Ten months ago, the DCF launched DelawareFocus.org, a community indicators website that presents a broad set of data about Delaware and distills it into an overall picture of the state.
Our goal is for DelawareFocus.org to become a landing place for people who want to know – how’s the quality of life in Delaware? How do we compare to others? Already, many of you are making reference to the information in presentations and discussions, and we’d love to hear about the different ways you’re putting the data to work for the community.
At the DCF, we want to foster a culture of data-driven decision-making in our work, and create a common understanding of our state’s challenges and opportunities. To encourage the philanthropic and nonprofit communities to start thinking that way, our next Collaborative Grants applications – which we have just announced – asks applicants to use data from DelawareFocus.org and other resources as part of their story.
We’re excited about this next step in DelawareFocus – and look forward to hearing from the community about how it helps them in their work. We’ll be holding two grantee workshops in early September, where you can learn more.
Updating our grant application process is just one piece of our work to encourage the use of data in decision-making about using charitable resources. Our new Community Focus Council, chaired by Doneene Damon, is guiding the work of the DCF staff as we meet with government officials, nonprofits, donors, business leaders and other community stakeholders to listen to their insights and concerns and better understand how to use the data on DelawareFocus.org.
In October, we’ll be issuing our first annual update on the data – prepared by our consultants at the Center for Governmental Research. Later, in the fall, we’ll begin a series of community conversations about the data – meetings with leaders and donors across the state – all toward helping us at the DCF understand how best to focus our attention. And we’re currently conducting a search for a new director of this initiative.
If you haven’t taken a look at DelawareFocus.org, please do. And let us know how it will be useful to you, or how it could be better.