Creating social change is everyone’s goal within a nonprofit organization. Authors Kanter and Paine argue you can’t get there without a map. “Measurement is your map and metrics are your signposts.” Furthermore, they claim connecting people, deepening their engagement and inspiring donations are relatively easy to measure.
While nonprofits realize social media is a cost-effective tool for growing their base of friends and supporters, they must set goals and strategically network online just like they would with in-person donor cultivation. In my interview with Kanter and Paine about Measuring the Nonprofit Network, I asked them about their favorite chapters in the book as well as what was left on the editing floor. You’ll appreciate their insights and surprising answers to the questions below.
CausePlanet: In your opinion, what’s the most important chapter in the book?
Kanter: I think my favorite chapter is the chapter on becoming data-informed. My big “aha” moment was when I spent several days interviewing the staff at DoSomething.org and speaking with some of the board members (http://www.bethkanter.org/switch-data-driven/). They are the poster children for being data-informed. That led to contemplating the practices of what being data-informed looks like at different levels. The other important chapter is chapter five where we talk about defining the value of using networked approaches and social media–understanding the difference between activity and results.
Paine: From a writing perspective, I loved pulling together the chapters on influence and transparency because we were really pushing the envelope there, suggesting measures no one is really using yet. In terms of the reader, it’s chapter nine–getting to that “aha” moment–which to me is the greatest seductress of measurement.
CausePlanet: What ideas were left on the editing floor and perhaps we’ll see in your next book?
Kanter: I’m not sure I’ll write another book–just joking. My next book will not come from the stuff we edited out of this book, but it will come from ideas that have been percolating with me since I turned in the manuscript! I am most interested in the notion of learning from failure and how nonprofits can embrace innovation by adapting more creative ways to plan, manage and adapt their programs.
Paine: Beth’s contacts exposed me to so many wonderful measurement case studies. The next book will be something about “Tales from the Measurement Trenches,” telling more of the stories that didn’t fit into the book.
CausePlanet members: Register for our live interview on Monday, December 17 with Kanter and Paine. You can purchase this book at www.josseybass.com or download our summary and interview at the summary store or subscribe to our library of recommended titles.
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Illustration credit: Rob Cottingham