Data: a bles­sing or a curse?

Consciously tapping into data’s potential

Dear reader,

Data is a powerful ally. It unco­vers patterns, shows up short­co­mings, reve­als new possi­bi­li­ties and provi­des relia­ble support when chal­len­ging decis­i­ons need to be made. Its poten­tial is immense and, intel­li­gently combi­ned, data deve­lops convin­cing argu­ments. Or with ChatGTP – and a bit of luck – it can even gene­rate the odd oven-ready school essay.
There is hardly an area of life that is unaf­fec­ted by data. Science, busi­nesses and nonpro­fit orga­ni­sa­ti­ons use data to create added value for rese­ar­chers and custo­mers. With these endless oppor­tu­ni­ties and possi­bi­li­ties, the risks grow too. Data can become a powerful enemy. Is that a reason to bolt the door against it; not to engage with it in the first place? To become a total data dropout? We think it’s worth taking a diffe­ren­tia­ted stance. Keeping things in perspec­tive.
Our grand survey of the third sector shows that there are a multi­tude of exci­ting and inno­va­tive approa­ches. But aware­ness of the risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties invol­ved in a data-based approach is still low, and dangers are often unde­re­sti­ma­ted. We are convin­ced that nonpro­fit orga­ni­sa­ti­ons should work on deve­lo­ping better aware­ness of the poten­tial that data holds, and of what data is actually available to the sector. And they should empower them­sel­ves to use it cons­truc­tively.
That means ques­tio­ning funding stra­te­gies and, where neces­sary, adap­ting them. How do you deal with data? The new Data Protec­tion Act will become law in Septem­ber: a good oppor­tu­nity to start a criti­cal exami­na­tion of your own data inven­tory! Boos­ting poten­tial only works if we do it toge­ther. Are you ready for more trans­pa­rency? The article on Candid shows how a simple form, ‘Form 990’, is chan­ging the rules of philanthropy.

The Philanthropist-Team

StiftungSchweiz is committed to enabling a modern philanthropy that unites and excites people and has maximum impact with minimal time and effort.

Follow StiftungSchweiz on