Attention Nonprofit Data Nerds: The 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study Is Here | Beth’s Blog

Attention Nonprofit Data Nerds: The 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study Is Here

Measurement

Part of the M+R Infographic for Benchmark Study

I’ve spent the last 9 months working on a book with measurement guru, KD Paine, called “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit”  (sign up here to get a notice when it is available).    One big lesson that I learned about measurement from KD Paine was a systematic, step-by-step approach to measurement.     One of those steps is “Establish Benchmarks.”

Many nonprofits may set measurable goals then they ask an existential question:  “How do we know that we’ve identified the right number?”  Measurement does not exist in a vacuum, is a comparative tool; you always want to know not just the number for the month or the quarter, but whether that number is bigger or smaller than something else.     You can benchmark against your past performance or your peers.   You can do a “quick and dirty” benchmark study by looking at one or two similar organizations.     But it is really nice to have some industry wide numbers.

And that’s exactly what the  eNonprofit Benchmarks Study has been providing consistently for the past couple of years.  The 2012 study is packed with the latest trends in online messaging, fundraising, advocacy, mobile communications, and social media.

How does your organization identify benchmarks as part of its measurement process?

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