Data and Behavioral Design Help Nonprofits Get Results - The New York Community Trust
Menu
April 20, 2022   |   By The New York Community Trust
Data and Behavioral Design Help Nonprofits Get Results
Older man on tablet

LOGGING ON: Ideas42 helped older adults take advantage of remote programs.

There is often a gap between people’s intentions and actions—perhaps they intend to use a nonprofit’s services but don’t follow through, or don’t realize they are eligible for certain benefits. Applying a behavioral design lens has helped nonprofits address these issues and make good programs even more effective. That’s why in 2018, The Trust made a $400,000 grant to ideas42 to create a program called the New York City Behavioral Design Center.

With our funding, the Center has helped dozens of nonprofits with a range of challenges—from getting useful feedback from clients of eviction prevention programs to getting prospective volunteers to follow through with signing up and participating regularly.

At one organization, it helped engage older New Yorkers in virtual activities during the pandemic, redesigning a calendar with simple log-on instructions and easy-to-use tech support.

“Over the past two years, as nonprofits have continued to adapt their programs and outreach to meet continually evolving needs, they have been especially eager for guidance on effective ways to reach and serve those who need their help,” said Laura Wolff, director of the Behavioral Design Center at ideas42. “We’ve been gratified by seeing the impact of the insights and design strategies we’ve shared.”

An additional $200,000 in grants is helping continue this promising work.

There is a lot of useful data available to nonprofits, but they often lack the resources to use it, for example, for setting goals and effectively communicating their impact.

Through a partnership with Nonprofit New York, Measure of America, an initiative of the Social Science Research Council, is using $180,000 from The Trust to help local nonprofits improve their services and track outcomes. Its data tools allow users to compare quality-of-life conditions in the city’s neighborhoods. Additionally, it works with nonprofits to develop short videos and infographics highlighting needs in the areas they serve.

For example, New York Common Pantry used geographic data on percentages of SNAP food subsidy recipients to identify areas where its services were most needed, and it used neighborhood-specific nutrition data compiled by the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to document the improved eating habits of people who participated in its Live Healthy workshop.

Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marty Lipp
Communications Director
(212) 889-3963 
mbl@nyct-cfi.org

Amy Wolf
Director of Marketing
(646) 214-1004
aw@nyct-cfi.org

Get our media kit

Press Releases

Statue of Liberty in Red
Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marty Lipp
Communications Director
(212) 889-3963 
mbl@nyct-cfi.org

Amy Wolf
Director of Marketing
(646) 214-1004
aw@nyct-cfi.org

Get our media kit

Statue of Liberty in Red