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Data Communication for Resettlement Organizations

Communicating program data to stakeholders in your community is an important skill that can help to both highlight your program’s success and build impactful partnerships. Going into this process, it is important to understand the concept of a stakeholder as well as which stakeholders are most relevant to your project.  

Identifying Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who is interested in or impacted by your program—including funders, clients, and peer organizations in your community working in similar areas. Stakeholders can also include corporations in your area. To identify the groups with whom it would be most helpful to share your program data, look for someone well-versed in the community and its dynamics to guide you.  

Visualizing Data

When presenting program data, it is important to consider the specific stakeholder groups you will be speaking with and tailor your presentation accordingly. Regardless of your presentation’s content, incorporating visuals when sharing program data can enhance audience engagement. Data visuals are a powerful way to support the story you are telling about your program, aiding listeners in retaining key points. Some examples of data visuals include:  

  • Bar charts showing responses to feedback surveys 
  • Pie graphs of critical client demographics (e.g., languages spoken or countries of origin) 
  • Word clouds highlighting themes from focus groups 
  • Quotes from clients to center their voices in your presentation 

Presenting Program Data to Funders

Your funders likely require you to report on specific indicators each year. Focus on highlighting the key metrics or indicators you have achieved. In addition to sharing your performance in these key areas, you can use your presentation as an opportunity to highlight other successes your program is experiencing. Interview your staff to see what additional aspects of their work they would like to emphasize to funders, and creatively incorporate those data points and insights into a compelling story. 

You can also supplement any quantitative data you share with anonymized anecdotes about clients’ experience. This can help to demonstrate your impact on a human level, fostering more personal connection.  

For example, you might share with your funders that an average of 30 people each week access your program’s food pantry. To make this number more meaningful, consider sharing a client story about how access to the pantry has personally benefited them—clarifying the scale and scope of your program’s impact.  

Presenting Program Data to Clients

Clients are often neglected as a stakeholder group in the context of sharing program data. But data transparency with clients can help demonstrate that your program takes their needs and opinions seriously. If done right, presenting program data to clients can help them feel empowered and eager to engage more with your program.  

When communicating with clients, consider language access. Have your presentation materials translated into the languages your clients are most likely to speak, and provide translation during your presentation. Use graphics to show the results of any survey questions, helping clients gauge how their fellow program participants feel about different aspects of the project design.  

Prioritize showing clients that you value their opinions—emphasizing any feedback you receive and discussing how you might address it in the future. When clients feel that their input is guiding the direction of the program, they foster a sense of ownership, community, and belonging, making them more inclined to trust program staff and use available resources. 

Presenting Program Data to Staff

Program staff are another overlooked stakeholder group when it comes to presenting program data. However, sharing information with your staff can significantly impact morale and motivation. Staff presentations, or “share-outs,” are an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate your program’s accomplishments, recognizing your staff’s impact on their clients.  

Incorporating and sharing client quotes and positive feedback can help staff feel that their work is meaningful and appreciated. Statistics on client outcomes can be equally affirming. Additionally, using data visuals—e.g., an image of an auditorium or stadium with a seat for each client your organization has served—can help illustrate the scale of your program’s impact.  

Using Data to Connect with Private Organizations

Private corporations may not immediately come to mind as a relevant stakeholder group. However, many corporations have committees dedicated to community involvement, with the potential to become major partners to your program. Ask your organization’s volunteers if their employer has a community engagement committee. If so, your volunteer might be able to help you make introductions and schedule time to present.  

Before your presentation, consider what you would like a corporate audience to learn about your program, and clarify what actions you would like them to take to support your work. Corporate stakeholders may be uniquely positioned to assist with finding volunteers, sourcing donations, and advocating for public policy changes. 

Use your presentation as a call to action, emphasizing the current success of your program while outlining what new successes might be possible with more resources.  

Conclusion

Communicating data to stakeholders is an excellent way to empower your clients, your staff, and your organization, demonstrating your program’s success and potentially building future partnerships. By considering your audience and using visuals to enhance your presentation, you can communicate your program’s strengths while inspiring commitment to your future goals.  

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