Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Philanthropic Giving Made Personal

Check out this graphic from

From the article:

If you are still of the opinion that philanthropy is only for big foundations and the super-rich like Bill Gates, check out the pie chart above. According to the folks at GiveWell, “individual donors give over 100 times as much as the Gates Foundation and over 6 times as much as all foundations combined.”

I liked the presentation of the data -- the story it tells is one of citizen efficacy and the powerful nature of individual philanthropic giving. The graph seems to say, "Feel good about giving! You and me together give way more than Bill Gates" (which is true as long as the "you" is highly inclusive and involves a hundred million other people.)

But there's an element of story-telling in the graphic that adds a personalized, recognizable touch to the data -- puts a face and context on a part of the numbers -- which makes it easier to connect to the information. I suspect there's a lesson in this for those of us working with community indicators.


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