The Vibrancy Portal helps under resourced nonprofit, social enterprise, and municipal leaders to secure additional resources and create a greater impact. The Portal provides accessible and actionable data insights through two primary functions: a community data Explorer and organizational data Manager.
Based on New Sun Rising’s experience supporting grassroots community initiatives, we recognize that a lack of data + advocacy capacity limits an ability to grow and collectively transform extractive systems. In 2019, we launched the Power in Numbers initiative to help organizations and communities secure the financial, social, intellectual, and creative capital necessary to reach their goals.
We recognize the power of data to shape discoveries, insights, and investments that directly impact people and communities. We strive for inclusive, participatory data practices which honor community ownership and stewardship. We see data as more than numbers, it represents lives and relationships. We commit to using data in a way that does not harm the people we are trying to help.
New Sun Rising recognizes the need to democratize data insights and help underserved communities be more competitive for resources. We worked with Carnegie Mellon University and participants in our fellowship program to create a geo mapping application that would be filterable by the Sustainable Development Goals. Although similar tools exist, most provide information at the county level and are not sensitive enough to show differing conditions between neighborhoods.
The overall Vibrancy Index is composed of 50 factors for equitable, sustainable communities, with sub-indices in Culture, Sustainability, Opportunity, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
With the release of the Vibrancy Portal 2.0 in June 2022, we expanded the geography to include Beaver County as well as Allegheny County, performed a data quality review, added new data sets, and overhauled the user interface with a goal of making the platform as accessible as possible.
Research shows that organizations and collaboratives with high data cultures benefit through increased funding, stronger internal and external relationships, and more effective operations. Unfortunately, we know that most small and mid sized organizations do not have the time, tools, or expertise to do so. The Vibrancy Portal was created so that all people can more easily manage their data, helping under-resourced community groups, organizations, and collaboratives to improve their effectiveness and impact.
The Manage section of the Vibrancy Portal allows leaders to collect, analyze, and communicate data around 5 key areas:
How we experience and understand the world around us is shaped by the stories we are told, and the stories that we get to tell. Ideally, all people have equal opportunity to define this shared narrative. But in reality some people are better positioned to collect, analyze, and communicate the information necessary to advocate for resources to achieve their goals.