Pro bono data support available for charities through new initiative

Melanie May | 19 July 2022 | News

An audience faces a speaker and a screen that says Cynozure

An initiative has launched to provide charities with free expert advice, guidance and support to improve how they use data.

Data consultancy Cynozure has created IMPACT, which aims to help nonprofits improve how they use data, to in turn improve the services they provide, achieve organisational goals, and ensure better outcomes for stakeholders.

Jason Foster, CEO and Founder, Cynozure, explained: 


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“We truly believe that the positive and open use of data can create a better future for all. But it is not a level playing field and some organisations – particularly not-for-profit organisations – find it harder to access and benefit from expert advice than others. IMPACT seeks to change this by creating a platform through which data experts, Cynozure included, can contribute their skills, experience and passion in a meaningful way that will drive tangible, positive change.”

Through IMPACT, Cynozure will connect its community of data leaders and professionals with not-for-profit organisations to collaborate on data challenges – from shaping data strategy, to solving data management problems, and building dashboards and data science products.

Cynozure will also be donating its own products and services pro bono to small not-for-profit organisations.

To expand the reach and scale of the IMPACT initiative Cynozure is working with DataKind UK. DataKind UK will refer not-for-profit organisations in its network to IMPACT to support them to access the data expertise and skills they need.

Giselle Cory, CEO at DataKind, commented: 

“At DataKind UK, we support charities to transform their impact through data. The charity sector is in a strong position to move the needle on some of the most challenging social issues, and Cynozure’s IMPACT initiative is helping the sector work towards better outcomes by connecting charities that need data expertise with those best placed to support them. We’re excited to be working alongside IMPACT to help more charities get the support they need.”

Helping charities – Knight Frank and Back Up

Back Up, a UK charity that supports people affected by spinal cord injury, is one of the first to receive support through the IMPACT programme, working with data experts from Knight Frank. Throughout May and June 2022, Knight Frank worked with Back Up to equip the team with the tools and know-how to make better use of data.

Through informal workshops and advice sessions, Knight Frank has built and improved critical dashboards to give Back Up better insight around donations, as well as providing training on the reporting and dashboarding tools.

The Knight Frank team also held a series of half day training sessions in June to upskill the charity’s workforce and support them to develop their capabilities to better utilise the data they hold. Ultimately, this will help the charity to achieve its vision of transforming the lives of even more people affected by spinal cord injury.

Kevin Filby, Director of Services at Back Up, commented: 

“Having the support and advice of the Knight Frank team is invaluable. In the short term, it will help us to make data informed decisions much quicker thanks to the clarity that the new approaches provide. Longer term, the training we’re receiving will build confidence and data literacy within the team so we can continue to grow the charity well into the future and transform the lives of everyone affected by spinal cord injury.”

Simon Hayter, Partner and Group Head of Data at Knight Frank, added: 

“Providing hands on support to Back Up to help it improve its use and understanding of its data has been incredibly fulfilling, both for myself and my team. Back Up was brilliant to work with, and the open and collaborative nature of the relationship was a key contributor to the success of the project. Initiatives like IMPACT are so important when it comes to democratising access to guidance and advice around data.”