NTEN is pleased to offer 12 scholarships to attend LCS with thanks to the support of TechSoup Global, who is generously providing 10 of these scholarships!
Scholarship covers the the cost of LCS registration (excluding travel and lodging) and they are available to nonprofit staff working in specific areas of the nonprofit sector. NTEN is happy to announce two scholarships for organizations in the following categories:
- Digital Inclusion
- Domestic Violence
- Human Services
- Youth Development
- Applicants must be an employee of a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission that includes programs in one of the above six categories.
- Applicants must be able to describe a technology project or strategic goal related to technology that they plan to design and develop further at LCS and implement in their organization.
- Following the LCS, applicants must be willing to be featured in an NTEN case study on how organizations are using technology to improve their work.
Applications must be received no later than Friday, August 1, 2014. Scholarship applications will be reviewed and scholarship recipients will be notified of acceptance no later than Friday, August 8, 2014.
Know someone who wants to participate in the new Leading Change Summit but doesn't have the budget? Please share this scholarship opportunity with them today!
SOS Children’s Villages is a large international children’s charity helping orphaned and abandoned children in 133 countries around the world. SOS Children’s Villages Canada’s role is to raise funds in Canada to fund programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Dan Loftus shares how SOS Children’s Villages Canada put its website back on the SEO map, without adding any new content.
This post was also appeared on the MarketsforGood site as part of my regular column, “Between the Dashboard and the Chair.”
How Human-Centered Design Methods Can Help You Design A Better Dashboard
Take a look at any nonprofit dashboard and the most effective ones probably have an organizational process that lies beneath. Dashboard design is more than simply clarifying outcomes and key metrics. Dashboard design should also inspire buy-in and continuous improvement by using “human centered design” methods.
But shouldn’t dashboards be designed by data scientists and graphic designers? Yes they can be part of the team, but anyone can be a designer! These are methods for developing solutions (any type) in service of people. By applying this approach to any program development or strategy and even your organization’s dashboard, your nonprofit can more innovative and get more impactful results.
Many times dashboard design is focused on “getting it done efficiently” and graphs and does not address the human side – buy-in, learning from data, and consensus on metrics. A focus on the bar charts without taking the time to understand the challenges and open up creative thinking will not inspire organizational buy-in which is so important.
Here are two stories about two very different nonprofits and how they approached designing their dashboards with human-centered design techniques.
Tracking for Impact and Learning
Edutopia, a project of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is an online web site that creates and curates content that is distributed through mobile, social media, video, and offline channels. They also have a robust online community. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of education. Their theory of change is about raising awareness of the issues and then inspiring, engaging and encouraging their audiences to take actions around this goal.
Their dashboard already did a great job at tracking impact metrics about the reach and size of their audience, but they wanted to go deeper in tracking engagement and taking action. With a large staff producing and marketing content, they also wanted a way to capture data for ongoing feedback to improve their content.
Again, using design-thinking facilitating methods, the process started with a presentation from the executive director on the strategy for the year and measurement. Staff were asked to use a technique called “Rose, Bud, Thorn” to identify strengths, challenges, and opportunities for change. They created a concept map of the different themes that emerged. While technical topics such data and measurement processes emerged, so did a lot culture change issues.
Next staff identified key impact metrics by creating a paper prototype of the dashboard on the wall, with sticky notes. Using a sticky dot voting process to identify metrics most important to senior management and the board and those most important to different staff departments, they were able to design different “views” – a high level for impact and more detailed version for “learning.”
What emerged from the conversation was a plan for impact reporting, but also a process for more intentional experimentation and learning linked to key metrics.
Metrics for Movements
GivingTuesday, a philanthropic movement to promote a national day of charitable giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, organized a convening of key stakeholders called “Measurepalooza.” The gathering followed on the heals of the “Best Practices Summit” where partners and participants came together to share and learn best practices and identified the need for the movement to also capture metrics beyond “dollars raised on the day” numbers.
In particular, they were interested in looking at transformational metrics such as donor engagement, building nonprofit capacity, and global reach.
As a movement, GivingTuesday needed to address and get consensus on two big measurement questions: What metrics should the movement as a whole measure? What should participants each measure for their individual campaigns?
The session started with setting context on the accomplishments of the past year’s campaign and a summary of what was learned during the best practices summit. This lead to a discussion about the need to capture both “transactional” and “transformational” metrics related to specific outcomes as well as what and how to effectively use both quantitative and qualitative data for both movement level learning and for participating partners.
Through a facilitated design thinking process, small groups of participants created a draft of the Giving Tuesday movement level and partner level metrics. As a consensus building process, participants used “sticky dot” voting to identify the most important metrics (green for partners; red for the movement as a whole). This allowed everyone to see visually what the group consensus was and hone in what was most important.
Whether you are using data to inform a digital content strategy or to build a philanthropic movement, it is important to remember that effective measurement begins with people.
How has your organization achieved buy-in from staff or senior leaders about what data to collect for impact tracking? What are the processes that your organization is using to help ensure that data is used for decision-making and learning and not ignored?
Every successful project starts with a solid plan. In my experience, solid planning can be attributed to two factors: Educating decision-makers and accurately setting expectations.
As it turns out, there's a whole lot of detail you need to include in preparing something as simple as PB&J. And all of my years of experience as a consumer of the product did little to prepare me for how to instruct others in how to best create it. I remembered this experience the other day when I sat down with one of our senior developers, Tim. We talked about the fundamental elements of a Drupal site, how they relate, and—most importantly—the order in which elements need to be determined.
Though seeking online donations can be an inefficient means to spread the word of your cause, it’s becoming increasingly crowded, making it difficult to capture the attention of those most likely to care about your message. Here are some best practices to implement into your fundraising efforts to cut through the clutter of a crowded online donation space.
This is a story of how the little ol’ Kansas City AHA branch thought out of the box to create an impactful social media display hub to complement their website that led to not only reaching their fundraising goal but caused their Heart & Stroke Walk to trend on Twitter for hours during an event. They harnessed the power of social media to reach their goals and surpass their expectations of how fruitful the digital world could be when brought to life.
Nonprofits have been able to track gather important data about their audiences interactions with their website via Google Analytics. Facebook pages have also offered some insightful data on audience engagement. Twitter has been a bit late to the party, providing very limited data unless you invested in their ad platform. Just recently however Twitter rolled out their mew Analytics platform, making it accessible to everyone. What will this mean for the nonprofit world, and will this change how we're communicating on Twitter?
Now people will be able to see what tweets are being seen by how many people, and how frequently their tweets are actually being clicked on, retweeted, or favorited.
If you haven't had a chance to look at the different analytic options, we'll give you a short rundown...
For your tweets, you can track:
- overall impressions
- engagement rate
- link clicks
For your followers, you can track:
- geographical location
- the people your followers follow
While you're tracking your tweets and gauging what's resonating with your audiences, it's important to remember that vanity metrics aren't everything, and quite honestly, they shouldn't be your top priority. Your top priorities on Twitter should be about genuinely engaging your audience and moving them up the ladder of engagement. Social media isn't a broadcasting system, it's meant to be social, like a cocktail party.
Some people are concerned that Twitter is not what it used to be. This past January, Jenna Wortham said that social media "is fueled by our own increasing need for attention, validation, through likes, favorites, responses, interactions. It is a feedback loop that can’t be closed, at least not for now."
Do you think that the new analytics will only add fuel to the fire that we call validation?
Here are 3 ways that nonprofits can use the new analytics without giving into the vanity metrics:
- Don't obsess over every piece of data. Looks for overall trends.
- Use the analytics to determine what sort of content is resonating with your audience. What sort of content are you putting out to the Twittersphere that your audience really needs from you? Try to produce that sort of content once a day or a few days a week depending on your capacity.
- Use the analytics to supplement your realtime engagement, but don't get stuck in the numbers. Use the analytics to test how campaigns are running, or how hashtags perform, but then remember # 1.
What are your thoughts about Twitter's release of analytics to the public?
The Early Bird registration deadline for the 2014 Leading Change Summit has been extended to July 31st! Between now and July 31st, we're offering the lowest rates to you, our amazing community members! Join NTEN as we launch this Summit on September 3-6 in San Francisco.
If you haven't registered yet, don't miss out. And if you needed more convincing, here are the top 5 reasons why you should attend the Leading Change Summit this September!
- The magic factor. When nonprofit leaders and changemakers get together in one room, big things can happen: Ideas, shared learning, partnerships – the opportunities are endless. But how can you tap the potential and move your ideas forward when it’s over? The LCS experience is all about the movement from start to finish, from the opening plenary until the Idea Accelerator. Learn more about the LCS experience.
- Because it gets lonely at the top. You give 100% every day at work, but sometimes you just have to step back from the day-to-day tasks and think big. LCS offers an imaginative space for you to work with like-minded professionals to explore ideas, concepts, and projects to take forward once you leave. Check out the three educational tracks we have to offer: Impact Leadership, Digital Strategy, and Future of Technology.
- We've got your back. The discussions are defined by the people in the room, but you don't have to wait until September 3rd to get started. Once you register and select a track, you can start networking with your track team through facilitated discussions online. We want you to maximize your time at LCS, so that's why we're hosting this free upcoming webinar on August 6th: How to Make the Most of the Leading Change Summit.
- Our track facilitators & keynote speakers are truly remarkable. We're fortunate to have some of the brightest professionals in the room that will be there to support and inspire you. Check out the full lineup of track facilitators and keynote speakers.
- It ends with a bang. The Idea Accelerator (IA) is our super-charged finale to help you get a jump-start on putting your ideas into action. Led by facilitators from LimeRed Studio, Emily Lonigro Boylan and Demetrio Cardona-Maguigad, the IA will be looking for new ideas for programs, products, apps, websites, online community platforms, or hybrid organizations - with prizes in store for the winner! As an LCS attendee, you are encouraged to bring your idea to the forefront. Learn more about the Idea Accelerator and criteria to submit an idea.
Who should attend?
After years of convening our Nonprofit Technology Conference for a wide nonprofit audience, we created the Leading Change Summit to offer an exclusive opportunity for nonprofit changemakers to access advanced level learning amongst peers in the nonprofit industry. We're looking for nonprofit changemakers that hold positions in (but not limited to): Executive Leadership, and Directors/Managers of Marketing & Communications, Fundraising, and IT.
Since 1996, Karla Capers has been working for advocacy organizations, figuring out ways to use the internet to raise visibility for progressive issues, engage people in campaigns, and try to make the world a better place.
Note from Nancy: I came upon Karla’s terrific guidance for re-engaging folks on the Progressive Exchange list serv, and got her permission to repost here.
I’m Online Director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and we were faced with a real challenge—how to re-engage the many folks who were not reading or acting on our emails.
Here’s our three-part reactivation method:
We Segmented Our Inactives
We defined “inactive” as anyone who’s never given the organization a donation (online or off) and hadn’t opened, clicked, or taken any action online in the last year.
Then, in February, we started to segment out the “inactive” people on our list and excluding them from all outgoing messages. That “inactive” segment turned out to be about 25% of our deliverable email file.
Then Sent Our Campaign
Next, we set up a three-part series of emails to try to re-engage those inactive people:
1. Initial email
- Goes out when someone first falls into the “inactive” file.
- Subject line: “We miss you [first name]“
- Asks them to click on a link to let us know they still want to receive emails from UCS.
- The landing page that click gets them to says something like “Thanks and welcome back….” and automatically adds them back into the “Active” file.
2. Second email (if recipient doesn’t click on first email)
- Goes out one week later.
- Subject line: “Science still needs you [firstname]“
- Tries to re-engage people with an action alert, talks about recent attacks on science and asks the person to sign a generic pledge to “stand with science”.
3. Third email (if recipient doesn’t click on second email)
- Goes out one week later.
- Subject line: “thanks and goodbye”
- Informs the person that since we haven’t heard from them in a long time we are going to unsubscribe them and offers one last chance to click to still receive emails from us.
- The landing page is a survey where they can update their email subscriptions by issue topic and type of message and give us feedback on why they have been out of touch.
Our Results—Good But Want to Do Better
Since February, we have re-engaged almost 5% of our inactive file. That’s a value of about $13,000 if we were paying for those names so that seems worth it to me.
Of the three emails, the third email performed the best re-engaging 3.17% of the inactive file. Email one re-engaged 1.56% and email two only 0.88%.
Next Steps—Before Inaction
One thing I would like to do is add another email to the series to try to re-engage people *before* they fall into the inactive pool–so maybe when they haven’t clicked or acted on anything in 3 months or 6 months. I think if we tried to reconnect with them sooner we might pull even more people back into the active file.
How do you reengage inactive supporters, whether those on your email list who don’t respond or lapsed donors? Please share your reactivation methods here.
P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your in-box! Register here for the Getting Attention blog & e-news.