When we started Significant Digits, we knew that we wanted to do more than just create websites for clients – we wanted to put our skills in technology and data science to work for social good. Client work keeps the lights on, but it’s not the whole story. Our company is committed to helping social impact organizations do their good work better, with fewer resources.
To fulfill this commitment, we are creating free tools and insights for nonprofits.
Our first completed project is a data-driven analysis of the fastest growing nonprofits in Minnesota, with an eye towards uncovering common characteristics and strategies.
We believe that nonprofits are currently underserved by technology companies. While there are useful free products from leaders like Google and Salesforce, relatively little technological innovation focuses specifically on improving the efficacy of nonprofits. Furthermore, many of the best tools for nonprofits are expensive and out of reach for newer or smaller organizations. We hope to help fill this gap by developing tools that are freely available, starting with exploratory data tools. Our first tool, dubbed the Minnesota Funding Network Explorer, is currently in early beta, and is available for preview here.
There is an unfortunate irony about nonprofit data. Because nonprofits are publicly incorporated, there is a great deal of information available, yet there is relatively little useful analysis of that data. The excellent work of a few organizations such as the Aspen Institute goes a long way towards providing useful data analysis. We hope to further contribute to the nonprofit community’s knowledge pool by teasing out meaning from the mountains of data at hand. A few of the reports we’ve started or are exploring include:
- A report of annual reports, which will combine natural language processing and machine learning techniques to analyze thousands of annual reports, with the goal of better understanding the content, scope, and time commitment involved in creating them
- A network analysis of the most highly-connected nonprofits based on funding relationships between nonprofits and foundations
Want to get notified when we release new tools and insights? Join our (infrequent) mailing list and we’ll give you a shout when we have something cool to share!
Have an idea for a tool or report that you think we should work on? Want to collaborate on something with us? Shoot us a message here – we’d love to hear from you!