On November 16, the Nonprofit Center was proud to launch the Northeast Florida Indicators Project, a new initiative designed to help local nonprofits tell the story of their own impact. Check out the site at neflindicators.org!
Our world today is awash in data. But availability doesn’t always mean access. Too often, those whose expertise is first and foremost in serving the community face barriers to finding and using quality of life indicators to mine for insights or align with the goals of others.
At the same time, polling data tells us that the vast majority of residents in Northeast Florida are more likely to invest in nonprofits that can demonstrate their impact. Using data in telling these stories is out of reach for too many organizations. This leads not only to limited community understanding of key indicators of progress, but also to underinvestment and, ultimately, unrealized impact.
Our vision for the Northeast Florida Indicators Project is that every changemaker — whether they are a nonprofit staff member, a volunteer, a donor, or anyone who wants to work with others to make this a place where everyone can reach their full potential — will have a level playing field through easy access to collaboratives and data that drive quality of life in our community.
The Northeast Florida Indicators Project is much more than a website, and this launch is less a product release than an invitation to an ongoing conversation. We invite nonprofit staff and volunteers to review this first version of the site, and make suggestions for the kind of data and visualizations you would like to see be a part of it. Our plan is for this resource to be updated quarterly moving forward with new data and information.
Ultimately, we will market this resource not only to nonprofits, but to the public, to create a mutually reinforcing cycle of investment in the organizations that are leading the way in improving Northeast Florida’s quality of life.
Through this project, the Nonprofit Center is making a long-term commitment to:
- Providing a centralized and regularly updated source of research and data that points to the nonprofit sector’s impact on our community’s quality of life, and building a common understanding of the key indicators that tell us how our region is progressing toward its goals.
- To increasing the capacity of nonprofits — and their government and philanthropic partners — to measure outcomes, collaborate around evaluation, and communicate about the difference they make every day.
- And to improving public trust by providing a place for community members to better understand how they can support the causes they care about.
As this work evolves and changes to adapt to the region’s priorities and the sector’s needs, we believe the Northeast Florida Indicators Project will contribute to the Nonprofit Center’s vision for a community that is strengthened by — and supportive of — a healthy, high-impact nonprofit sector.
And for those interested in getting more deeply involved, please let us know if you’re interested in adding your name to the list of folks who have joined the Northeast Florida Data Forum, which meets quarterly and will act as a steering committee for this effort. Just indicate your interest at the site, or email Deirdre Conner at email@example.com.
All of us at the Nonprofit Center are confident in the expertise and the collaboration present in Northeast Florida nonprofits, and in your collective wisdom to lead the way in defining our sector’s impact now and many years into the future.
Together, we can leverage this data to generate the investment that our communities need.