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How A Data-Driven Giving Approach Resulted in $4.5 Billion for 384 Organizations

The holiday season is well known for helping us to focus more on serving those around us. We all have favorite, heart-warming movies and books we enjoy this time of year. One of those for us is, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. When things seemed hopeless for George Bailey, an angel named Clarence arrived to bring a renewed spirt so George could continue his personal legacy of impact.

This season we are inspired by a real-world angel, author, and philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott who provided significant funding to several impact-centric nonprofits. In July 2020, Scott asked a team of advisors to help determine the best organizations to support with their efforts to alleviate the suffering from COVID-19 and the resulting financial crisis. They used a data-driven approach to identify organizations operating in communities with high food insecurity, racial inequity, and poverty and low access to philanthropic capital. As a result, over the last four months Scott’s organization has donated $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.


To select the 384 organizations, Scott’s team asked for recommendations from hundreds of field experts, funders, non-profit leaders, and volunteers. They wanted to determine each nonprofit’s capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding. Scott’s team originally looked at 6,490 organizations, and then did deeper research into 822. The research involved hundreds of phone calls and emails and intensive data analysis. In the end, “insufficient evidence of impact” was among the top reasons an organization was not selected to receive funding. Think about that for a minute. Of the thousands of organizations they researched, the team eventually selected the organizations who were able to demonstrate their impact and show they had the capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding.


In the case of MacKenzie Scott’s team, they did extensive research and data analysis in order to determine the most qualified organizations. However, there is more to the story. In order for Scott’s team to determine the impact of an organization, the organization had to have already been collecting outcomes and impact data and been able to share it. If the perfect grant appeared, or a celebrated philanthropist knocked on your door tomorrow, would you be ready to share your impact? Would you be able to demonstrate your impact in a way that you would stand out against other organizations in your space? What if there was a way that didn’t require mountains of spreadsheets and a team of data-analysts?


SureImpact is a data collection and reporting platform that connects backbone organizations, partners, funders, collaborators, grant managers, and evaluators with real-time impact data. Whether you are part of a single non-profit organization or a cross-sector collaborative with a centralized infrastructure, SureImpact enables you to collect, manage, and share data to demonstrate your impact story. We help you establish the right outcomes and consistently collect data, so you can confidently communicate your impact and return on investment to your funders and have the capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding.


Thanks for all the great work you do in your community. We wish you and yours a happy holiday season.


To learn more about how SureImpact can help you collect and manage the right outcomes so you can demonstrate your social impact, contact us today.

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