Three Ways to Use Our Latest Ecosystem Data - Bob Woodruff Foundation

Three Ways to Use Our Latest Ecosystem Data

As of November 1, 2020, National Veterans Intermediary (NVI) is called the Local Partner Network. Older content may reference our original name.

What is ecosystem data?

Our ecosystem data is the result of a voluntary community survey completed by NVI’s local partner collaboratives.  We gather and analyze this information to establish a shared understanding of what collaboratives are currently doing to collaborate. The 31 questions on the open-ended response survey focus on how stakeholders from the nonprofit, philanthropic, social service, public and governmental, business, faith, education, and other sectors can collaborate most effectively for impact.

The 54 communities that responded provided us with collective insight on four key areas:

  1. the structure and capacity of NVI local partner collaboratives;
  2. the needs of the veterans they serve;
  3. information about the veterans they serve (and the information they wish they had); and
  4. how the collaboratives learn and grow.

How can you use this data?

1) Justify your fundraising strategy

Is there a resource that your collaborative desperately needs, but is just not in the budget? Use the data to contextualize your ask. For instance, you could share this chart, and say: “We’re among the 57% of collaboratives surveyed by NVI in the country that don’t know how many veterans we serve monthly. Case management software would strengthen our data, streamline our work, enable us to measure our progress and needs, and improve our ability to serve the veterans in our community.”

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2) Re-evaluate your activities and goals

Review the data with your collaborative and use it to start asking yourselves questions like these:

  • The #1 way veterans find out about available services is “marketing ( outreach, events, and emails).” What events should we be attending that we aren’t?
  • The ecosystem data provides insight into the top needs of veterans in NVI local partner collaboratives. How do we find out the needs of veterans in our community?
  • 94.4% of NVI local partners have goals for the year ahead. What are our goals?
  • 74.1% of collaboratives are defined by county/counties. What is your county government doing to support veterans?

3) Identify and share your successes.

Tell us about your successes, and how you achieve them! Volunteer to write a blog, participate in a webinar, or share resources and practices that enable your community to do so.

  • Are you in the 2.5% of NVI local partners who track outcomes? Tell us what tools you use and how you coordinate the collection and sharing in your community.
  • Has your community tackled the issue of transportation in an innovative way? What strategies worked and how did you arrive at that solution?
  • Are you able to reach veterans in your community before they present with an emerging need? What strategies do you use?

Data can help us all to do more

There are lots of ways you can use this data, but the fundamental utility of the data comes down to this: When we know what’s working and not working, NVI can make develop and provide meaningful shared learning and capacity-building opportunities for our local partners, who in turn can make changes to the ways in which they serve their communities.