Nonprofit Data for Beginners

The term “big data” gets used (and misused) a lot, making it seem scary and expensive. But bigger isn’t always better. Gathering the right data—and knowing how to use it—is what matters.

Three Tuesdays starting Oct 16, 1 to 2:30 pm Eastern

Join us for Nonprofit Data for Beginners, a three-week course designed to help you ask the right questions, find the data you need, and use your data to strengthen your organization.

Through participation in this course, you will: 

Toolkit Schedule

October 16: Asking the Right Questions
Simply collecting data is not enough. Deciding early on what you will do with that data—and why you want it in the first place—will help you to define goals and approaches. We’ll talk through how to define your organization’s own data-based metrics strategy from the ground up.

October 23: Hunting Down the Data 
More often than not, the most useful data won’t be found already neatly laid out in a spreadsheet. You might find extremely valuable data in handwritten staff notes, in multiple software systems, or public repositories. We’ll discuss where different data can live, which sources of data might be useful, and where and how you can collect it to be ready for analysis.

October 30: Making Use of Your Data
In the final session, we will discuss the various ways you will need to manage and use the data you’ve collected. We’ll consider the logistics of entering, storing, and maintaining your data. We’ll also look at how to develop an action plan that ensures your data program is useful and sustainable.

About Our Expert Trainer

Karen Goodenough, MSW, LGSW, Principal Consultant, Strategic Consulting and Coaching

Karen Goodenough has over 20 years of professional experience ranging from direct practice and senior leadership, to research, professional coaching, and teaching.  She is an effective leader and facilitator who is passionate about empowering organizations to strategically improve their practice and decision making capabilities with data.

Karen has amassed a portfolio of experience working with diverse populations in child welfare, youth development and education, basic needs family support, corrections, domestic violence and substance abuse recovery.  As a member of the senior leadership team of a MN non-profit for 12 years, Karen honed her macro practice skills in leadership, administration, supervision, program development, policy, fundraising, and evaluation.  In addition, she was a transformative leader in several key collective impact efforts.  Over the past 10 years, Karen has served as an adjunct faculty member in bachelors and masters of social work programs throughout the state.  Her teaching focuses on all aspects of macro practice, including her favorites: strategic planning, program development and evaluation, fundraising, and social policy.

Karen is currently working on a Ph.D. in social work at the University of Minnesota, where her research has focused on the relationship between non-profits and philanthropy, collective impact, child welfare, substance abuse recovery, and international learning.

Other Info