Twelve Ways Measuring Makes Your NonProfit Powerful (Book Give away!)

On Monday I did a video review of a new book from Beth Kanter and K.D Paine called Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. If you go back and watch the first five seconds of the video, you’ll see how excited I am about this book.

Everyone sucks at measuring, not just you

If you’re like most nonprofit professionals, you’ll eventually admit that you could do better measuring.

The good news is that you’re not alone. Most nonprofits (and in fact most for-profits) are struggling with the challenge of measuring relationships, which is essentially what social media is all about.

To help you keep your eyes on the prize, Beth and Katie constantly sell the benefits of measurement in their book.

Chapter 4 includes 12 reasons measurement is powerful:

  1. It helps you get to where you’re going. Because social media is essentially about relationships, continuous feedback is required to improve them.
  2. It stimulates new ideas on what to do next. Analyzing data is not just data dumping. It’s discovery!
  3. It gives you credibility. You’ll need this to get support for your awesome ideas.
  4. It helps you discover what tools and tactics work best for your particular goals.
  5. It saves you time. If you know that you’re not getting results from a particular approach, you’ll stop doing it.
  6. It increases the likelihood of success through informed planning.
  7. It helps you raise more money. If you know why potential donors abandoned transactions, you’ll fix it. If you know which messages turn one-time donors into repeat donors, you’ll use them.
  8. It helps you work smarter. Unicorns and rainbows just don’t cut it anymore.
  9. It fuels your passion. We all could use more of this, right?
  10. It generates excitement. Ditto.
  11. It helps you change the world.

The last thing I’ll say about Measuring the Networked Nonprofit is that it will help you begin to improve – starting from where you are right now.

Win a copy of “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit”!

Leave a comment below about what measurement has done for your organization (and tweet this post while you’re at it).

One commenter will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit” from Beth. Note that randomness is generally influenced by creativity and effort. Twelve Ways Measuring Makes Your NonProfit Powerful (Book Give away!)

Learn how one nonprofit increased their online fundraising by 1,400%!


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  1. Measurement is like baking. It allows our non-profit to clearly see our successes (and areas for improvement), just like when the brownies come out of the oven just right…or too burnt. We know there is a formula for doing work effectively, but changing one factor (like the oven temp, time, or a simple ingredient) could truly change our results- for the better or the worse. Measuring our nonprofit allows us to see those factors- in our case, like the attendance in school, amount of tutoring sessions attended, or participation in meetings. We get excited with the results of where our money was spent or how our students improve academically, just like we know who likes to eat our baked goods and what exact ingredients made it so delicious. Overall, non-profit measurement and baking are productive and positive activities that every non-profit professional should engage in!

  2. What has measurement done for me? It has kept my ego in tact and my work effective (which in turn boosts the ego, so it kinda works out).

    As a marketer, we do a lot of “assuming”, whereas measurement validates our assumptions and teaches us something no book or person can teach. Learning from experience is invaluable…measuring that experience is GOLD.


  3. I think measurement keeps me focus on what my followers love ( and hate )about the work I am doing in social media platforms. Also I see -for my particular case- that sometimes the engage I want for my organization its very slow and I have to change the strategy more that one could imagine. :)

  4. Being new to social media, the only measurement we are using right now is Facebook insights. I think ‘insights’ might be an understatement tho! Once I started looking at them (thanks to your recommendations), and saw the results of increased activity, I got really excited about what this medium could do for our Museum. When I shared some of these with our Board, they also became excited about the potential- we are now working on a social media strategy as an integral part of our new strategic plan, rather than an afterthought to be implemented whenever a volunteer had the time to do it.

  5. An old adage is that people only do what is measured. I’d say we only work systematically, effectively and “smart” when we measure. Otherwise we’re just ‘winging it’ and hoping things will turn out well. Whew!

    Nonprofits live on limited resources; we certainly can’t afford to do things on a wing and a prayer. If we don’t measure, how do we know what’s working/what’s not? There must be a logical system for measuring our progress towards a goal. (And, might I add, this starts with actually having a goal! As Lewis Carroll said (paraphrasing): If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

    Before social media, I always incorporated measurable objectives into my work plan. These objectives were all about HOW we were going to accomplish our goal — how many new donors… what % renewals/increases… within what timeframe… by whom? Yet social media measurement is different and specific. I have never found numbers of “opens” or “likes” or even “comments” to translate into much. Would love to read this book to learn what metrics DO matter!

  6. Dashboards are a great measurement tool! They not only help the actual monitoring of outcomes and outputs, but help the NP think differently (about the value of measurement). Thanks for promoting and sharing this resource!