The Power of Power BI for Nonprofits

Power BI enables you to use your data to influence impact. But how? This article explores Power BI and its many uses and benefits for Nonprofits

In this article: Learn more about what Power BI can do for your Nonprofit organisation

Imagine a day when all your data works together seamlessly, where your technology is fast and accomplishes everything you need it to. No more irritation, no more slamming your head against your keyboard in frustration. Just imagine it for a second – a land of beautiful reports, zero waiting time, and clean, crisp, organised data. It's total technology euphoria – or cloud nine, if you will.  

Seems impossible to reach this stage, right? Hence why we used the word IMAGINE. But we know ways to get very close to this technology euphoria. And one of those ways is Power BI – a part of the Microsoft stack which is full of great applications and technology for nonprofits.  

Power BI stands out as a versatile and flexible tool among the stack of Microsoft tools. More than just an application – Power BI is a dynamic data visualisation software that opens the door to many great and useful opportunities.  

With Power BI, you can pull data from diverse sources, such as Excel, text files, Google Analytics, PDF, CSV, and many more. This capability allows you to not only visualise, but also sort and analyse your data. This has many advantages, because we all know that in the world of nonprofits – data is crucial. The better your data and reporting, the bigger your IMPACT. 

In this article we’ll delve more deeply into WHY data can influence IMPACT. We will discuss key topics such as:  

  1. The facts 
  2. The Benefits of Power BI 
  3. How Power BI can empower nonprofit goals 
  4. Costs and considerations  
  5. How XP can help 

The Facts. 

Data is well recognised as an important factor in the nonprofit sector.  

According to PwC Australia’s 2nd Annual Not-for-profit CEO Survey, data analysis and analytics are considered the most essential skills by 50% of nonprofit CEOs. Additionally, 90% of nonprofits are actively engaging in data collection efforts. 

As we said, DATA influences IMPACT.  

However, despite the recognition of its importance, a study by NonprofitHub reveals that only 5% of nonprofits use data in every decision they make.  

Why is this, you may ask? If we know data is so important – why is it not being used effectively?  

Here are some common data barriers that nonprofits face: 

  • Not enough time (79%) 
  • Personnel don’t have enough experience (55%)  
  • Data isn’t kept in one place (46%) 
  • Lack of tools to analyse data (42%) 

 

Does your nonprofit relate to one of these barriers? We are here to help you overcome them, with the wonder that is Power BI. Let’s talk benefits.  

The Benefits of Power BI:  

Consolidated Data 

Even if the data you collect isn’t all in one place, Power BI can pull multiple sets of data from different sources. This flexibility allows you to have a Power BI report that integrates data from various sources such as CRMs, accounting software like Xero, website analytics tools like Google Analytics, and more, into a single Power BI report. This can give you a more holistic view of your operations, finances, and donor engagement.  

Make Data-Influenced Decisions 

Given the limited resources often encountered by nonprofits, data-influenced decisions become invaluable. With Power BI, you will be able to more accurately allocate resources to where they are most likely to yield better results.  

For example, if you understand your donor demographics and preferred communication channels better, you could create more targeted and efficient fundraising campaigns. You could potentially ask Power BI what the general age of your most productive donors is and base your campaign on this data. No more spending too much money on the wrong things! 

 

Predictions  

Beyond data-tracking, Power BI can predict! It comprehensively tracks contacts, operations, and processes, enabling you to predict future needs.  

For example, foodbanks can use Power BI to forecast stock requirements based on historical demand patterns and demographic trends. Similarly, predictive modelling enables organisations to anticipate programme impact by analysing participation rates, demographics, and outcomes. With Power BI, the possibilities are endless.  

How can Power BI emPOWER nonprofit goals?  

Spend more time on you mission 

It’s not a secret that reporting can be time consuming and frustrating, especially if it is done manually.  

Manual reports can hurt your organisation as you really don’t want to spend a week in front of Excel making monthly reports. That's time better spent elsewhere. 

But with Power BI - once the reporting is automated, you will save bucketloads of time. Monthly reporting may only take a day – how great is that!? Now you have four days to go into the field and make a difference because you’re not spending your whole week trying to navigate a painful, manual process. Power BI enables you to focus much more on your nonprofit and your day-to-day operations, community outreach, programme development, and donor engagement.  

Prove your impact  

Data serves as the indisputable proof of your nonprofit's impact and effectiveness. Power BI will enable you to demonstrate programme success to external stakeholders through internal research, showcasing participation rates, demographic distributions, and programme outcomes. By using this relational data, you can uncover valuable insights to improve your strategies for greater impact and efficiency.  

Additionally, the ability to track performance and showcase results to stakeholders, funders, and grants is crucial for securing continued support and funding.  

For example, a nonprofit providing health information through an accessible website can use Power BI to track website performance, providing funders with assurance that their investment is yielding tangible results. Or a sports organisation could use Power BI insights to prove increased participation and effectiveness of their programme.  

These are just a few examples that just highlight that your data acts as the evidence of your organisation's value. Data is the key to demonstrating the impact you have on your community, which will create a great case for support, and compel stakeholders and donors to continue supporting your cause. 

Costs and considerations 

Power BI isn't free. At the time of writing, the average cost for a business is $15/user per month. However, through Microsoft for Nonprofits, you will probably be eligible for a discounted rate on Power BI. We're experts in securing these discounts on your behalf. Yes, there is a cost to consider, but we have discovered that the benefits far exceed the investment, through the time and resources saved. The cost-effectiveness of Power BI makes it a worthwhile investment for nonprofits, enabling you to maximise your impact without stretching your budget.  

Additionally, beyond cost, you may need to consider the potential for training or upskilling required for your team to fully utilise Power BI's capabilities – but we can help with this too.  

How does Xtreme Productivity (XP) help? 

At XP, we're dedicated to helping nonprofits through tailored Power BI projects for your specific needs. From initial consultation to ongoing support, our team works closely with you to understand your requirements and how Power BI can best optimise your data management processes. Whether you're seeking assistance with reporting or exploring the capabilities of Power BI, we offer personalised consultations to provide a comprehensive overview of how Power BI can best serve your organisation. With our expertise, navigating the complexities of Power BI becomes simpler, allowing you to regain control of your data and reporting with confidence. 

We know that Power BI is not just a tool, but a game-changer. Sure, it comes with a price tag, but the time and resources it saves? Priceless. Plus, with Microsoft's nonprofit discounts, it's more accessible than ever. 

Sure, there's a learning curve, but fear not – we've got your back. At XP, we're all about empowering nonprofits like yours. From tailored projects to ongoing support, we're here to help you tap into the true power of your DATA to maximise your IMPACT. 

Ready to turn dreams into reality? Let's do this together.

Get in touch

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