Delaware nonprofit database initiative announced

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The Delaware Grant Makers and the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement announce their partnership in developing a data resource that will provide comprehensive information about the Delaware nonprofit sector. Nonprofit, foundation and government leaders have long sought a means to understand which nonprofits are providing what services and where in the
state.

The urgency of the need emerged during DANA’s annual conference last year, where more than 120 leaders in Delaware identified top priorities for the nonprofit sector to include: greater collaboration, consolidation, common metrics for outcomes and tools for better resource allocation. In subsequent focus groups and individual interviews with nonprofit and foundation leaders, it became clear that for all of these needs to be met, a database to understand which nonprofit is serving in various social impact arenas was needed. One nonprofit leader said, “It is hard for me to collaborate, when I don’t know who to collaborate with.”

As demand for nonprofit services continue to increase, traditional funding sources are shrinking and shifting in the state. Sector leaders are seeking an objective method to understand how resources can be effectively leveraged to serve Delaware. The database will not only list organizations, but also provide financial and program outcome information to facilitate collaboration, as well as resource allocation. When completed, the database will include:

• Accurate information on nonprofits that are providing services and which have socially beneficial missions, sourced from IRS form 990 data and supplemented by agency leaders;

• A portal allowing nonprofits and funders to identify potential partners who have similar missions, serve the same population, and/or occupy the same geographical space in order to facilitate increased collaboration and possible mergers in the sector; and

• Easily accessible information on nonprofit agency financial health, sustainability and impact.

•  The two organizations will be seeking input from their membership to inform the content and format of the data resource.

CompassRed Data Labs will lead the initial design phase of the project. Generous grants from Discover Bank and Capital One are funding this initial design phase. It is anticipated the project will be completed in the first half of 2017.

For more information, go to www.delawaregrantmakers.org and www.delawarenonprofit.org.