Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: yesterday 

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.

Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

  • 1.  Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 11, 2018 15:53

    My organization has about 30 database users: 2 admins who report to different departments, 6 power users in 3 different departments, 6 seasonal staff who do some data entry, and the rest who view Contacts, Accounts and Reports. We're looking for a way to keep everyone on the same page when we make changes to the database.

     

    I've heard that large organizations use a Governance framework and create a cross-departmental Center of Excellence, but that seems like it might be overkill for an organization our size. How do you handle data governance and change management for a nonprofit with fewer than 50 employees?



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    Judy Freed
    Marketing Strategist, Alliance for the Great Lakes
    Co-Organizer, NTEN Digital Advertising Community
    Chicago, Illinois
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  • 2.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 12, 2018 09:35
    Hi Judy,

    While this product may not make sense for your organization the contents of the webinar can still be useful I believe. The organization I work for Keyrus USA recently put together a webinar talking about change management within organizations. You can find that here. Hope this helps!

    Best,

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    Kevin Barrett
    Keyrus
    New York, NY
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  • 3.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 12, 2018 16:03
    Thanks, Kevin. I'll check it out!

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    Judy Freed
    Marketing Strategist, Alliance for the Great Lakes
    Co-Organizer, NTEN Digital Advertising Community
    Chicago, Illinois
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  • 4.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 14, 2018 19:36
      |   view attached
    Hello Judy!

    I work as the data manager at an organization that seems similar to yours in terms of database users. There are about 30 of us spread across 3 departments, with two admins. Database usage varies greatly by department, with some relying on Salesforce to aid their work (fundraising), others using it as a repository for compliance/reporting data (program staff), and others just viewing reports and occasionally searching for specific contacts or organizations.

    When we implemented Salesforce at the end of 2017, we set up what we call a data stewardship team consisting of the two admins, a data steward from each department, and an executive team member. This is our lite version of a data governance committee, and it was inspired by a Salesforce.org webinar from last July (Trust Your Data: Maintaining Data Quality in Salesforce - Salesforce.org
    ).

    We meet monthly as a group, but we've also ended up scheduling smaller project meetings to work out thorny issues like "how many different address types do we need, and how will we verify them?". I'm kind of shyly offering our example here, because I don't feel like we've fully realized our potential as a team yet, but I have seen gains in cross-departmental understanding, and we've been able to agree on org-wide priorities for training, feature development, data cleaning, etc. I'm attaching our charter, and I'm happy to talk more about it if this seems like a useful scheme.

    Verena

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    Verena Getahun
    Data Manager
    Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda)
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Attachment(s)



  • 5.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 15, 2018 14:19
    Verena, that's awesome to hear. It's basically the same model we advise our clients to adopt.

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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  • 6.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted 30 days ago
    Verena I really appreciate the content you have shared as it speaks to strategic opportunities to address issues related to data culture that my organization is attempting to work through. Thank you!!
    Cheers,
    Rebecca

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    Rebecca Lahr
    Database Manager
    Northside Achievement Zone
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  • 7.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 15, 2018 08:55
      |   view attached
    Really good resources showing up in this thread, nice to see!

    Whenever I'm asked for recommendations on data governance, I turn to the attached role chart and worksheets.  The full plan may be larger in scale than what you are looking for, but hopefully it can help identify appropriate roles for your environment.


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    Matt Veltkamp
    Nimbus Nonprofit Solutions
    solutions@nimbusnonprofit.com
    Washington, DC
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    Attachment(s)



  • 8.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted Jun 15, 2018 09:41
    Agree, great resources! Verena, I love your charter. This seems like a great approach for an organization our size. Matt, thanks for the "larger scale" tools. It's so helpful to see how bigger players approach things so we can apply the thinking to our smaller organization. ​​​​

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    Judy Freed
    Marketing Strategist, Alliance for the Great Lakes
    Co-Organizer, NTEN Digital Advertising Community
    Chicago, Illinois
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  • 9.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi All-

    I saw this post a few minutes after I posted over in Tech Decision Makers that I am looking at doing a session at 19NTC on Data Governance. It gets dumped in the lap of IT heads at a lot of places and they don't know what to do with it or how to go about it. Any interested for a co-presenter? I also potentially have a speaker from a large enterprise background that could give perspective on long-term data governance and resource-rich setups.


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    Dar Veverka
    Director of Information Technology
    Urban Teachers
    Baltimore, MD
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  • 10.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hi Judy,

    Here is some information about the key roles in data management/governance and their functions - an excerpt from an article I published earlier this month on LinkedIn (Data Management Roles: Where Business and Technology Intersect)...

    The Data Management Champion role primarily functions from the business perspective, while understanding the technical application and implications. This role oversees organization-wide policies and practices for data management, and typically serves at the executive level. Primary functions of the Champion are ensuring policies include legal and regulatory requirements and reporting back to the executive board regarding the state of data quality and value (Inter-governmental Group on Geographic Information, 24).

    The Data Manager functions equally in business and technology perspectives, since they work closely with both the Data Management Champion and the Data Stewards. This role maintains corporate data policies and guidelines, trains staff regarding these policies and guidelines, oversees metadata resources, and manages Data Stewards (Inter-governmental Group on Geographic Information, 24-25). In large organizations, a Data Manager may be limited to the oversight of a single data subject area.

    Data Stewards function at the ground level with the data, applying both technical and business expertise; this role focuses their efforts on one, maybe two, business data subjects. Their intimate knowledge of the business data subject allows them to effectively perform their role. Data Stewards are responsible for ensuring data use is authorized and follows stated policies. Furthermore, they maintain the data catalog, data quality, and data security of the business data-set, and perform periodic reviews of data value (Inter-governmental Group on Geographic Information, 25-26).

    These roles can be scaled to meet the needs of the organization's size and data complexity. I have learned that the best approach to building a data management strategy is meeting the organization where it is at regarding budget, resource, and technology constraints.




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    Rebecca Caudill
    Information Management Consultant
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  • 11.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi Judy,

    My org is a bit smaller than yours and we only have about 7-8 people in our database (Raiser's Edge). We're small enough that when a big change was coming or a big appeal roll out,  IT, Marketing, and Development were able to meet to discuss workflow. One thing that is key no matter the size is communication. Let people know what you're doing and make sure you include all stakeholders and keep everyone in the loop with progress.

    I remember one meeting where our marketing manager showed a potential workflow and I was only listed as getting involved near the end of the project to put the data in our database (I'm the primary data person at my org). I had them add me in at the beginning as well because otherwise, I couldn't guarantee that what they were proposing could into the database the way they wanted for future tracking.

    I love Verena's policy on a data stewardship team. We're not big enough to warrant a designated team like that but interdepartmental cooperation is so important.


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    Caitlin Gilmore
    Database Administrator
    Bat Conservation International
    Austin, TX
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  • 12.  RE: Data governance and change management for small-ish nonprofits

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi All -

    Proposal is up - titled Anarchy in the DB. Two folks on this thread expressed interest in co-presenting so noted them on the proposed additional speakers field (won't show on the public proposal listing). Comments welcome!

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    Dar Veverka
    Director of Information Technology
    Urban Teachers
    Baltimore, MD
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