The Data Playbook: Data Practices for Purpose-Driven Work

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Listen to Andrew Means, Jacob Harold, Beth Kanter, and Rella Kaplowitz dig into the Data Playbook to share strategies and insights for using data to drive social sector impact.

Markets for Good partnered with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to host a virtual roundtable discussion on the Data Playbook, a new practical guide for putting data to work in the social sector.

Moderated by Andrew Means, the panel included Jacob Harold, President and CEO of GuideStar; Beth Kanter, nonprofit innovator, master trainer, blogger, and author of The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit; and Rella Kaplowitz, Program Officer for Evaluation and Learning at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

A few highlights:

  • Encouraging nonprofits to “start small,” Rella Kaplowitz discussed how to use a growth mindset, free or low-cost tools, and new opportunities for learning to make a data-driven difference at nonprofits, big or small.
  • In sharing tips, tools, and case studies for building a practice and culture of data, Beth Kanter discussed the benefits of “learning agility,” how to measure intangible outcomes, and how nonprofits are integrating data into their storytelling.
  • In addressing the role of data at both the organizational and sector-wide levels, Jacob Harold discussed the nuances of choosing and benchmarking metrics; the value of data in building nonprofit and social sector identities; and the responsibilities nonprofits face in safely and securely working with data.
  • Andrew Means discussed how data can serve as a “mirror” for organizations to learn more about themselves and their field of work, and how investments in culture can be more effective than investments in technology for fostering data-driven organizational change.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above, download the podcast (mp3, 33 MB), or visit the Markets for Good podcast on iTunes. You can also read the full transcript.

Be sure to also visit to check out the full Data Playbook as well as other resources for advancing your purpose-driven work!

Have stories, thoughts, or tips to share about using data for social good? Chime in below with a comment!

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