Tool Links Donors with Pandemic-Ravaged Communities
On Monday, April 13, Datanami posted a press release about a new big data platform designed to “evaluate the capacity of nonprofit service providers to meet the needs of local communities” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our internal analytics revealed that interest in the COVID-19 Urgent Service Provide Support Tool, or CUSP, exploded, with more than 100 simultaneous viewers at one point. We publish dozens of notices each week; few have attracted as much interest as CUSP, a testament to the level of need as the pandemic drags on.
BCT Partners, a consulting practice based in Newark, N.J., that “works towards creating a more diverse and equitable society,” said its free insight tool helps link donors with communities with the greatest need. The New York metropolitan area, which includes northern New Jersey, is among the hardest hit as the pandemic peaks.
CUSP is built upon BCT’s Equitable Impact Platform, which combines data from federal tax forms and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The platform then applies BCT’s geospatial analytics tool, which measures the financial health and support levels for over 325,000 direct service charities across more than 70,000 U.S. communities.
“We can precisely pinpoint where the money is most needed and which organizations can use that money as effectively as possible,” said Randal Pinkett, BCT Partners’ CEO.
BCT has long worked with underserved communities, and “we are now in a unique position to utilize our revolutionary tools to directly and positively support decision making in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pinkett added.
The firm’s analytics and business practice combine machine learning and data analytics with its social science expertise to address community equity issues around housing, jobs, education and health care. From an AI standpoint, BCT’s tools place a heavy emphasis on diversity issues such as “unconscious bias” in lending, criminal justice and prison reform as well as access to community services.
Among the goals is using “insights from big data, machine learning and precision analytics to develop solutions that lead to societal change,” the company said.
Founded in 1999, BCT specializes in economic and workforce development along with education, and health care. It consults on issues such as building organizational capacity and revitalizing communities—capabilities in greater demand as the U.S. and the rest of the world seek to recover from the pandemic and restart local economies.