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Governance Matters, Inc.

Governance Matters, Inc. support program enhancements towards integrating NYS nonprofit and board candidate data that is on boardnetUSA.org with charitySTRONG.org site for public access and also incorporating data on to a Salesforce platform. All grant funds were used as stipulated in the grant award letter.



How will you sustain the project beyond expended grant money?

Governance Matters continues to build regional support for the charitySTRONG online board matching platform, with Regional Advisory Committees handling the bulk of the marketing and fundraising efforts. Grant monies from other partners continue to sustain the operation of the current platform, as well as the ongoing development of the newer, Salesforce-powered platform to be launched in July of this year. Additional regional committees have taken root since Governance Matters received the First Nonprofit grant award funds. Once the new platform has been launched, there will be a plan in place to monetize the online board matching services long term, most likely through an annual subscription or pay-per-job post model.

Provide a detailed accounting of how the grant monies were spent.

Governance Matters, and its parent organization, NYCON, have been working with Spark.Orange, a salesforce developer, to implement the first phase of the new charitySTRONG platform buildout. First Nonprofit grant monies were used to pay the developer for their efforts in outlining and generating the new Salesforce database fields, executing extensive legacy data pulls from the charitySTRONG and boardnetUSA databases, and mapping how the legacy data will be combined and reformatted for migration into Salesforce.

How will you utilize what you learned?

The process of mapping and comparing the data collected from the two existing systems, charitySTRONG and BoardnetUSA, has provided significant insight into the benefits of having a data structure that aligns with existing sources and taxonomies. For example, the original boardnetUSA candidate profile system queried for data on areas of interest, but lists of possible answers were long and cumbersome and did not align with similar skills and interest questions on the charitySTRONG system. The lists also did not cross reference with the areas of service listed on the Organization profile. The Governance Matters Board of Directors pointed us in the direction of the IRS activity (NTEE) codes, and we used that list to restructure those fields and queries on the new system, bringing order to our future dataset and giving us the option of cross referencing that data with other sources using the same taxonomy. We applied this same line of thinking to other areas of the new system, aligning gender and racial identification fields with taxonomies from the Human Rights Campaign and U.S. Census, respectively.

If you were starting over what would you do differently?

Technology-related projects often run into unexpected delays, and this initiative is no exception. Ideally, we would have allowed more time for this phase of development and we would have taken on more staff capacity to support the work. However, the data merging and upload work is almost complete and all fields have been created and mapped, so we are closing in on the completion of Phase I, which accounts for the database build. Phase II will be the design of the website interface, powered by a Salesforce Community.

What was the problem the project solved?

First Nonprofit’s funding supported the vital work of developing the database for our new online board matching platform, as well as the legacy data cleanup and migration.

Who does the project help?

The new online board matching platform will help both individuals and 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations find one another.

What makes your solution unique?

Governance Matters’ new board matching system will harness the power of Salesforce to customize data reporting features for individual regions across the state. (And, eventually, the nation.) This is of particular value and interest for community and private foundations, United Ways, nonprofit coalitions and chambers of commerce. Our platform will also focus on cultivating a more diverse board candidate cohort, which existing platforms (such as LinkedIn) have not appeared to make a priority.

How did the project make a difference?

The database buildout would not have been possible without the support of First Nonprofit’s grant monies. The completion of Phase I is a significant step toward the launch of a more comprehensive and impactful online board matching platform.

What were the benefits?

The database development completed has resulted in what will undoubtedly be a superior board matching system, which will produce cleaner, more relevant data and reports on board matching activities across the state.

What were the results?

The project is still ongoing, with an estimated completion date of July 1, 2020.

How were the results measured?

Internally, project results have been measured using a Gantt chart and internal project management tools. Grant spend-down has been tracked via invoices from our developer.

How is the project sustainable?

Once the new platform has been launched, there will be a plan in place to monetize the online board matching services long term, most likely through an annual subscription or pay-per-job-post model.

Can the project be replicated? How so?

The long-term vision is for Governance Matters’ new board matching system to be launched and marketed nationally. Other nonprofit state associations, as well as other state and regional funders, will be able to sponsor their state’s system implementation and marketing, which will result in sustainable passive income for Governance Matters. This will fund more ongoing support for data management and system administration, as well as bolstering the other valuable services Governance Matters provides, such as diversity and equity training, board development education, and personalized board placements.