The latest report from Mowat NFP’s Enabling Environment series analyzes how charities, funders, governments and academic institutions can create a more enabling environment for data collection, analysis and sharing for the charitable sectors in both Canada and the UK.
Data about the charitable sector is a strategically important asset. But as we move towards an enabling environment, it is increasingly important to focus on data that is accessed, collected, shared and analyzed by the sector as part of their service delivery, research, evaluation and policy advocacy activities. It is also important to recognize that the data used and produced by the charitable sector is part of a wider social sector “data ecosystem.” Adopting this approach, the paper articulates opportunities to advance charitable sector data policy and enhance organizations’ ability to deliver programs and services that are evidence-based, outcomes-oriented and responsive to the needs of the communities they serve.
The paper provides a comparative perspective on charitable sector data usage in both Canada and the UK. This comparative approach is particularly relevant in the context of charitable and nonprofit sector data ecosystems, where the data landscape varies significantly by jurisdiction. The paper shares valuable lessons from both Canada and the UK regarding how charitable organizations have developed data infrastructure, collaborated on complex and innovative data projects and navigated the legislative and regulatory environment.