Connecting Atlanta’s Neighborhoods Using DATA!

Got data?  Want data?  Do you know how to access internal and external data to better assess and monitor your organization?   Whether you are interested in applying for a new grant or want to know which neighborhood would most greatly benefit from your services, statistics can help you ‘make the case’.  In order to take actions and make decisions that involve others outside of your organization, it is important to use external data.

Let’s start with some definitions.

External Data- “Performance results generated outside a company…”

Internal Data- “Performance data generated within a company, such as sales, customer satisfaction, and number of new hires”.


Neighborhood Nexus is a great resource for obtaining external data.    Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Georgia Center for Nonprofits’ (GCN) annual Summit and went to a presentation titled: ‘Making Data Driven Decisions for your Nonprofit’ which focused on the content from Neighborhood Nexus.  Just from the Neighborhood Nexus homepage, you can learn many things such as your Georgia Legislative Profiles and neighborhood CRCT scores.   This site also allows you to search for a varied and numerous amounts of demographics for Atlanta.


As per their site, “Neighborhood Nexus is a community resource that uses the latest technology and respected expertise to provide the most up-to-date data and research about the communities and neighborhoods in the 20-county metro Atlanta region. The initiative’s mission is to build capacity and provide access to data, research and knowledge that creates a data driven decision-making culture in the Atlanta region”.   Now here’s the best part….it’s free to use!


What kind of data and information could you use for your nonprofit?  Here is some interesting data that I have found on Neighborhood Nexus about my county of Fulton.  The ‘Median Household Income’ is just under $60,000 (which is higher than the national rate).   We have approximately 16-17% of our county on the ‘Percent In Poverty’ table (which is slightly higher than the national rate).   We have 42,949 individuals who do not have access to a car.  Of the individuals who speak a language other than English in the home, 53,382 of them report that they ‘speak English less than very well’.


Information regarding outside influences is important for your organization.  Information regarding what is going on inside your organization is critical!  Next week we’ll talk about how to use a Logic Model to identify internal data.



Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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