By Amy Stuczynski, Data Analyst
The State of Nonprofit Data report conducted by NTEN and Idealware found that 99% of nonprofits track some sort of metrics yet, “how nonprofits are currently using data does not necessarily reflect how they would like to use it.” We think some of that disconnect might come from not bridging the numbers and the real people who live that data on a daily basis.
Too often numbers sit in a report or in the dark corners of a website when they should be intimately connected to providers’ and participants’ lives. So in the past couple months we’ve been sharing the latest Oregon IDA Initiative data about reach and impact at Roadshow events in Bend, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Springfield, and Portland. Events in Salem and Portland are scheduled for December.
Participants at each have provided valuable insights and feedback. Here are 4 reasons we’ve found the IDA Data Roadshow to be useful:
1. Hearing IDA graduates share their insights on the statewide data.
IDA graduates have shared the impacts the IDA program has had in their lives. Beyond looking at hard numbers, IDA graduates remind us about the immense sense of accomplishment and security they’ve experienced, and how those impacts continue to grow and be felt over time. They’ve been able to comment on whether the conclusions we’re drawing from the data ring true for them given their experience in the program. They are also able to speak to the experience of completing exit and follow-up surveys, from which the Initiative gathers a lot of its data on impacts.
2. Seeing our different stakeholders come together collaboratively.
We’ve been hearing about the different ways partners are building programs and offering services in their regions, which is spurring us to think about the impacts of these partnerships in new ways. For instance, when we hear about service providers in the same region working together to provide financial education to savers, it leads us to think about the ways in which these types of program collaborations may be linking savers to additional resources. We’ve witnessed donors, IDA graduates, and program providers developing relationships and exchanging innovative ideas on how to support IDA savers and further their impacts.
3. Challenging us to evolve the evaluation to better reflect the different asset classes and communities we serve.
Roadshow participants have asked questions seeking to better understand the IDA’s accessibility and availability. Their stories remind us that while our desired impacts are universal, they may look different based on the asset the participant is saving for, where the participant lives, and myriad other circumstances. Their questions challenge us to tell a more refined data-driven story of the impacts in different communities.
4. Learning about different barriers participants and programs are facing across the state, so we can assess our success at overcoming them.
We’re hearing about both programmatic and data collection challenges that may be unique to rural areas, or for youth, or for microenterprise savers, etc. By surfacing these concerns and understanding where various challenges lie, we can refine our questions and what we’re monitoring so that we can gauge our success in breaking down those barriers.
We appreciate the feedback, questions, comments and discussion to date. By working together with those on the ground with the IDA program, we believe we will have a stronger evaluation and stronger ability to demonstrate our impact. A summary report of the specific themes that arose in the Roadshow conversations, and what those ideas might mean for refining our data collection, cleaning, and analysis, will be posted at the beginning of the year. We will continue to look for ways to engage stakeholders in the evaluation process.
Learn more at https://oregonidainitiative.org/roadshow/
It’s time to get your IDA Video Contest submissions in! The deadline is Oct. 9. And don’t forget, the winning current or graduated IDA participant and IDA provider that refers the participant each receive $250.
First think about the message you want to convey. Think about the style that you want to convey it in. Put yourself in the place of the audience. How do you want people to feel when they watch your video? What do you want people to think? Think about what would catch your attention. Too often we create things for people without really putting ourselves in the shoes of the audience.
Write out a rough idea of what you would like to do. Don’t focus on making it short, just yet. My process was to do something that would visually tell the story like a short film, but use music because people listen to words in music and putting something to a good tune is memorable. Again, think about the type of commercials and media that speaks to you. Once I knew I wanted to tell the story of the challenges of being an entrepreneur and the great benefit of MESO/IDA I had a direction.
Then make a shot list of what shots are needed to tell your story. It’s very possible you’ll have more story and shots than you could comfortably fit into 60 seconds — that’s ok. Now lay it out and think about what parts of the story must be present for your story to be told, and what parts, if taken out, wouldn’t cause confusion for your audience.
Then no matter how much you may love those pieces that the audience doesn’t need – take them out. I know it may be a cool shot or something that you love, but if it doesn’t take tell the story it’s gotta go. Now with what you have left, find the most creative way to present it. Keep refining until you’re happy.
You can get great examples of Ime’s work on his website: http://www.lclentertainment.com/
As part of the IDA Tax Credit Renewal, the Legislature also changed the specifics of how the tax credits will be sold and set a date that the changes must be in place as of October 5, 2015.
These changes present an opportunity to serve more Oregonians in different ways. The changes also presented an implementation hurdle, which led to a temporary pause in tax credit sales as of August 15.
We are working to finalize the new administrative rules and will be sharing details with you in the coming days on this blog.
For the remainder of 2015 we know two things for sure:
- We have about $2 million in tax credits left for 2015 and we expect they will go quickly
- The tax credit rate for credits from October 5, 2015 through the end of 2015 will be 70%
- No donations received before Oct. 5 will be accepted.
All other details will be updated frequently here at OregonIDAInitiative.org/news and via email.
We have some of our donor, CPA and financial advisor partners’ email addresses, but there are several hundred people whose email addresses we don’t have. If you want to be notified when we finalize our 2015 donation procedure, please confirm we have your email address by signing up here on our contact form: http://goo.gl/forms/DiVvkmyZja
We Need Your Feedback
As part of the Oregon IDA Initiative community, we also value your thoughts. We will be holding an in-person conversation in early November in Portland. We will also be providing other opportunities to provide feedback via conference call.
This session will be an opportunity to tell us what you would like to see from the IDA Tax Credit marketing process.
If you would like to provide feedback, sign up on our contact form to be given more details: http://goo.gl/forms/DiVvkmyZja