Tom Bell and Sussex Community Foundations - Online Discussion Notes 17.02.19


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You can find the recording of this on youtube:

Tom’s moving on to Henry Smith Charity Grant Making for children and young people. Which means his 20 minute commute will turn into a long commute to London.

Tom’s major challenge in exploring how to use data properly has been time.

They are working on a data and story-telling initiative. It’s been helpful to use a journalistic frame for building a story from data - knowing the Five W’s. It’s been really important to understand your audience first and then interrogate the data to craft a story. They are just beginning to understand the journey to connecting all of this to developing narratives that can inform decision making around funding.

Another factor is quality of data - ie, numbers of volunteers, can be wildly inaccurate and when you don’t have in-depth data it can be hard to parse out an accurate narrative.

SCF would like to go further in exploring how they capture data that can be used for building stories.

End of grant data is not often something you can simply aggregate and then get meaningful data.

A big struggle is turning around data on demand in Community Foundations. Interrogating why you are going through data to answer questions is important.

What is the Culture shift like at SCF to use Data?
Before Tom started SCF was focusing on upscaling their use of digital. When Tom was brought on, he was given free rein to explore.

Initially, the SCF grants committee was dealing with proposals by hand but that has all changed and moved to working Digitally. This was a quick win - they were able to adapt to digital rather quickly and everyone could see the benefit.

Data Digital and Tech are things that need to be embedded in a person’s role.

Tom is the grants manager. He’s been there for nearly two years. It needs buy-in at top levels. He was given time to explore data and digital in his role? He’s been giving one day a week to explore data and data-culture, along with digital.

Advice Tom would give:

  • Just start doing - there’s a lot of information out there and it’s overwhelming. Just look for one small step to start making a transformation and focus on that.
  • Take advantage of the network, the knowledge that is shared there. Along with calling individuals. There’s a lot of knowledge across the CF network and people don’t realise the expertise and knowledge they’ve developed ‘in job’. So taking advantage on that.

Tom’s felt Local Insights is useful - they use it for a lot of things that are not necessarily it’s intended use. They use it for GIS, to double check things in a proposal. The user-interface is really helpful - it’s better than Graham Thornton - the map is a way that works so much better than just starting with a spreadsheet. He felt he could have pushed it more and people at SCF would use it more than they do know. On the grant side, they use it regularly, but would like to use it more on the donor side.

He has found it so beneficial to talk to other people at other community foundations that are in similar roles - he’s been exposed to other tools - such as Andy and Carto. It has saved a bunch of time. It’s critical to find people in the network that have had experience with a tool or a similar problem can be such a time saver.

SCF has found training so important - particularly in using Salesforce.

But it’s only through hearing that Kate at has set up a ‘funding request’ in Salesforce. They didn’t know it was possible and it really helped to know. It would be great to do more network-wide training on specific so people can learn more.

We have started building a Data Champion Resource Library. We started building it at the last workshop.

When we say the Data Champion Resource Library - we think the resources are really the people taking Is this even worthwhile? Is this useful? After we have used it and determine it. This is an asset for us by us - (FUBU) - and everyone is free to start using.

For the Resource Library, We should consider

  • Can we make more use of ‘Digits’ - a system that we are all in. Like Chatter - keywords? Can we embedded it in somewhere like that?
  • They are trying to push more things into Chatter -
  • Resource Library - linking the source of information.
  • Steve thinks it’s critical that it’s good to have a good case study - Local Insights for instance - they looked at it, but they didn’t get it.

Actually Mor can ask for a case study - just note - that Mor did ask them to write a case study AND THEY DID!

Mor’s Data StoryTelling Workshop

Nicola had put together a proposal for a workshop at the UKCF Conference - it looks good and its an important discussion.

Keep an eye out for a doodle on the next face-to-face workshop on Building Data Culture.

Next online discussion, the premise is to showcase individuals and their work, Gareth has volunteered - sharing data- collecting so much siloed data.

Hannah will be representing SCF on the Data Champions from now until they get a replacement for Tom.