How “Intelligent” is Your Nonprofit?

Anthony Sicola- 10.02.2009 Follow me on Twitter

I’m going to start with a little pop quiz: Off the top of your head, how many ways can you think of to measure intelligence in people? Well, there’s IQ Tests, Social IQ Tests, Multiple Intelligence Tests, Emotional IQ Tests and Myer’s-Briggs Type Indicators just to name a few. All are great ways to identify traits, emotions and logical intelligence in humans, but how do you measure business intelligence?

There are lots of forms of business intelligence within the nonprofit space such as, donor giving histories, prospect research, online marketing and communications and organization-wide reporting. Business intelligence is all about helping nonprofits understand the data they collect and how to make more informed decisions with that data to help achieve their mission. Recently, The Nonprofit Times ran a feature entitled BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Donor management software changing the way nonprofits coordinate efforts” where they talked about the importance of nonprofits using the data they collect more strategically. This is a definite “must read”.


That being said, your business intelligence is only as good as the tools you use to collect data and whether those systems work well together. The wonderfully intelligent peeps over at NTEN see it as a “nonprofit data ecosystem”:


“The nonprofit ecosystem is a way of thinking about how data is shared by and flows across the different departments and activities in your organization. So, we'd like to take a look how your systems work together (if they do at all) with our first Data Ecosystem Survey. Our hope is that this will be a help to you, as well, giving you a place to start to evaluate the systems your organization uses and how they connect.”


I encourage you to take 10 or 15 minutes to take part in this important survey. All you need to know are the names of the software you’re currently using so you can evaluate it properly. Other than that, you won’t need any technical knowledge to complete the survey. The best part of all is that NTEN plans to share a copy of the final report with you just for completing the survey.


Artist: Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz


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