How to Make your Data Sing


A caller to a Foundation Center in Washington, D.C., said she was preparing her nonprofit's annual report and wanted resources to make the facts and figures come alive.

Foundation Center's Knowledge Base talks about the importance of collecting data about who you serve and what you do. But we don't yet help nonprofit professionals like her--and you--make numbers and other data understandable at a glance.

We plan to fix that. And we need your help.

We've turned to some of our favorite nonprofit tech resources to see what they have to say about data visualization. Through them, we've also found some amazing experts, such as Ann K. Emery. Below you'll find four links related to this topic. 

Do you find these links helpful? What other websites, blogs or books are your go-to resources for making your data sing? What top tips do you have? We really appreciate your time and thoughts. Your comments will help us add an important new tool to our Knowledge Base! Connect with us here.  


Data and infographics: Telling your nonprofit's story | GuideStar blog 

Latasha Doyle of provides helpful hints about storytelling through data. The blog also links to Doyle's own blog and's many resources on the topic. Easly also has a free ebook, "Infographic Crash Course." You can download it from this form.  

Data Visualization and Infographics: Using Data to Tell Your Story |  

Annie Hart's guest blog looks at different tools you can use to create attractive visuals with our data.

Data Visualization search results | Beth 's Blog 

Beth Kanter's ever-helpful nonprofit blog tackles data visualization from a variety of angles--including one on Foundation Center's own cutting-edge data visualization tool, Foundation Maps. 

If you want to learn about data visualization, information designer Ann K. Emery is your new best friend. Her blogs, videos, tools and topics cover fascinating ways to bring your organization's data to life. She even has a data visualization checklist. 


Barbara Cornell is a social sector librarian at the Foundation Center-Washington, DC. She has volunteered at nonprofits in the U.S., Portugal, Italy and Cambodia. Barbara worked for Congressional Quarterly before becoming a staff reporter for daily newspapers. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by the Kansas City (Mo.) Star and El Nuevo Dia in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has freelanced for Reuters, Time Magazine and other publications.