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On 'Networked Nonprofits' and Measurement: A 'Flip' Chat With Beth Kanter

October 23, 2012

(The short videos below were recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Dr. Michael Durnil, president and CEO of the Simon Youth Foundation.)

At a recent Foundation Center event, Beth Kanter, the "Queen of Nonprofits," explained to a full house that "if you want to create change, you have to be networked, use data, and [work to] make sense of your data." Indeed, that's the message of her most recent book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, which she co-wrote with Katie Delahaye Paine, the "Goddess of Measurement."

Before the event got under way, I had a chance to chat with Kanter about the new book as well as The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change, the earlier book she co-wrote with Allison Fine. (Click here for our 2010 "Flip" chat with Fine. )

In part one of a two-part conversation, we asked Kanter to describe the hallmarks of a "networked nonprofit" and share the seven steps of measurement for a networked organization. In the video, she also explains why she feels the "measure everything" approach is misguided and what internal advocates for more measurement can do to get their skeptical colleagues on board.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

  

(Running time: 6 minutes, 24 seconds)

In part two, Kanter talks about how nonprofits can deepen their relationships with constituents; the theory-of-change method to network measurement and how it can help an organization communicate the value of its social media efforts; and some of the tools time-constrained nonprofit leaders can use to do measurement more effectively.

  

(Running time: 5 minutes, 34 seconds)

Does your nonprofit measure its social networking activities? If not, why not? And if you are, how do you communicate the value of that activity to staff, constituents, and stakeholders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Regina Mahone

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Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me. I've always wanted to be featured on a flip talk on this blog, and now my dream has come true!

Thank you, Beth! We appreciate your sharing your wisdom with us.

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