Aimia - Finalist in the Experian Award for Building Stronger Communities

Aimia helps charities use data effectively

Award Type: 

  • Data Philanthropy helps share its data analytics expertise with the charity sector
  • Helps charities to better analyse and interpret statistics and serve beneficiaries better
  • Charities helped to secure over £2.5m of new funding, with a wider financial impact estimated at over £30m

How can charities serve their beneficiaries using data?  Aimia’s Data Philanthropy initiative is helping charities become more efficient and better win new funding.

Many charities have data. But according to research from data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, Aimia, they often don’t use it effectively. Yes, they are doing great work. But without data analytics knowledge, they can’t provide the evidence to understand and validate their impact. And this could be a barrier to getting further funding.

With ever increasing scrutiny on the sector on measurement and evaluation, understanding data is becoming ever more pressing.

As Dame Benita Refson, founder and president of children's mental health charity, Place2Be notes, “If you don’t have data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

As an expert on the subject, Aimia came up with a project called Data Philanthropy to share its data analytics expertise with the charity sector, helping it to better analyse and interpret statistics and serve beneficiaries better.  

Taking a step up to serve

To bridge the charitable sector’s gap in knowledge and expertise, Aimia helps provide metrics that quantify the impact of their interventions, validate existing or future methods of support and better target individuals that would benefit most from their support, among other solutions.

Since 2012, it has helped more than 100 not-for-profits in the UK and abroad. By helping charities improve their efficiency, they can save money and redirect this for better uses.

“It’s difficult to put into words the dramatic impact and wonderful support that Data Philanthropy provided,” says Peter Watson, head of evaluation at Centrepoint, a former charity participant. “It’s already given us invaluable findings about the different needs of young people to help them successfully move on from Centrepoint. This support has significantly shaped the way we work with vulnerable young people.”

Thanks to realising new insights, Aimia has helped charities secure over £2.5m of new funding, with a wider financial impact estimated at over £30m.

Take Step Up to Serve, which exists to get social action into all disadvantaged schools, based on the research that young people who take part in social action are more likely to have good work prospects and a better outlook. Since low affluent young people are much less likely to get involved, the charity needed help identifying where their help would be best served.

Aimia targeted the quintile with the highest proportion of free school meals (a key measure of social disadvantage) from government data, equivalent to 667 schools, and then added data from their partners to see which schools were already participating in youth social action programmes. It could then add location data to create a fully interactive map, encouraging more partners to share their data to get a clearer activity picture within these schools, and to decide which schools to target next.

Embedding social action through partners

Aimia’s support has been incredibly valuable

- Kerrie Hall, Education Manager at Step Up To Serve
,” says Kerri Hall, Education Manager at Step Up To Serve. Now, it’ll be able to effectively support the schools to “embed social action through partners, so even more young people from less affluent backgrounds will be able to volunteer, fundraise or campaign – all developing their own skills and having a positive impact.”

Aimia employees also benefit from the program, with all those who participated in Data Philanthropy seeing it as a good way to use their skills for social good. They have been able to develop new analytical skills, get exposure to new data sets and enjoyed working with a ‘different’ kind of client.

The scheme also helps Aimia to talk about the shared values agenda with key clients like BP, Sainsbury’s and ebay. And clients have reacted very positively; referring charities they are working with to the programme, extending both the community and commercial reach.

All in all, it’s helped Aimia build a positive external profile, recruit and retain top talent and build brand and reputation in its core markets. “This event, where Aimia analysts were able to share their expertise for good, goes to the core of our Social Purpose,” says David Johnston, Aimia’s interim CEO. “It sends a loud signal to our analyst population, the whole company, and the marketplace about the kind of organisation we want to be.”