social good

Rick Jacobus, our  HomeKeeper advisor and consultant,  will be sharing the HomeKeeper story  as part of the Social Good Tech Week activities.  Here’s the intro to his presentation:

HomeKeeper: Finding the Value Proposition of Social Performance Data

Everyone seems to agree that we need better data on the difference that nonprofit organizations are making in the world but there is less agreement about exactly what we need that data for. There is clearly potential to use social impact data to direct funding to higher performing organizations but, with some exceptions, the data that is available does not paint a clear enough picture to drive real funding decisions.

A more promising approach uses data on social performance to the nonprofits themselves do a better job. Feedback loops built around social performance data can help nonprofits make better choices. HomeKeeper is a application being used by more than 60 nonprofit or public affordable housing programs nationwide to manage their day-to-day work. The application captures rich social impact data on each housing transaction and aggregates this data across organizations operating similar programs. Participating organizations receive social impact reports that benchmark their performance against a peer group which makes it far easier to understand and act on the results. This data helps programs see what they are doing well and where they need to improve.

This talk will draw on real world experience building a shared measurement system for this one sub-sector to highlight more general challenges facing the field. What does it take to get diverse organizations to track outcomes in a standardized manor? How do we make data collection simple and automatic? How can we engage the end users in the process to ensure that we are capturing the information that matters most? How do we unlock the value of social performance data in order to justify the necessary investment in data systems?