Developing data champions

Our first go at creating a network of data champions has revealed a thirst for connecting with others to use data for better grantmaking.

In 2017, collaborating with UK Community Foundations we brought 10 people together for a data expedition and this sparked their interest in learning more together.

A data expeditionIn interviews we learned that as grants managers they had developed their data skills on the job. They want to make informed decisions and have a clear understanding of how data should play a role. They are interested in learning from each other about the challenges they face in integrating data into their work. They want to compare notes about external datasets, ways to get valuable data from grantees, and improve understanding about how to make the most impact.

Based on this feedback, we piloted a programme aimed at helping people to become data champions within their organisations.

Feedback at the end of the pilot highlighted that participants appreciate learning new ways to understand need and deprivation within their areas and the impact and effectiveness of their grantmaking. They particularly liked being challenged to think differently about approaches to using data.

Supporting our vision for more informed and strategic grantmaking, the programme has provided insights into the challenges felt by community foundations in using data to support decision making. It was also a direct connection and feedback loop to users of 360Giving data and tools. There is clearly an enormous benefit in convening space for peer-learning amongst individuals who are driving their foundations to be more data informed.

You can read the longer report about the programme here. If you’d like us to run a data expedition with you then find out more about that here.

We’re going to do more of this, with a broader data champions programme starting in Autumn 2019. Find out more here.