#GivingTuesday 2017: The Significance of DataDives
While there seems to be a strong sense of #GivingTuesday loyalty and growth year after year, total philanthropic giving in the United States still hasn’t risen above 2% of GDP. However, just a 1% increase in giving would have huge impact: almost $4 billion of additional funding would be available to address social issues. As a platform or campaign organizer participating in #GivingTuesday you might ask yourself, “What can I do differently this year to contribute to that 1% increase?” That answer is revealed through DataDive sessions.
DataDives are high energy, marathon-style events where mission-driven organizations work alongside teams of volunteer data scientists, developers, and designers to use data to gain insight into their programs, the communities they serve, and more. Organized by DataKind and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, past DataDives have yielded fascinating findings and opened new paths for exploration – all in the pursuit of understanding how to make #GivingTuesday more impactful than it already is.
While we can see that #GivingTuesday generates a net lift on giving, it’s important for platforms and campaign organizers to understand how and why this occurs. DataDives present the opportunity to use data science to understand giving habits. A typical DataDive session follows this sequence of events:
- Exploration: Once the scope and key data questions are identified, data ambassadors are then hand-selected to lead the project and prepare the data.
- The Big Event (the DataDive): With the question scoped and the data cleansed, the volunteers choose a project they are most passionate about or rotate to sample a few. DataDives are generally open to the public and volunteers have varying skill levels, so the data ambassadors oversee the project from start to finish to ensure meaningful work gets delivered.
- Handoff: All findings are handed off to DataKind to be analyzed and reported. Participants walk away with anything from visualizations, analyses, graphs, or new datasets. As a result, the new data-driven learnings can be utilized by platforms and campaign organizers for years to come to meet the goal of increasing giving.
The most recent DataDive took place in August. Over 25 nonprofit and for-profit giving platforms donated their data to the project. Over 100 volunteers donated their time and talents for the weekend, guided by data ambassadors and subject matter experts from DataKind, 92nd Street Y, and other key partners. If you’re interested in participating in future DataDives, apply through the DataKind website.
After a session wraps up, DataKind produces an insight report to explain their findings. Similar to the March DataDive insight report, the August report will publish once the data is summarized. When the report publishes, we’ll be sure to share it with you. Looking ahead, WePay will continue being an advocate for the #GivingTuesday movement and an active participant in all DataDive sessions.