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Event Recap: “Mission-Driven Marketing Part 2: Metrics in the Mix (that) Matter"
Submitted by Cary Schmidt & Roxana Vergara, CAMA Nonprofit SIG Leadership Team
For Part II of the Mission-Driven Marketing series on April 19th, the AMA Nonprofit SIG tackled the topic of metrics and marketing with the help of presenters Ariana Klitzner from Mission Measurement and Ben Underwood from Christopher House. This presentation explored the following questions:
· What metrics should your nonprofit organization track?
· How do you translate that data into communicating your organization's story?
What metrics should your nonprofit organization track?
· Ariana kicked off the discussion by helping us make the distinction between contribution and attribution in approaching what we measure. Outcomes measurement allows you to talk about your substantial contribution, thus allowing you to reframe the conversation.
· The second key discussion point on metrics focused on sizing outcomes. This refers to measuring changes we would see that demonstrate the organization is making an impact and is on the right path toward achieving its long-term objective. Sizing outcomes helps position an organization to talk about what it will produce or achieve at a future date.
· A final important point that Ariana made was that an organization should measure outcomes, not activities. She helped clarify this by explaining that outcomes could be defined as desired change in status, condition or behavior that results from a particular set of programs or activities.
How do you translate that data into communicating your organization's story?
· Ben introduced his segment with a quote from the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Winter 2011): “Large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations. It doesn’t happen often, not because it is impossible, but because it is so rarely attempted.”
· As Ben pointed out, nonprofits focused on social change are typically program-driven. This has a significant impact on the role of the nonprofit marketer versus the for-profit marketer, including significant budgetary constraints that mandate creative approaches to marketing – and forwarding - your organization's mission.
· Christopher House introduced us to their Collaborative Evaluation Benchmarking Project on which the agency is lead partner. This collaboration (innovation) brings together six social service agencies in a bid to share data and best practices that help them improve programs and future opportunities. The impetus for this project was a question posed by Christopher House’s board and donors wanting to know how the agency’s program offering compared to that of other organizations. When this question was posed, no shared data collaborative existed – so Christopher House spearheaded the creation of one.
· In addition to using data to improve programming efforts, Christopher House utilizes data to help engage internal stakeholders. The example provided was one where parents were shown data/graphs on the benefits of reading to their children one hour versus five hours a week in order to encourage parents to read more with their children.
· Next on Ben’s/Christopher House’s to-do list: using data to communicate the agency’s contributions with external stakeholders.
Thanks to members of the Research and Healthcare SIGs for joining the Nonprofit SIG group to discuss and learn about what marketers should keep in mind on metrics. If you’d like to add to this discussion, the AMA Non-Profit SIG welcomes your comments below.
Don’t miss our next event on July 19th when we host: “Mission-Driven Marketing Part 3: How to Keep Your Donors and Supporters Engaged”