5 Steps To Simple Nonprofit Performance Measurement

Image courtesy of University of Minnesota Image courtesy of University of Minnesota

In previous years, knowing whether or not anyone read your blog was impossible to know. Outside of the ubiquitous ‘hit counter’ on Geocities sites, no numbers existed to substantiate the effectiveness of any digital marketing initiative. Knowing who shared your content, how many times it’s been read, and how long people spend on a web page was an impossible dream.

Big data and robust analytic measuring tools have enabled this revolution to go from a pipe dream to reality in only a few short years.

Everyone wants to compare the success of their organization to a measurable analytic. And for good reason. Analytics are by far the easiest and best way to measure the effectiveness of a technology implementation, fundraising campaign, or content marketing plan. But getting started with any performance measurement initiative can be difficult and overwhelming for some nonprofits, especially smaller organizations that do not boast the raw man-power of other more established nonprofits.

Here are the 3 steps your nonprofit needs to get started measuring and reporting on meaningful data today.

  1. Start Small

    Introducing any new process can be daunting, especially for the employee you tap as the analytic miner. Before you start, think about what statistic is most important to your nonprofit in the immediate future, and what goal will can be accomplished by gathering that information. If, for example, you want to increase the number of Twitter followers your nonprofit has, or the number of donors donate to your organization per year, start there. Find out how many you have currently, then devise plans to increase that number to reach an attainable goal.

    Other easy first metrics to report on include the number of visitors landing on your website per day, or the number of clicks your Twitter account receives in a given week.

  2. Start measuring, and reporting

    Now that you’ve identified exactly what your nonprofit is looking to measure and improve upon as a result of that information, it’s time to start collecting that information. Depending on the type of analytic you’re gathering, the place where it is stored will vary.

    If you’re looking for information on your website, you’ll want to use GoogleAnalytic. If you’re looking for more information on the efficacy of your social media networks, SproutSocial or the built in analytics engines on Twitter and Facebook might be the right medium. Or if you’re looking for more information regarding your organization offline, your nonprofit’s CRM is likely the best place for that information.

  3. Keep measuring

    Now that you’ve started measuring data from a variety of sources, on what’s most important to your nonprofit, it’s time to apply these ideals to other areas. Use your new found knowledge to inform your decision on what to start reporting on next. The more information you have available to you, the better and more informed decisions you’ll be able to make.

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