When disaster strikes, analytics make a difference

Data-driven dashboard enables second-largest grant maker to provide guidance just when donors need it most

A week after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast, much of Florida braced itself for Hurricane Irma, one of the Atlantic’s most powerful storms ever recorded. While charitable donors cannot prevent these disasters, they can make a lasting impact on the lives of those affected by strategically directing their contributions.

Analytics to better advise charitable grant-making

In the first two weeks following Harvey, Fidelity Charitable made over 8,700 grants, totaling more than $15.7 million in relief support across more than 1,000 charities. And donors have already started an outpouring of support for relief efforts for Irma. Fidelity Charitable uses analytics from SAS to monitor the needs and granting trends for its more than 150,000 donors when disasters like these strike.

Fidelity Charitable and its Disaster Grant Dashboard

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 235,000 nonprofit organizations with more than $25 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable launched the first national donor-advised fund program. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving simple, effective, and accessible. 

The benefit of a donor advised fund is that when disaster strikes, donors already have charitable contributions ‘at the ready’ to immediately aid those in need. The Disaster Grant Dashboard - powered by SAS Visual Analytics - helps monitor how donors are reacting to national and global news, watching for the ‘tipping point’ so we can quickly highlight the opportunity to assist donors in their charitable grant-making decisions when these disasters strike.

Fidelity Charitable monitors grants tied to disasters. When an upward trend is seen, the Disaster Relief Team supports donors with articles, research on charities or webinars. The dashboard helps Fidelity Charitable understand its donors and monitors communications to gauge philanthropic results and impact.

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