Please join KD Paine and I for an NTEN webinar on October 30th at 11:00 am where will share tips, stories, and lots of practical information about how your nonprofit can transform its culture to embrace the data, a powerful simple framework, “The 7 Steps of Measurement,” that will help your organization learn how to set measurable goals, come up with the perfect Key Performance Indicator, select the right measurement tools and metrics, and most importantly how to make sense of your data. We’ll also share some some tips and frameworks for measuring engagement to improve relationships with your organization’s stakeholders.
Engagement is the first step in building the relationship between your nonprofits’s supporters and the organization. Today’s nonprofit donors, volunteers, and fans are living a complex world, have busy lives and probably receive more messages and information than they can deal with. (Don’t take my word for, see Pew Internet’s recent Networked and Hyperconnected study). Being able to have your stakeholders engage with you – through social channels or otherwise, is what can help you win their hearts and minds, and eventually their donations.
Back in 2007, I got a little obsessed with ladders of engagement – a way to describe the different stages that supports go through in deepening their involvement with your organization. My first ladder of engagement was developed for the America’s Giving Challenge contest that I won in 2008 - it was a framework that used the “community manager” or “network weaver” as the human face to connect with people and bring them to the next level of involvement.
Many nonprofits have developed variations on the ladder of engagement – with ladders that take people from online connections to offline action as described in the 2009 post about SurfRider Foundation and in the video above and this more recent example from grist.org that illustrates how you can set up a measurement framework for measuring along the ladder of engagement. That’s the secret!
It is hard to create a cookie-cutter ladder of engagement because not all organizations and their audiences are the same. Therefore, the first step in the process is to create your organization’s ladder of engagement by identifying different audience persona that illustrate different levels of engagement. One technique is to start with your final result of success – it might be behavior change or it might be creating a video or signing up for beach clean up. Then work backwards to identify what motivates your audience to get to the next run on the ladder.
Once you have defined your organization’s ladder, then you start to identify key metrics that will tell you whether or not someone has moved up the ladder.
What I’m really enjoying is reading the blog posts that nonprofit tech colleagues have shared their thinking about the ladder of engagement and how to measure along it.
How To Build A Ladder of Engagement by MixTape
Facebook Ladder of Engagement
Does your organization have a ladder of engagement? How do you measure engagement?