Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
PREFACE: THE QUEEN OF NONPROFITS MEETS THE GODDESS OF MEASUREMENT
Beth used to think measurement was the business equivalent of Darth Vader running after her with a radioactive light saber. She had almost flunked math back in eighth grade, and she never lost the sense that anything with data and numbers in it was beyond her ability to learn. She didn't know her way around a spreadsheet and figured that whatever measurement involved, it was going to be a lot of extra work in any case.
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But Beth kept hearing from nonprofits that they wanted a way to be more effective with social media. She knew that people and organizations needed to learn from experience, and she had the suspicion that there must be some way to do this in an organized fashion using measurement.
Then she discovered Katie Delahaye Paine. Katie has decades of experience helping organizations of all shapes and sizes define success and measure it, so she knows how to make measurement simple and relevant. Beth started reading KDPaine's Measurement Blog. She even boldly submitted a panel to SXSW's Social Media, Nonprofit, ROI Poetry Slam in 2009 and asked Katie to participate. That's when she discovered that measurement is really powerful - we'll tell you more about that later in this book - and that Katie could dispense clear, practical measurement advice - in iambic pentameter, no less. Today Beth has left her fear far behind and has embraced measurement as a vital tool of the networked nonprofit.
HOW THIS BOOK HELPS NONPROFITS BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL
This book takes the ideas that were just germinating in that poetry slam and builds them into solid advice illustrated with dozens of examples of nonprofits that have also made the leap from measurement-phobes to measurement mavens. Beth's first book, The Networked Nonprofit , coauthored with Allison Fine, provided frameworks and recommendations for nonprofits to transform their organizational culture to embrace a new way of working. Measuring the Networked Nonprofit aims at helping nonprofit leaders take those first steps to measure the effectiveness of that transformation. 1
These transformed nonprofits are using social media metrics and data intelligently to improve their decision making and quantify success. This book covers the many ways that networked nonprofits make the most of measurement:
They don't just add up numbers; they measure their impact on the mission and organizational goals.
They value progress and measure results using insight, relationships, organizational results, and social change outcomes.
They use key performance indicators to make decisions, effect continuous process improvement, and understand what works and what doesn't.
They measure failure first. Learning from failure is like compost: although it might stink at first, it gets more valuable over time. It is also important to understand the cause of success because it may have happened by accident.
They are experts at setting up and measuring low-risk experiments to test their strategy and tactics and learn from them.
They join the "spreadsheet appreciation society," filling their rows and columns with meaningful data and avoiding bogus metrics like the plague.
They use data to set priorities and better juggle workloads.
We understand that not all nonprofits are starting from the same place in becoming networked nonprofits or in measurement. This book will help nonprofits that are just starting to embrace a networked way of working and aren't measuring at all, as well as those that are already networked and want to improve the measurement they're already doing.
WHY ALL NONPROFITS NEED TO EMBRACE MEASUREMENT