What’s Up with the Schusterman Family Foundation’s New Data Collection Resource?

What type of data should your nonprofit be collecting? How should be collecting it? What’s the best way of analyzing it? And how can you use that data to share compelling stories about your organization’s work?

These are all great questions, don’t you think? Well, there’s one foundation that’s aiming to answer all of them by harnessing the power of data. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Schusterman Family Foundation recently released a new interactive resource designed to help nonprofits evaluate and share the impact of their work. 

According to a foundation press release:

While a growing number of foundations and nonprofit organizations are recognizing data as integral to achieving their goals, many are struggling to find the resources necessary to use data effectively. The Data Playbook is designed to fill this gap and offer organizations of all sizes the tools they need to create a sustainable data strategy.

The Schusterman Data Playbook has several promising features, including survey design, advanced analysis, and expert strategies for data visualization. It’s been pitched as a tool for newbie nonprofit workers as well as seasoned veterans in the nonprofit world, with hypothetical and real-world examples that often touch on the experiences of Jewish organizations.

“Measuring things like shifts in identity or changes in attitude is a significant undertaking, but the result is well worth the effort,” said Sandy Cardin, president of the Schusterman Family Foundation. “Behind every metric and every survey result is a person who is looking to us to make a difference in their life. Perhaps counterintuitively, we hope that by embracing data-driven strategies, we will enhance our understanding of the human side of our work.”

The Schusterman Family Foundation has itself been committed to doing more than just making grants lately. It wants to be a “learning partner” and a resource provider for nonprofits to better understand their increasingly important role in society. 

Schusterman is no stranger to data collection in the nonprofit world. In fact, just last year, it released another “playbook” geared toward alumni and how nonprofits can keep their alumni networks engaged.

Much of Schusterman’s work is focused on improving public education in the United States, strengthening the Jewish community globally and enhancing the quality of life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rella Kaplowitz is the program officer for evaluation and learning at the foundation and the author of the Data Playbook. She’s an expert on the matter of data collection for social good, and the playbook also draws on the experience and expertise of organizations, foundations, and nonprofits like Datakind, the Hewlett Foundation, Guidestar, the Jim Joseph Foundation, Repair the World, and the Israel Education Resource Center as well.

Learn more here.

Related: Three Things to Know about Schusterman’s Tulsa Grantmaking