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19 posts from June 2013

Advancing Social Media Measurement for Foundations: A Re-Cap (Part Two)

June 05, 2013

(Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog, one of the longest running and most popular blogs in the social sector, and co-author of the acclaimed books The Networked Nonprofit [J. Wiley & Sons, 2010] and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, [J. Wiley & Sons, 2013]. A version of this post originally appeared on our Transparency Talk blog.)

Headshot_beth_kanterIn my post yesterday, I discussed what working transparently means as well as the benefits of transparency, and I left you hanging with a promise to discuss how to measure your foundation's transparency return on investment.

Transparency is like any other measurement challenge; you first need to be clear about what you are measuring. For our purposes, the first is assessing the impact of a change in transparency on your organization by measuring the change in the benefits created by being more transparent -- in this case greater organizational efficiency and/or constituent/stakeholder trust. And the second is evaluating how transparent your organization actually is.

How to Measure Improvements in Organizational Efficiency

To measure changes in organizational efficiency you first need to have a chat with your accounting and operations departments to figure out what the organization is tracking in terms of efficiency metrics. If no one in the organization is tracking efficiency metrics, chances are someone in one of those departments knows how to do it and can help you. Typical efficiency metrics include:

  • percent reduction in response time from inquiry to satisfied resolution;
  • percent reduction in staff hours responding to queries;
  • percent increase in satisfaction and knowledge of employees.

The benefits of increased transparency can also be quantified by conducting a relationship survey.

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Advancing Social Media Measurement for Foundations: A Re-Cap (Part One)

June 04, 2013

(Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog, one of the longest running and most popular  blogs in the social sector, and co-author of the acclaimed books The Networked Nonprofit [J. Wiley & Sons, 2010] and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, [J. Wiley & Sons, 2013]. A version of this post originally appeared on our Transparency Talk blog.)

Headshot_beth_kanterLast month, I was invited to participate in a meeting organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where I presented on the State of Nonprofit Social Media Measurement. The participants were a cross-disciplinary group and included people who work at different foundations in the areas of evaluation, communication, social media, and programs, as well as people who work for nonprofits or as consultants in the areas of evaluation, social media, network analysis, and data science.

We had two working sessions where we focused on defining outcomes, strategies, key performance metrics, and measurement methods for five outcome areas that may be common to many foundations' communications strategies, including transparency -- a topic that KD Paine and I devoted an entire chapter to in our book Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.

Transparency is a developing practice for nonprofits and their funders, and the field of transparency measurement is embryonic. Transparency exists to a lesser or greater degree in all organizations. To be transparent means that an organization is open, accountable, and honest with its stakeholders and the public. Greater transparency is a good thing, not just because it is morally desirable, but because it can provide measurable benefits.

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Weekend Link Roundup (June 1-2, 2013)

June 02, 2013

Summer_funOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Communications/Marketing

Guest blogging on the Inside Philanthropy blog, Katherine McLane, vice president for communications and external affairs at the Livestrong Foundation, explains how the organization plans to move on from the doping scandal involving its founder, international cycling star and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. "None of us anticipated the rapid and radical changes that are now the new normal," writes McLane. "But we're dusting ourselves off and keeping the focus where it should be: helping people with cancer...."

Community Improvement/Development

The folks at the Philanthropy Potluck blog give a shoutout to MCF member the Bush Foundation, which has launched two new grant programs designed to "enable, inspire, and reward community innovation" in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the twenty-three Native nations that share the same geography.

Fundraising

On the Chronicle of Philanthropy blog, Carol Weisman, an international consultant who specializes in fundraising, governance, and volunteerism, shares some advice about "what to do when donors say 'no' or 'I'm not sure'."

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Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (May 2013)

June 01, 2013

If, like us, you're wondering what happened to May, take a few minutes to check out the month's most popular PhilanTopic posts, which prove it happened (even if it went by very quickly): 

What are you reading/watching/listening to? Share your favorites in the comments section below....

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  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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