Using Data to Persuade Grant Funders

The Client


Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap

The mission of the Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap is to provide free educational materials for students and teachers. They aim to reduce the burden of teachers spending their own money on supplies, and ensure that teachers and students have the supplies they need to be successful, in addition to keeping unwanted or unneeded excess office supplies out of landfills. They primarily work with teachers in Baltimore City, but not exclusively – they impact teachers throughout the state of Maryland, including Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and beyond. Donations of excess office supplies, arts and crafts materials, and classroom supplies are collected from teachers, schools, businesses, and individuals and are made available to eligible teachers in Maryland through two main delivery programs:

  1. The Swap Free Store: Anyone who needs supplies can browse inventory and help themselves to whatever they need from their physical location in Baltimore.
  2. The Supply Mobile: This "free store on wheels" delivers supplies directly to teachers in Baltimore City schools.

The Problem

Our partner, Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap, came to Pro Bono Analytics for help determining whether their current data sets would be appropriate for grant requests and for advice on potential data they might need to collect on their programs/impacts for such requests. They knew they had good information available, but were unsure about the majority of their current data landscape and how to ultimately connect it to their business goals.


The Approach

Our Pro Bono Analytics volunteers got to work helping Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap identify metrics that best conveyed the value of their services, evaluate the type and quality of data they currently recorded, and identify any potential gaps between current data and data they’d like to report. They consulted on action plans for collecting missing data, overall data analysis, and strategic approaches for continued management by Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap staff upon completion of the project.

The Solution

Our volunteers provided Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap with suggestions for metrics that would measure success against organizational goals. They developed surveys to help fill in missing gaps in data and created dashboards for visually displaying all data – their approach was to have constant communication and feedback loops with the organization to ensure success. The Executive Director for Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap is thrilled with the results of the project – she always had the vision and passion and could easily see successes of the program, but sharing the potential success with those outside the organization was not easy. In addition to learning more about the individuals they serve and the formal community impacts from Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap, they are now equipped with information and tools for conveying success to potential grant funders and community members.

Project at a Glance




Baltimore, MD

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