By Rehana Absar, director of organizational excellence at the Alliance

All community-based human services organizations want to know they are driving big results—results that demonstrate they’re helping families and communities overcome barriers and flourish. The proof of this impact is in the data, which means that the human services ecosystem, comprised of community-based organizations, public health and human services agencies, other public sector agencies, philanthropy, academia, and the business community, needs to continue investing in its capacity to measure, analyze, and synthesize meaningful outcomes.

As a sector that always strives to do more with less, community-based organizations need not and should not travel this road alone. A collaborative ecosystem approach is key to leveraging big data, measuring outcomes, and driving the impact we want to see in our communities. While it is a multi-faceted challenge, it is possible.

The Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative (CBC), launched in 2009 and led by Christopher House, is an alliance of six education and human service organizations offering similar services in early-childhood, afterschool, workforce, and adult education programs that agreed to develop a common set of outcomes for comparative insights. With the goal of making apples-to-apples data comparisons, improving program results, and building field-wide knowledge about effective practices, the CBC has employed processes that positively impacted over 12,000 children and their families in Chicago.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the CBC launched a how-to guide to help other organizations increase their mission impact through data-driven collaboration.

To learn more about their work, join us for the first of a three-part webinar series that focuses on how to, first and foremost, create a data-driven culture. You’ll learn:

  • How to establish a common vision that is desirable, feasible, and clear
  • Strategies for establishing trust among leaders collaborating to share data and improve results
  • Successful methods for building an organization’s capacity to measure results
  • Strategies to align multiple nonprofits for the purpose of benchmarking outcomes
  • Key practices for changing work culture to better evaluate and improve services to families

To connect with leaders from the CBC in person, join us at the Alliance’s Senior Leadership Conference, Feb. 22-25 in Savannah, Georgia. They’ll be presenting workshop B4: Increasing Mission Impact through Collaboration. View full event details and register online for the conference by Jan. 24 to receive the early bird rate.