Intelligent Metadata Enabled Solutions for Nonprofit

Nonprofits represent a sweeping collection of organizations dedicated to enriching the lives of others. Highly competitive, with scant dollars, nonprofits must proactively address internal and external challenges. A key component is identifying and leveraging technology to accomplish mission objectives.

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  • OverviewChallenges and SolutionsUse CasesJob FunctionKnowledge Center

    Operations Innovation to Drive Financial and Business Results

    Nonprofits must adopt new strategies to address mounting business challenges. Public and private funders, even individuals, they want to see a return on their investment. This has created a shift from financial metrics towards outcome metrics. Nonprofits must achieve financial and business results, and manage their operations to meet those objectives. Concept Searching improves business processes and provides tools that reduce costs and gain competitive advantages, in persistently challenging economic environments.

  • The Concept Searching Difference

  • enterprise-search-information-transparency

    Concept-based searching and information transparency


    Data cleansing to target funders at a granular level


    Automatic identification of documents of privacy, documents of records, and sensitive information, so reducing risk


    Leverage content through social strategies

    Global complexities in security, compliance, and access to information affect the way enterprises conduct business. Without immediate, granular, and accurate information retrieval, organizations can no longer succeed. Enterprises must solve the challenges at hand and move forward, focusing on utilizing technology to improve performance and reduce risk.


    Are you losing site visitors and funders because they can’t find what they are looking for?


    Is all privacy and confidential information secure from unauthorized external and internal sources?


    Are you compliant with all federal and regional laws and regulations?


    Are data cleansing and text analytics at a highly granular level important to you?
    Key Features

    Key Features

    The only available technology platform that builds a metadata environment designed to improve search and information transparency, increase retention and loyalty, identify sensitive information, and underpin compliance. Designed for subject-matter experts, the platform identifies concepts and multi-word terms from content, and auto-classifies the metadata to taxonomies that are easy to use and rapidly deployed.

    Technology Benefits
    • Eliminates end user tagging
    • Extraction of meaning and related items provide concept-based search, internally and externally
    • Protects and secures confidential information
    • Automatic declaration of documents of record
    • Content is easily moved, migrated, or shared for reuse and repurposing
    • Identifies relevant and accurate content during search, and supports multiple search methods
    • Provides the ability to develop automatically declare documents of records and eliminate security exposures, in on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments
    • Eliminates erroneous and subjective end user tagging, improving information governance
    • Ability to cleanse data to be analyzed, by removing duplicate information, identifying documents to be deleted, records that were never declared, and data privacy exposures that were never identified
    • Provides analysts with a smaller subset of content to work with for text analytics, improving programs through the identification of highly granular and explicit information, sentiment, and nuances
    Key Benefits

    Key Benefits

    Our framework solves challenges in search, records, security, and information analysis. Easy to use and designed for subject-matter experts. Available on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment, it delivers an immediate return on investment.

    Medical Council of Canada Case Study Request a Demo

    Challenges and Solutions

    Nonprofits share many common challenges, although many are unique in nature. As with all organizations, some challenges are internal and some are outside the control of the organization. Yet, dealing with them successfully and proactively is key to meeting an organization’s mission and objectives. Unlike the commercial sector, funding and sales are polar opposites, which makes nonprofits more acutely aware of the challenges of  broadening donor and funding sources. With tight budgets and often scarce resources, nonprofits must look inwardly to implement technology and process changes to more efficiently execute operational activities. This has to be done through a combination of people and technology. The core of many of the challenges is the inability to manage unstructured and semi-structured content in a manner that facilitates, if not solves, content management challenges. These may include social media initiatives to target specific audiences, improve search both internally and externally, address data privacy and elimination of potential data breaches, ensure financial and regulatory compliance, perform intelligent migration, and use text analytics to extract information to identify strategies and donors in the most effective and innovative way.

    What are the challenges at a business operational level?

    Solving the big picture challenges, comes down to executing day-to-day tasks through a combination of people and technology. At the heart of addressing the big picture challenges, nonprofits must address and solve current challenges and adopt a technology framework that is transparent and improves processes so the organization can focus on its mission and objectives.

    The fundamental technology problems that impact the performance of the organization as a whole include:

    • Content Management and Strategy – Lack of a measurable content strategy, technology, and processes that organizes content by subject and context, and enable management by IT or business professionals to make available and push relevant content to a variety of stakeholders
    • Technology– Inability to overcome lack of staff, budget, and costs associated with implementing and managing multiple disparate applications, and the inability to leverage existing technologies to address multiple operational functions creating layers of application complexity
    • Financial Management – Addressing concerns in information lifecycle management caused by the inability to consistently tag content and enforce tagging policies on end users, to ensure accountability to stakeholders, the government, or financial reporting entities
    • Privacy and Transparency – Inability to implement and enforce privacy protection of confidential donor information, or any information that the organization defines as confidential, and balance privacy with transparency on information that should be available to whom and under what circumstances
    • Website and Enterprise Search – Overcoming limitations in website and enterprise search that prohibit concept-based search, depends on end user tagging, and requires site users to construct and repeat queries that will provide them with the most relevant results, or who will abandon the search
    • Funding – Lack of insight to identify new donors, mitigate attrition of existing donors, and identify the risks in adopting new funding models, partnerships, programs, or services, to gain an influx of new and recurring donations
    • Compliance – Challenges associated with government compliance at the federal, state, regional, or local level, and the inability to quickly adapt to new or changing financial reporting requirements and regulatory mandates
    • Text Analytics – Inability to proactively analyze unstructured and semi-structured content to gain insight into donor behavior, evaluate current strategies, and more quickly identify roadblocks to success

    At the crux of all these challenges is metadata. In alignment with intelligent content in context , intelligent solutions for the enterprise can only be achieved through the automatic generation of multi-term metadata, is specific to the various vocabularies and nomenclature of the organization, and serve as the foundation for any application that requires metadata. This enterprise metadata framework is then used to auto-classify content, and manage it through interactive, yet highly sophisticated, industry unique taxonomy tools.

    Use Cases

    Concept Searching technology platforms have been adopted by nonprofits with the foresight to leverage metadata to achieve mission objectives. Not restricted to just solving search challenges, the product platforms reach far beyond, to improve any application that requires the use of metadata and establishes the framework for information governance.

    Solving the over-arching challenges, changes are needed at the tactical level using technology, people, and business processes to solve these organization objectives, in order to reduce risks, costs, and improve business performance.

    Below are the fundamental issues followed by information on how our nonprofit clients were able to address their challenges.

  • Search

    Search, whether internal or via a website, is an infrastructure component and the impact of poor search reaches far beyond the retrieval of information.

    Affecting organizational efficiency and productivity, poor search results can increase costs as well as organizational risk. For the nonprofit organization, website search can impact and derail the mission objectives. A core component in all Concept Searching platforms is the ability to automatically generate compound term metadata, and eliminating end user tagging. Identifying relevant content during a search effectively removes ambiguity and enables the retrieval of information based on the concepts within, increasing both precision and recall.

    Case Study

    Effective, Efficient, and Visible Search Enhancements

    document-downloadsThis organization delivers the highest level of medical care for Canadians through excellence in evaluation of physicians. It assesses over 11,000 medical students and graduates each year through its examinations. Its exams are offered in both official languages in sites across Canada, and in the case of one of its exams, in over 500 locations in 80 countries. The organization wanted a solution to improve search to support their business users leveraging its SharePoint 2010 environment.

    The organization has been able to leverage its SharePoint investment and use the native search features provided with the product. The conceptClassifier for SharePoint platform, working natively within the SharePoint environment, has improved search for business users. Overall, the project has achieved, if not exceeded the organization’s objectives. These included the ability for business users to effectively retrieve information, efficiently retrieve information, and visibly improve the accuracy and relevance of search results.

  • Case Study

    Delivering Enhanced Care, Empowerment, and Education

    document-downloadsMoffitt Cancer Center is committed to the prevention and cure of cancer, and works in the areas of patient care, research, and education to advance one step further in fighting this disease. Moffitt is a not-for-profit organization that features the Southeast’s largest Blood and Marrow Transplant Program; outpatient treatment programs that record more than 328,300 visits a year. As part of an elite group of National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Moffitt focuses on the development of early stage translational research aimed at the rapid translation of scientific discoveries to benefit patients.

    In an effort to further enhance care for patients and improve their experience, Moffitt wanted to develop an online patient portal. The challenge was how to provide individual patients with the information most relevant to their specific health situation while ensuring the information was accurate, medically sound, and secure. Another requirement was the ability to search across multiple pools of information inside and outside of Moffitt. Finally, it had to be easy to use for patients of all ages and demographics.

    conceptClassifier for SharePoint provided its unique ‘compound term processing’ capability to extract concepts from content, and generated keywords, acronyms, and phrases from within content, by automatically identifying the word patterns in unstructured text that convey the most meaning.

    In the case of Moffitt, it enabled content to be automatically classified based on the type of cancer, stage of cancer, medications, and surgical interventions. For example, a piece of content about astrocytoma would be classified as brain cancer because astrocytoma is a brain neoplasm.

    Client Outreach and Information Dissemination

    In the nonprofit environment, strategies to better serve clients and disseminate information can impact the bottom line.

    To achieve these objectives effectively, the right information must be made available to the right people at the right time. Concept Searching technologies can aggregate information from internal and external websites and gives clients or site visitors the ability to perform concept based searching, using any search engine. The technology extracts concepts from context, delivering highly relevant and precise information. Based on a taxonomy, the hierarchy can guide the end user to pertinent information that typically would not be found.

  • Information Governance, Records Management, and Security

    Nonprofits must seek to adopt innovative technologies to enable them to develop an information governance strategy and the tactical processes that not only reduce costs but improve any application that uses metadata.

    The Concept Searching product platforms are being used by diverse companies to address the information governance issue. The technologies have been used to develop an enterprise metadata repository, automatically declare records and eliminate security exposures in on-premise, cloud, or hybrid environments.

    The biggest stumbling block has always been end user tagging. With the elimination of end user tagging, the Concept Searching platforms, are being used to automatically declare documents of record and identify organizationally defined privacy data, auto-classify the content to a taxonomy, and route directly to the records management application or to a secure repository.

    Case Study

    Supporting a Health Plan for Over 300,000 Members

    document-downloadsThis nonprofit is an independent, health plan providing health care and administrative services to over 300,000 members in two US states. The organization currently only serves people eligible for Medicare or state public programs, but will be entering the individual market through an exchange.

    Its SharePoint configuration did not include any sophisticated search capabilities resulting in several negative consequences. These included but were not limited to: inability to surface information from within attached files, duplication of content – often inconsistently, low confidence in surfaced content leading to low use and adoption of SharePoint. To solve this challenge the organization was evaluating solutions to implement and maintain technology and infrastructure that would improve the ability of its employees to find information on member benefits, provider payment policy, and medical policy within its intranet site.

    After significant evaluation and research, the organization selected conceptClassifier for SharePoint. The product is still unique in the marketplace and provides the ability to generate semantic metadata, that consists of multi-word terms that form a concept.

    The product integrates natively and operates bi-directionally, in real time, with the Term Store. Although the product met all of their requirements for a powerful search solution, from a much broader perspective, it was the only solution that also addressed records management, data privacy, intelligent migration, text analytics, and social networking.

    The solution provided the ability to use one set of technologies, fully leverage their SharePoint environment, and solve multiple content management challenges.

  • Case Study

    Reaching 400,000 Subscribers with Relevant Information

    document-downloadsThis organization, located in Italy, is the largest association of Catholic adults and youths and was seeking improve communications with over 400,000 subscribers. Its objective was to develop and deploy a knowledge portal. The association wanted to support the activities and choices of the community, acting as the community’s public voice, supporting the exchange of ideas and experiences described and lived at the local level.

    The solution included the deployment of conceptSearch, a component of the Concept Searching Technology platform. The key objectives achieved included:

    • Ability to index documents independently from the original format
    • Query the new knowledge base using natural language queries in several different languages
    • Automatically extract document summaries according to their relevance to the original query
    • Create a list of documents that are conceptually related to a given document and enable automatic hyperlinking
    • Generate a list of topics automatically extracted from a query result-set. These topics can be used to further enhance and extend research from the original query

    Social Networking and Text Analytics

    Social networking is an outward process and text analytics is an inward process. Using Concept Searching product platforms, both can be simplified.

    Social networking should not be confused with social media. Social networking is an opportunity for nonprofits to educate, inform, and convert potential donors, volunteers, or foundations, to support the organizational mission. To accomplish this, information must be delivered based on what a specific visitor is expecting to have answered or explained.

    Text analytics supports the social networking function, as well as other analysis projects, by providing a granular view of content for the evaluation and identification of insight into content, delivering a holistic view, to assist in the development of marketing strategies to fulfill the organizational mission.

    Concept Searching addresses the unique requirements of both social tagging and text analytics. In response to a site visitor inquiry, the product pushes relevant information based on concepts to the visitor. Through the hierarchical representation of concepts, the site visitor can control the search and easily identify information required, even if the exact words representing the concept are not used. The platforms feed the multi-word terms to any search engine index, therefore the functionality of the search engine remains the same, except results are greatly improved.

    The Concept Searching platforms provide two benefits associated with text analytics. The first is the ability to cleanse the data to be analyzed by removing duplicate information, identifying documents to be deleted, records that were never declared, and data privacy exposures that were never identified. All this information can be routed to a repository for appropriate disposition. The resulting data set provides analysts with a smaller subset of content to work with as well as improve the quality of the data. During analysis, highly granular and explicit information, sentiment, nuances, are able to be extracted.

    Why Metadata Matters to You

    Executive/Business Manager/Technology/Operations

    Nonprofits range in size from small community, to large global organizations. Some may have all of the above positions, some, may only have on or two. Regardless, the overall operations of the organization must be managed from the top down, and be responsible for financial and services execution.

    For the nonprofit organization, the responsibilities are broad and challenging. The strategic challenges must be carefully addressed with a focus on the impact at a tactical level. Budgetary constraints can change the priorities and force a ‘pick and choose’ philosophy to improve performance.

    One of the key differentiators in the Concept Searching platforms is the re-usability of the core technologies to solve multiple content management and business process challenges. This provides a cost benefit in terms of the elimination of separate solutions to address key application challenges, a reduction in staff to implement and maintain the applications, and delivers transparent usability from the end user perspective. The flexibility of the intelligent metadata enabled solutions can address search, and, records management, eliminate data privacy and data breaches, and provide intelligent migration, social media applications, text analytics capabilities, and provide over all content management. The ability to leverage the existing infrastructure to improve these challenges assists operations staff to address multiple issues. An additional key component in the Concept Searching platforms is the ability to deploy in on-premise, cloud, or hybrid environments.

    A growing challenge for nonprofits is to provide transparency of donors when required by law, and at the same time, protect the donor’s privacy. Concept Searching product platforms provide the ability for organizations to define their privacy policy, using standard descriptors as well as organizationally defined descriptors. As content is created or ingested, violations to the policies are automatically flagged, and the content routed to a secure repository, removing the issues of unauthorized access, and portability.

    Concept Searching product platforms eliminate end user tagging and automate document workflow for storage, preservation, access, and usage controls, and automatically enforce protection of the records integrity throughout the individual document lifecycle, eliminating many of the fundamental obstacles faced by records professionals on a day-to-day basis. This erradicates end user inconsistencies and training, and ensures compliance with federal, state, and local requirements and mandates.

    Another factor that impacts nonprofits is the ability to easily move, or migrate information, from one environment to another. With Concept Searching products, content may be moved from on-site to a website, the Internet, or cloud. This content can be synchronized, and in some cases, workflows can be implemented, to ensure appropriate controls and approvals have been completed before posting to external repositories. An advantage for the nonprofit, is the ability to automate this function and have it performed by a business user, not necessarily IT staff.

    Program Director

    Program Directors are responsible for a wide range of duties and activities. Concept Searching product platforms, performing transparently, can facilitate many of the tactical tasks required. Developing new initiatives that support the program objectives are aided by the ability to identify highly granular content from past programs, as well as aggregate relevant content from internal and external sources to provide a reference base for new initiatives.

    The concept search capabilities also extend to analysis of past proposals, funding, and records identification on the program clients for statistical purposes. In addition, potential compliance or regulatory lapses are identified in real-time, and new policies can be easily implemented.

    Director of Development/Fundraising

    Funding is, and always will be, challenging. With nonprofits often competing for the same piece of the pie, more reliance on evaluation of past performance and programs can be a key differentiator in the success of maintaining and, meeting objectives. Concept Searching product platforms provide the ability to gain insight into past behavior and locate relevant and granular content from diverse repositories, both internal and external. From this, program staff can analyze past performance, evaluate the positives, and identify the weaknesses providing an overall framework for success.

    At a more granular level, information from external sources, such as site visitors, can be used for sentiment analysis, as well as to identify content that is typically being accessed for further analysis.

    These types of information can be used to develop solicitation drives for pledges of ongoing support from individuals, corporations, and foundations, all tailored to specific and unique requirements for information.

    Marketing/Social Networking/Social Media/Site Content

    These job functions provide a pivotal role in the nonprofit sector, and the output can have a direct and powerful impact on the success of organizations. Responsibilities vary but these professionals may be responsible for donor programs, program support, and all phases of launching and deploying new programs or services. Using the Concept Searching platforms, concept based search becomes a vital tool to aggregate information, either internally or from external sites.

    The importance of providing unique and targeted content to diverse audiences increases the opportunity to generate interest and active giving. Interactive social media applications enable the distinct audiences to become involved and provide two-way communication. From these outputs, the social media strategy can become more powerful, as the messaging will reflect the overall trends and interests of the audiences.

    Although much information is obtained through web analytics tools, text analytics is a useful tool to identify conversation threads, determine sentiment, and add the human perspective to site analytics tools. This information can also be used to identify social strategies to better engage the audience and to target site content to distinct audiences.

    Once identified, the social media strategy can reinforce the site messaging and encourage site visits.

    Social networking applications can also be developed by providing a framework that imposes control over the applications. Most social networking applications are loosely structured and left in the hands of the users. With a structured approach, organizations have the ability to direct site visitors to specific information, and at the same time, encourage interactive involvement and communication.