When John D. Rockefeller revolutionised the oil business on the brink of the 20th century, literally in the dirtiest way possible, he surely didn’t expect that oil would soon be replaced by a cleaner, more valuable commodity – data. However, the data industry and related analytics have become both very advanced and grotesque. Facebook knows who you are and what you like, even if you aren’t registered. Amazon and other online sellers know what you’ll buy (possibly before you). Netflix knows if you’re rather interested in series about Colombian drug lords or animated comedies (possibly also before you). Google knows everything in between. However, there are also many applications that show the power of big data analytics for the greater good, such as predicting heart attacks, advanced cybersecurity, improving agricultural management, satellite-based disaster (risk) estimations or algorithms that help to avoid traffic accidents.
These examples show that data are a resource that needs to be protected – if they’re related to privacy rights or not. We believe that the collaboration with NGOs needs to be based on a relationship of trust to facilitate a true innovation. Hence, Grapevine was developed on three foundation pillars:
1) We think that big data analytics can be ethical and that it must not be a privilege of private companies. Big data need to become actionable knowledge for NGOs/NPOs that answers real questions beyond counting likes or shares.
2) Over the last years we’ve seen that many small organisations are characterised by high commitment. However, while these organisations are often very efficient regarding their work “in the field”, the resources for the development or optimisation of fundraising and marketing strategies are often limited. This leads to ad-hoc decision-making that is often not grounded in data, but subjective judgement. Also most global NGOs/NPOs lack the knowledge base to decrease the uncertainty in day-to-day management, for instance when it comes to questions related to tracking the impact of individual campaigns or the gap between donors and their social media audience.
3) NGOs/NPOs can learn from each other. Benchmarks based on anonymised data and the highest security standards (+ individual data agreements) guarantee that fundraising and communication strategies aren’t shared with competitors. Data aren’t processed or storage in “the cloud”, but on one of the world’s fastest computers, located in Vienna, Austria. This allows full control and transparency (in contrast to popular solutions like Amazon Web Services).
The 2017 global NGO technology report is based on a survey of 4,908 NGOs from 153 countries across six continents. It reveals some very interesting developments:
More than 92% of European/North American NGOs have a website and a Facebook page
93% consider social media (very) effective to raise the brand awareness
65% agree that social media is (very) effective for online fundraising
34% have paid for advertising on social media
67% accept online donations
Grapevine will revolutionize the fundraising and communication strategies of NGOs/NPOs by answering concrete questions via real-time benchmark information. Newly won insights can directly be integrated into existing decision-making workflows to answer questions such as the following:
Grapevine allows the optimisation of activities without the involvement of additional human resources. A suite of thematically organised best-practice examples will support you. In a nutshell, the analysis of internal and external data sets via a series of machine learning (=self learning) algorithms facilitates more targeted fundraising, more efficient communication with (potential) donors and advanced tracking of social media impact.