

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    Chari Smith
    Principal
    Portland, OR
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 16.  RE: Program Data Management System

    Posted Oct 21, 2019 02:28
    More and more NGO's are using ProjectConnect, which offers a web-based platform, connecting all NGO's and local partners to work on projects in one environment. No longer sending and receiving different versions of budgets, contracts and results, but all parties looking at the same data. See https://projectconnect.info/.

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    Leen Roeleveld
    The Netherlands
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