Data-driven nonprofits utilize data to make informed decisions, improve product and service offerings, raise funds, and communicate with stakeholders better. We are seeing a paradigm shift in the social sector, with nonprofits moving to become data-driven organizations. For any organization, this is the time to make the move that would help them achieve their goals.
Mentorship programs for youth have tremendous potential social impact. Helping young people become successful adults has a powerful, radiating effect throughout their lives and communities. It also diminishes the negative social costs associated with imprisonment, crime, drug use, and other negative outcomes. In some communities, young people are at increased risk of such outcomes.
Data-Driven Nonprofit: Boys to Men Tucson
Boys to Men Tucson strengthens communities by training and empowering men to mentor young teenage students into healthy adulthood. Their three-program approach includes site-based mentoring, challenge adventure weekends, and adventure outings. While they can see positive changes in their youth participants and other stakeholders, capturing and measuring those outcomes can be challenging.
Read More: Purposeful Social Impact Analytics
The Challenge: How nonprofits can use data?
Boys to Men Tucson was not only seeking to demonstrate their impact but, more importantly, learn how to improve services for their stakeholders and amplify what was working. The organization was facing several challenges in its impact measurement and management (IMM) journey:
- Refining their Theory of Change and operationalizing measures
- Connecting data from multiple sources
- Data collection and reaching stakeholders
- Implementing their IMM strategy to get continuous insight
- Data-based learning and strategic decision-making
For nonprofits, overcoming these challenges can seem like a daunting task. With the right expertise and technology, effective IMM is possible.
Read More: 5 Ways to Improve Nonprofit Theory of Change
Partnership with SoPact
SoPact has partnered with Boys to Men Tucson (BtMT) to help address all these challenges. Through Impact Cloud®, Boys to Men Tucson created a clear pathway to their impact goals. They defined their outcomes, selected appropriate metrics, designed stakeholder surveys, connected data sources, and viewed everything in real-time dashboards.
Often, organizations understand impact measurement as proof or justification to funders for their programs and services. Impact measurement then becomes more about reporting. However, the real significance of IMM is a continual learning and improvement process. In the end, better programs mean more impactful change in the stakeholders’ life.
Read More: Effective Nonprofit Social Impact Reporting
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Outcomes
One key outcome of BtMT’s impact journey was communicating with and understanding their stakeholders better. They achieved this through an impact experiment. A social impact experiment is a short, time-bound run-through of products or services that allows you to test your Theory of Change.
Boys to Men Tucson broke down its goal of strengthening communities into two parts:
- Do young people have the necessary positive role models?
- Are we raising healthier, more resilient young people?
Through a stakeholder survey, Boys to Men Tucson received critical information on demographics, mentors, and youth behaviors. For example, they found that the vast majority of their youth participants were people of color while 75% of mentors were white. They also found a significant gap in Spanish-speaking mentors.
This critical information allows boys to Men in Tucson to adjust their programming to better serve the young people they help.
Positive mentorship can be life-changing for young people and their families. As one mother of a middle school participant said, “[Boys to Men ] saved my son from heaven knows what could have happened to him… gangs, drugs, jail or worse.”
The right IMM helps Boys to Men Tucson understand, improve, and amplify their impact. That way, the youth in the programs get the mentorship and support they need to be successful adults.
Read More: Can Impact Work Without Diversity Be Racist?
Data-Driven Nonprofit Diversity
Boys to Men Tucson is changing the lives of young people in Tucson, Arizona. With strong data, they’re learning how to do it better. To build a clear pathway to your impact goals, contact Sopact. You can also learn more about the critical work being done by Boys to Men Tucson here.