The Epic Foundation vets high-impact youth organizations around the world and connects them to donors. They recently published a report, Epic Outlook 2017, which features data collected from over 2,000 children and youth-focused organizations. Assessed for impact, operations, and leadership, the resulting 30,000 data points identify key factors shaping the philanthropy market, current challenges, and what an emerging generation of nonprofits is doing to overcome them.
Both charitable organizations and philanthropic capital have increased over the years, but it's still an inefficient market. One of the biggest problems facing nonprofits today is not having a clearly defined mission and the necessary operational support. We live in a data-driven world and philanthropists are looking for organizations that can both measure and demonstrate impact. The caveat is that many donors judge an organization based on its ratio of overhead costs to programs, yet investment in overhead is what makes running successful programs even possible.
The silver lining is that a new generation of nonprofits is emerging that shares donors' commitment to data-driven, actionable insights and improvements. Some innovation making this possible is the adoption of new technology like smartphones, CRMs, and cloud computing to manage large data sets. Social media, apps, and virtual reality tools have also allowed organizations to improve communication with donors and demonstrate impact. However, organizations cannot do it alone; with thematic and geographic limitations, they need help from government agencies and intermediaries to achieve system-wide change and scalable impact. Please go HERE for the full report.