I’m delighted to be hosting the January, 2014 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. I put the call out for nonprofit blog posts on the topic of measuring your nonprofit’s marketing or communication strategies.
As KD Paine and I wrote in “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” measuring your social media channels, overall communications or marketing strategy is not a form of voodoo black magic; it is an art and a science. The art part is how you articulate your organization’s measure of success and formulate strategies to realize that success. The science part of the equation starts with a solid methodology and tools. It’s also having a clean, complete, and accurate data and the discipline to make sense of the data and use what you learn to improve results.
Here’s a roundup of submissions for your reading pleasure from some awesome nonprofit bloggers.
Blog Posts About Various Steps of the Measurement Process
In our book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” we offer a method for measuring marketing and communications campaigns that integrate social media. Some of the posts shared some great case studies, insights, and tips about each step of the process:
Want Useful Analytics? Set Goals by Katie Eickhoff, Social Media Manager/Senior Media Analyst for CARMA International talks that critical first step of the process – goal setting.
Once you set measurable goals, you’ve got make sure they are realistic. The only way to do that is to benchmark against your organization’s performance or peer organizations. Niki Kidd of Social Change, gives us a step-by-step methodology in this post, titled Using Data to Assess Your Peers.
Now it is time to pick the metrics or data points that will let you know whether or not you’ve reached your goal. 8 Metrics To Measure Online Fundraising by David Hartstein, Wired Impact, describes how to match metrics with your goals for measuring your fundraising efforts.
Select Your Tools
There are so many tools that you can choose from to measure your goals. Tools fall into one of three categories – content analysis, surveys, or analytics. Marlene Oliveira, Copywriter and Communications Consultant, shares an interview with Jason Shim, “Google Analytics Basics for Nonprofits: Interview with Jason Shim.” Google Analytics is one of the most common analytics tools used by nonprofits.
Make Sense of Your Data
This step involves looking for patterns in your data and generating a report for your stakeholders or donors. Ed Schipul and Rebecca Leven wrote a post Translating Data: Making Sense of the Patterns that explains the importance of pattern recognition skills in the sense-making part of the measurement process and includes a nifty case study.
Once you’ve analyzed your data, you most likely will need to prepare some sort of report for your boss, your team, your board, or donors. Lori Jacobwith’s Sharing Boring Data? What’s the Point? provides some great tips on combining dashboards with storytelling. Vanessa Chase gives us some great recommendations in her post, The Seemingly Impossible Task of Getting Your Donors To Care Without Boring Them To Death.
Measuring Specific Channels or Campaigns
The next set of posts discussed specific case studies or methods for measuring a particular marketing channel or campaign.
Cassie Bair, mGive, shares “How To Measure the Love in Your Mobile Communication Program”
Donna Mehr, Smart Annual Giving, wrote “How To Evaluate the ROI of Your Annual Appeal.”
Sheri Chaney Jones, President, Measurement Resources Company, presents tools for creating measurable objectives for nonprofit advocacy and communications in her “Measurable Roadmap for Success.”
Several posts were about how to measure social media, tips, case studies, or expert interviews.
A Peek Into PCMA Convening shares an infographic and data on the use of Twitter for an offline event by Bear Analytics
Tony Martignetti shared Measuring Online Engagement, an interview with yours truly.
How To Measure Your ROI on Social Media by Kierra Stein is based on her experience as a social media manager.
Big Data and Nonprofit Performance Measurement
There were several submissions on hot topics in the nonprofit measurement area these days – Big Data and Performance Measurement.
- Big Pressure for Big Data? Here’s What’s To Do by Nancy Schwartz shares some very practical tips about dealing with your data – from cleaning it to analyzing it.
- Nonprofits and Big Data: An inside look at how the Ad Council is leveraging data for social change, a guest post on the NTEN Blog, by Anastasia Goodstein, The Advertising Council
- Markets For Good E-Book on Nonprofit Data – puts together their best posts over the first year into one nice download.
And while this month’s topic was on measuring marketing and communications strategies, there were some excellent posts on measurement methods for programs. Ian David Moss from CreateEquity Blog, writes about how to combine traditional evaluation methods with business modeling techniques in “Fractured Atlas As Learning Organization” and Jeffrey Haguewood, SideKick Solutions, writes about Nonprofit Performance Measurement.
And there you have it!
February’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival is just around the corner and will be hosted by Marc Pittman, Fundraising Coach. If you want to participate, check his post for the details.