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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Building a Culture of Data: Words of Wisdom from Paul Collier

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Paul Collier of Coeffect (previously Paul Collier Consulting) is leading a workshop at the Nonprofit Lab in Denver on May 18, 2020. We recently had a chat with him and wanted to share some insights that we think can aid you in a more productive 2020!

What is the best advice a mentor ever gave you?

If you have an idea, find an easy way to test it. I've often had ideas for new projects or products in my business. Finding small, easy ways to test ideas has prevented me from wasting time on things I thought were interesting but nobody would pay for.

What is your favorite tool for staying organized? What do you use it for and how do you use it?

I have two tools that keep my life organized: Asana and my Google Calendar. I keep every to-do list for me and my team in Asana, and whenever I start a new project I list out all of our collective to-dos there. Each week, I create a list of tasks that must be accomplished that week for each client on a piece of paper. Then, I block time to accomplish these in my Google Calendar. That way I always know what I should be working on!

At our Nonprofit Lab in Denver, you are leading a workshop titled "Measurement Culture: Beyond the Metrics." Can you share how business leaders can work with their teams to implement difficult metrics?

Building a culture of using data in your nonprofit is worth it! But having effective, disciplined management is as important as collecting data, reviewing metrics, sharing dashboards, and all of the other "data" tasks we often spend so much time. If your managers understand problems deeply, listen to their teams, set goals, and hold people accountable to achieving them, data will be a huge asset. But without good managers, it's really hard to use data effectively.

We hope to see you at our Nonprofit Lab in Denver. It will be a great day of learning, networking and skills building. Our Nonprofit Labs are a one-day deep dive conference for nonprofit professionals. To register for the Denver Nonprofit Lab go to



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