Empowering nonprofits through data 

Research and Evaluation | Blog | 2 mins.
Written By: Kelsey Thompson | Posted On: 09/18/2023

The Morgridge Family Foundation has launched its first online learning series, based on the expressed need for content about data design, measurement and application that is tailored specifically for nonprofits. 

MFF’s Data for Nonprofits Workshop Series is offered as a six-part asynchronous learning experience that is free of charge and includes downloadable tools. People who complete the lessons will have access to one-on-one virtual support from course creator and instructor Elisabeth Wilson, MFF’s strategic change and evaluation specialist.

Wilson has more than a decade of experience leading research and evaluation activities in the public, government and nonprofit sectors. Wilson said, “Data is most effective when it leads to action. So in the course, we take learners all the way through from creating their research questions, to visualizing data and illustrating impact to funders and policymakers.” 

The Data for Nonprofits Workshop Series is designed for anyone who could use data to enhance their work, including program managers, fundraisers, grant writers, marketing professionals and C-level leadership. Data 101 assesses the learner’s level of experience and then guides them to the subsequent lessons where they can continue learning without repeating skills they may already have. 

This work was inspired by MFF’s prior investment into research and evaluation and by data gathered from nonprofit partners. In 2021, MFF engaged Basil Data to offer in-person courses at no charge. Based on feedback from participants, it became clear there were opportunities to tailor the learning, and to create online assets that could be accessible to more people.

“At MFF, we’re committed to the full learning journey, for ourselves and our partners,” said co-founder Carrie Morgridge. “As we learn, and we hear from our partners what they would like to know more about, we are able to either find or create solutions. As we learned about the need for skills in the area of research and evaluation, we saw a clear opportunity to deliver on our commitment.”

Upon completion of the data courses, participants will be better able to 

Early users of the course have said that the Data for Nonprofits Workshop Series makes data and research seem more accessible.

At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate goal of the course—to make data approachable, comprehensible and actionable. It’s more than just a learning opportunity; it’s empowerment.