The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is a mission‐driven grantmaking foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and...
Finding Insights Through Data
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Improving your foundation’s ability to find insights through data is one of the most effective ways to successfully execute its mission. However, there are many ways to enhance your organization’s data analysis and interpretation, so it can be overwhelming to determine which forms of improvement yield the most valuable results.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) recently tackled this challenge by considering how they could better utilize software. Read on for meaningful ways to move the needle with data analytics, as exemplified by WRF’s journey.
One of the best ways to improve your grantmaking is to streamline your workflows. This means creating a system for tracking applications, reviewing them, and making decisions. Each foundation has its own unique grantmaking processes, and a foundation’s tools need to be able to implement those specific needs. WRF was able to customize a workflow “… to reflect WRF’s process, not a generic process that needed to fit all Fluxx users,” according to Andrea Dobson, WRF Chief Financial and Operating Officer.
Connecting Grantmakers, Grantseekers, and the Community
Human connections empower philanthropy. At WRF, Fluxx provided a platform for staff to connect to and communicate with grantees and other stakeholders. Those stakeholders also enjoyed a better experience with the ability to directly access resources. “Our consultants are able to access all of the information they need right in Fluxx, and our grantseekers are able to enjoy a streamlined process,” said Dobson.
Automating Repetitive Tasks
Grantmaking involves many repetitive tasks, such as collecting and reviewing applications, processing payments, and reporting on grant outcomes. Automating these tasks can significantly reduce the workload, including even eliminating manual data entry. Minimizing repetitive tasks was key at WRF, and Fluxx neatly served this requirement. “[Fluxx] thoughtfully designed a product that considers the day-to-day workflow of a grantmaking foundation,” said Dobson.
Automation can also save hundreds of hours by reducing or even eliminating tedious busywork. For example, automating the application process can significantly reduce the time required to collect, review, and evaluate grant applications. Similarly, automating payment processing can eliminate the need for manual invoice processing and payment reconciliation, freeing up time for more strategic activities. WRF previously had to spend up to half an hour looking for one piece of information. However, upon reconsidering its software options and implementing Fluxx, Dobson noted that users “… can quickly and easily find any information … within seconds.”
Increasing Capacity for Better Philanthropy
By reducing the time and resources required to evaluate and award grants, grantmakers can allocate more resources to other critical activities, such as developing and implementing new funding strategies, evaluating grant outcomes, and building stronger relationships with grantees and stakeholders. Additionally, streamlining grantmaking workflows can allow grantmakers to respond more quickly to emerging needs and opportunities, enhancing their agility and responsiveness. Increased data visibility “… allowed [the foundation] to make better decisions and to serve [their] grantees better.”
Finding insights through data is a powerful way to improve any foundation's effectiveness. As demonstrated at WRF, improving the use of key software and data analysis can help make a bigger impact on the world.
To learn more about how Fluxx can help your organization improve its data insights, request a demo today.