May 9, 2013
Many managers at nonprofit associations hear about big data and think to themselves, "How am I going to use these massive data streams to my advantage?" And they are not alone, as businesses throughout the world have struggled to maximize the potential of big data.
"The amount of information and data that we're collecting now is truly enormous in terms of the volume that is outside the four walls of the organization," Anand Rao, principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told CIO magazine. "Organizations don't have the right people, they don't have the right structure in place and they're still struggling with some of the tools and techniques."
Nonprofits must set concrete goals with big data
An article for Nonprofit Quarterly stated nonprofits need to focus on one set of numbers they can take insights from to improve marketing and fundraising. There are many people in the world talking about social change on blogs, websites and sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These are the pieces of information nonprofit organizations should focus on when deploying big data initiatives. Associations struggle when they try to harness too much information, making it difficult to provide any real-time insight to decision-makers.
Bring in the necessary talent
Capitalizing on big data doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it often takes a lost of planning and the necessary talent to ensure big data deployments are a success. The magazine featured the 5th annual Digital IQ Survey produced by PwC that showed learning from big data is often more difficult than originally believed for businesses, and nonprofits often face the same challenges.
While nonprofits may struggle to come across funding, if they want to truly benefit from massive information streams, the associations must bring in people that have a feel for the importance of big data insights into its infrastructure. Budgeting for data experts will help organizations realize the benefits of big data more quickly.
"You need someone who understands the business, can translate the business from a problem into a solution," Rao told CIO. "They have to understand enough about analytics to know that this type of problem requires that type of solution or analytics technique. If you can't find a single person, a team approach could work."
In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.
The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.
It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We
Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.
Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.