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How to Simplify Your Nonprofit's Social Impact Data to Share With Your Community

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Discover how to simplify your nonprofit's data and make your impact more accessible to your community using these two things.

Gathering data is one thing; presenting it to your community in an understandable way is another. Here’s how to use visuals and storytelling to simplify your nonprofit’s data.

The Importance of Simplicity in Your Nonprofit Data

Complex data, hard-to-describe concepts, and presenting your nonprofit’s impact can come at a cost — community understanding. While your nonprofit is working towards its mission, your community is left behind, wondering what this number means or why that statistic is important.

For your community members (who are not invested in running your nonprofit and managing data like you), the numbers and data gained through careful analysis and research are just that: numbers. Without storytelling or visualization, your community can find it hard (or, rather, near impossible) to paint a picture using percentages and comparisons.

Simplifying your nonprofit’s data helps you break down complex topics into meaningful pieces. This allows your community to make informed and intentional decisions regarding their involvement (both financially and physically, through time and money) and plays an important role in awareness, research, and retention in your donor journey.

How to Simplify Your Nonprofit’s Data

To simplify your nonprofit’s data, you’ll use two ‘tools’: storytelling and visualization.

Storytelling is how you present data to your community. You find a story within your data — often relating to how your nonprofit is accomplishing its mission and the impact you’re creating —   and provide context, insights, and structure. 

Your annual report is a great example of how you can use storytelling to present your impact data and how you can integrate your second tool, visualization.

Visualization is putting your data in an image, graphic, or similar to make your data easier to understand. Data visualization can work together with your content to assist in storytelling through infographics in your annual report, stand on its own as a singular infographic, and be used to display your data in marketing materials, such as graphics on social media or email campaigns. 

Sharing Data With Your Community

Data is used for more than just reports and marketing; it can be used on your nonprofit’s website, impact and financial pages, program content, advocacy content, blog posts, and more. 

When presenting data elsewhere, you should follow the same ‘rules’ and continue storytelling and using visualization. Transparency in your nonprofit is key, and by presenting your data in a way your community can understand, you’re making your information and impact more accessible to all (not just stakeholders).

To put it simply, sharing data with your community — and beyond — is how your nonprofit can show donors, supporters, and others how their funding and your nonprofit have made a positive impact on the lives of others.

Getting The Biggest Impact From Your Data

Presenting data in a way that is both simple and impactful is a challenge that many nonprofits face, particularly those with hard-to-explain programs/initiatives or multiple data points.

While graphics and storytelling can help you deliver this information to your community, it can be hard to implement — especially if your internal team already has its hands full with your upcoming campaigns and programs.

So, if you’re ready to simplify your nonprofit’s data and bridge the gap between your impact and your community, get in touch with us today. We’re happy to help!

June 28, 2024

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