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Making Wise Decisions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting the Right Data System



Making Wise Decisions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting the Right Data System helps mission-driven organizations find the right data systems that meet their needs.

Selecting a data system is a major investment of time and resources for nonprofits. Selecting and deploying a data system can take more than a year, require substantial staff time, and cost $50,000 or more. When a data system fails to meet the needs of the organization – or even if the right system is poorly implemented – nonprofits lose money and the goodwill of their staff.


The Question: How can mission-driven organizations effectively select a new data system?

Nonprofit professionals do not yet have access to a robust toolkit that both provides guidance on the system selection process and how to assess the fit of specific vendors relative to an organization’s needs. Many funders that want to help their grantees find the right system find themselves in a similar position, limiting the effectiveness of these capacity-building investments.


The Process: Creating a comprehensive toolkit

Making Wise Decisions incorporates advice from small- to midsized-nonprofits that have adopted a new data system, technology providers that develop data system solutions , and philanthropic organizations that fund - or are interested in funding - capacity building of this sort.

Public Profit partnered with B3 Consults to create Making Wise Decisions. The toolkit was generously funded by the S.H. Cowell Foundation with supplemental funding from the Y & H Soda Foundation.


The Outcome: A toolkit with practical, user-friendly advice. No jargon, just good guidance!

Making Wise Decisions offers small- to mid-sized nonprofit organizations the processes and insights they need to make wiser, more fiscally responsible data system decisions.

This free toolkit includes:

  • A comprehensive guidebook that walks nonprofit organizations through key considerations when selecting and adopting a data system.
  • A set of guidebook-aligned planning tools that teams can use to document their agency-specific needs and considerations.
  • An online quiz that organizations can take to identify data systems most likely to meet their needs.
  • Webinars and trainings to help nonprofits get started.


Ready to start Making Wise Decisions?

Start here by taking the short online self-assessment that will help you understand your organization's current situation. A link to download the guidebook will appear at the end (take a sneak peak of the guidebook here).

Public Profit and B3 Consults are available for trainings and webinars, and for targeted support for nonprofits in identifying and implementing data systems.

Click here to drop us a line!