Our friends at NTEN have released a new NTEN CHANGE journal. This one is concentrating on what’s going on with mobile trends and mobile strategy across the nonprofit sector. If you are not familiar the NTEN CHANGE journal was established in 2011 to address the strategic and practical considerations nonprofit leadership staff and board members need to make in order to make sound investments and effective planning decisions that will help their nonprofit organizations achieve their missions.
Each issue includes case studies, in-depth articles, practical tips for applying tools and strategies, leader profiles, and community feedback. Contributors to the journal include experts in the nonprofit and technology sectors and members of the NTEN community (who are also experts!).
“Testing the Waters With Mobile Technology: What You and Your Peers are Finding”, by Kyle Henri Andrei, Idealware.
“A Mobile Silent Auction”, Josh Hirsch, The Weiss School.
“Three Things You Should Know About Your Mobile Supporters” from Claire Kerr, Artez Interactive.
“Leadership Cheat Sheet: 10 Steps for Planning Your Nonprofit App”, from Allyson Kapin, Rad Campaign.
“Case Study: Mobility and Program Delivery”, Headway Emotional Health Services.
Grab it here: http://www.nten.org/ntenchange
Some new friends from the site votetrends.com reached out to my lately to talk about a rather boring subject. Survey technology. Most of us are sold on surveymonkey, or something we rigged together using HTML and radio buttons, but instead we should be checking out their service. Here’s why.
Nonprofits are always looking to have bigger and better impact on a budget. That requires them to gather accurate data on the effectiveness of their strategies. For example, many nonprofits are looking to create effective summer programs this time of the year. Unfortunately, the feedback they receive from parents is usually at the end of the program, by which time it is too late to apply any new strategies for the current summer. Ideally, they need an easy and inexpensive tool to provide them with instant feedback on the effectiveness of their programs, even on a daily basis.
That what votetrends does. They have developed an tool that allows non-profits to “create once, collect indefinitely.” votetrends seamlessly collects people’s opinions and shows trends using interactive visualizations. Voters can change their minds at any time.
The good part for you? The service is currently free for use (and will always be free for individuals), and can help non-profits make decisions using actionable longitudinal data. Importantly, votetrends is anonymous and respects its voters’ privacy; its mission is to become an anonymous safe haven for people’s changing opinions.
And they have a damn good team behind it. The idea germinated with a Harvard PhD student, Kevin Vora, who wanted to create a tool that benefits the community through data. The votetrends team also includes: Gokul Madhavan, a Harvard PhD student in the computational humanities; Niral Vora, who specializes in e-commerce analytics; Erin Hegarty, who works in corporate philanthropy; and Stephanie Medeiros, who focuses on social media.
So what are you waiting for? Go try it out today.
(Thanks to Beth Kanter @Kanter on Twitter for her thoughts on this panel as well.)
This post summarizes the workshop/session I participated on at SXSW including the panel “Measuring Social Change and Media: Beyond BS.”
I had the honor of helping to design and participating on a two and half hour workshop on Digital and Social Media Measurement with Beth Kanter, her co-author KD Paine and social media nonprofit rock star Carie Lewis of the HSUS. KD and Beth took frameworks from their book – the Data-Informed Nonprofit (Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly Assessment) and 7 Steps of Measurement and then had Carie and I share how they have applied these to their organization’s measurement of digital and social media. We had a range of participants at different levels (govt, for profit and nonprofit) and a room at SXSW with fixed seats or what Beth likes to call “University Lecture” style. While this was a little at odds with an interactive format (people were often trapped in the middle of rows) we made it work.
What follows below are what Beth identified from our presentations as the “ah ha” moments of insight.
1. Know What Success Is
This something that every panelist said multiple times. David J. Neff said that even small nonprofits can do this and recommended framework called OGST. The conversation thread made me think of this excellent blog post by my two favorite nonprofit data geeks from DoSomething. They shared the story of one of their YouTube videos getting 1.5 million views and asking was that success? Well, the purpose of the video was to get teens to donate used sports equipment. But then looked at the conversion rate for the video it was a zero! KD Paine reminded us again that we become what we measure so choose wisely.
2. Don’t Be A Zoombie Repeating the Mistakes of the Past
During the CWRF Assessment, David J. Neff reflected on his nonprofit organization’s approach to sense-making of the data. One of the challenges they have is that while they collect data, they don’t always look at it and as a result they repeat mistakes. He pointed out that this happens with his organizations because it is a very small organization, grassroots with just a few volunteers running it. They have now made a focused effort to divide being charge of certain areas and to regularly communicate and look at their data.
3. Getting All Departments To Become Data Informed – Make It Fun
Carie Lewis shared a story about how having source codes for all their campaigns was essential to measuring all their campaigns, but it was hard to get the web team to buy into source coding. It was a change in their daily routines of publishing content: now they had to get a source code for each hyperlink they inserted. They did it for one campaign and when they saw the results, they were really excited. They felt accomplished. That was what it took to get them to accept. They created a “source jar” where if someone did the sourcing convention wrong (lazy) you had to put a quarter in the source jar. When they got enough money, they would all go out for ice cream. They haven’t gotten enough money yet!
4. Some Ways To Visual Your Data
KD Paine shared many, many insights . Including you have your data and you are looking at it, what are some ways to visualize it to get insights? KD says don’t use pie charts, plot your data over time. She also said that sorting and organizing your data in different ways can lead to seeing patterns. “Look across rows versus columns, for example.” She also advised us to use manual tracking for sentiment analysis because computers do not do nuance very well. At least not yet.
Come find out at this cool SXSW event from one of my good friends and mentors.
MOBILE.FAITH @ SxSW – March 8 1 pm – 6 pm, St. David’s Church
Just before SXSW, mobile.faith provides an opportunity for individuals involved in faith communities and in technology from Austin and around the globe to share how they are forging ahead in this rapidly emerging space. This gathering addresses one of the great challenges of our age: to live connected to one another through technology, and to do so in ways that are beneficial to our soulwork, connected in our communities, and useful to the world.
Speakers include: Leo Brunnick, founder and the CEO of Patheos.com; Dr. Maria A. Dixon, assistant professor of corporate communication and public affairs at Southern Methodist University; Jason Illian, CEO/Founder at Rethink Books, former CEO of GodTube; Jonny Baker, founder of Proost, an online worship & ministry media collective
Sponsored by Patheos and Cadabra Media, this event is free – you can register at: http://mobilefaith.eventbrite.com/