UW Hosts Data Conference for Non-Profits

2-Day Conference Focuses on Managing and Using Data More Effectively

DRIVE (Data, Reporting, Insight, and Visualization Exchange) 2013, the only data conference specifically for non-profits, will take place February 20 and 21 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.

DRIVE 2013 brings together IT professionals, development officers, alumni relations professionals, and others to gain insight and share best practices around data use.

While non-profits are not typically at the center of the discussion of how to most efficiently use data to make decisions, they are as reliant on effective data use as for-profit enterprises. Staff of the University of Washington’s Advancement team decided to try to ensure that non-profits do not get left behind in the data discussion, creating and hosting the DRIVE Conference.

“When we decided to improve how we managed and used our own data we found we were essentially on our own – most of the information out there was oriented towards large enterprises rather than a non-profit with specific needs,” said Chris Sorensen, Associate Director of Reporting for University Advancement at UW and organizer for DRIVE 2013. “We began an ad-hoc process of sharing best practices with like organizations, and quickly realized that we could benefit from getting people together for a couple days to learn from one another.”

During the past two years, the UW has invested time, money, and people towards solving the problem of how to use alumni and donor information more effectively and efficiently. Through the process of sharing their work with like institutions they created DRIVE. The team has also begun to work with the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) to explore how other organizations might take advantage of the work that has been done to date.

DRIVE 2013 features an opening keynote by Connie Kravas, Vice President of University Advancement at UW, and a closing keynote by John Hill, Higher Education Evangelist for LinkedIn. Also featured is a special presentation by John Medina, author of Brain Rules, titled “Brain Rules: Wiring and Exploration.”

Conference attendees whose roles focus on donor relations and fundraising will find this year’s conference particularly useful. Breakout sessions will cover topics such as business intelligence; developing data analysis tools; CRM; security; and effective data use for activities such as fundraising and donor relations. Session presenters include staff members from institutions such as the University of Michigan, KEXP, Wikimedia Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, University of Texas, University of Pennsylvania, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Washington, as well as independent consultants and commercial companies who are focusing on non-profits.

For more information about DRIVE 2013 please visit: DRIVE 2013