About Us

Third Sector Labs understands that today’s brand-consumer relationships begin – and end – with data. We are data experts for nonprofits.

The better able your nonprofit organization is at making sense of the data at its disposal, the better able it will be at establishing, deepening, and actualizing relationships with your donors, volunteers, activists, members, and so on.

Today, everything begins with data.

The challenge facing ALL organizations regardless of their categorization, is that the channels, technologies, devices and interconnectivity have all combined to put consumers in the driver’s seat. In the for-profit world this means that the ‘buyer’s journey’ (the path a consumer takes from envisioning a want/need to making a purchase) is largely controlled by the consumer. In fact, some studies estimate that today’s brand won’t even know a consumer is interested until she has largely made up her mind. Obviously, this is disastrous to a brand since it may never have a chance to make a pitch for that sale.

The same applies to nonprofits, though we might instead call it the ‘donor’s journey’ (or activist’s, volunteer’s, etc.). At Third Sector Labs we refer to any interested member of the public as a ‘consumer’ since, ultimately, this is what they are. In the case of a nonprofit, these individuals are ‘consuming’ information about the organization’s mission, need, and so on.

So here we have a maelstrom of technology empowering modern consumers to make up their own minds about what they’ll purchase or which nonprofit they’ll support. Organizations of all types are, not surprisingly, back on their heels trying to determine who these individuals are and intercept them with targeted messaging that will drive a desired behavior. Seems overwhelming, especially when you consider all the social media channels out there, all of the devices, the ‘always-on’ connectivity of the Web.

But there’s good news. You see, all that technology creates a kind of ‘data exhaust’ or, more precisely, a digital footprint. Smart organizations are capturing that data, collecting it, cleaning it, integrating it with other data sources, mapping it to operational requirements and then launching campaigns and other activities that – and here’s the key – reclaim control of the consumer-brand relationship. In other words, those very same technologies being used by consumers is used to shift the power dynamic back into the hands of the brands.

Which brings us back to Third Sector Labs.  Think of us as data scientists.  We bring a variety of technology and data skill sets to every engagement.  We are not advocating for a particular CRM or legacy technology.  Today’s vendors promise to use sophisticated CRM technologies to deliver results. Or they build websites, create mobile applications, offer strategic guidance. But none of that will work very well unless you’ve got good data in place AND a plan to keep data quality high and data quantity refreshed. Remember, it starts with the data. 

Third Sector Labs specializes in helping nonprofit organizations understand what they have, what they need to do to improve what they have, and then how to leverage what they’ve got to deliver results. With great data all of those other assets and efforts – websites, mobile apps, strategic plans – will bear fruit. But the seeds to these activities is the data.

If you’re still fuzzy on all this give us a shout. We’ll even provide a free assessment of your existing data – a critical first step in any successful data management plan.

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