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Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
Best links and resources for improving practice and proving results.
Curated by Beth Kanter
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GEO Report: Pathways to Impact

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Beth Kanter's insight:

Supportive Funder Practices
• Underwrite an organization’s efforts to build performance
management capacity.
• View data that do not meet expectations as an opportunity for
learning rather than an indication of failure.
• Invest in nonprofi ts that prioritize real-time feedback systems
and processes.
• Model a commitment to learning and improvement by
acknowledging mistakes and being willing to discuss your own
performance data

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The Philosophy of Data

The Philosophy of Data | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Our ability to gather and process huge amounts of data does many things, including correcting intuitive biases and illuminating patterns of behavior.
Beth Kanter's insight:

In sum, the data revolution is giving us wonderful ways to understand the present and the past. Will it transform our ability to predict and make decisions about the future? We’ll see.

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Transformational Data, From Children

Transformational Data, From Children | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Recently I had the opportunity to sit with Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director of the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). The conversation landed s
Beth Kanter's insight:

This is an excellent mini-case study of how an organization can integrate the use of networks with being data informed.    


CMOM has worked with theNational Institutes of Health to use real-time data from CMOM to develop a health curriculum for young children, incorporating the impact of sleep deprivation on childhood obesity. Normally, it would take years of research for the NIH to add such a component to its curriculum, but the compelling observations provided by the Museum prompted an unprecedented acceleration of the standard procedure. “This collaboration,” notes Andy, “came about through serendipitous networking in D.C. During a break from a presentation I made at a National Endowment for the Humanities, I mentioned our health program to a program officer at the NEH. He connected me to his wife at the NIH and the rest is history.”

With the cooperation of the NIH and a national advisory board of pediatric and health experts, researchers and community partners CMOM adapted the NIH’s We Can! ™ obesity prevention program for ages 8 to 13 into an 11-lesson curriculum for children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers .This new curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy based approach to learning and was tested with low income families in the Bronx, New Orleans and in Head Start Centers in New York City. According to Andy, “three-year evaluation findings on the curriculum have confirmed of our observational research – the type of research that is critical to help us understand how to formulate questions to enable program development and further research.”


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Upwell’s social media monitoring secrets and superpowers | No Passengers

Upwell’s social media monitoring secrets and superpowers | No Passengers | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Beth Kanter's insight:

Insights about Upwell's Big Listening efforts

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Twitter / davidwilcox: Good for @tobyblume + ...

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PageData: Facebook Page Metrics from Inside Network

PageData: Facebook Page Metrics from Inside Network | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
PageData: Facebook Page Metrics from Inside Network
Beth Kanter's insight:

Benchmarking Tool:   It is important to benchmark your nonprofit with other similar pages and here is a tool that helps you easily get comparative data from other FB pages.   You can also learn a lot from looking at pages that have great engagement or content - even if they aren't in your field.    This app also includes a list of the pages with most engagement, comments, likes, etc. 

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Cairns Blog: Liberating 990 Data

Cairns Blog: Liberating 990 Data | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
For more, see Noveck and Goroff, Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data.
Beth Kanter's insight:

The data that the IRS collects about nonprofit organizations present a great opportunity to learn about the sector and make it more effective. Yet this data could be made far more useful than it is today. It’s time to “liberate” 990 data and make it easier to gain insight into the workings of America’s nonprofits.

The IRS does make nonprofits’ Form 990 returns available, but only on DVDs for a high fee. A single year’s worth of 990s costs over $2,500, arguably to recoup the costs of pressing and mailing all these dics. But there is no reason to charge for the Form 990 data at all. Just as most people have gotten accustomed to sharing large files via a service like Drop Box, it would be simple for the IRS to publish the returns online for anyone to download in bulk for free. This week two groups committed to government transparency, Public Resource and the Internet Archive, used their own resources topost 12 years of returns online, demonstrating that it can be done.

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About | MY M&E

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Partnership and new technology to foster
knowledge sharing and networking among M&E practitioners worldwide

 

My M&E is an interactive Web 2.0 platform to share knowledge on country-led M&E systems worldwide. In addition to being a learning source, My M&E facilitates the strengthening of a global community, while identifying good practices and lessons learned about monitoring and evaluation in general, and country-led M&E systems in particular.

 

Strategic partnership

 

While My M&E is managed by UNICEF and IOCE, several partners support it, including DevInfo, IDEAS, UN Women, UNEG, UNDP, ILO, IDRC, Rockfeller Foundation, BetterEvaluation, ReLAC, Preval, Agencia brasileira de Avaliacao, SLEvA and IPEN. If your organization wishes to support MyM&E, please send an email to Marco Segone, UNICEF Evaluation Office, at Contact Us.

 

Developing a community through new technology

 

My M&E is a collaborative website whose content can be modified continuously by users. To develop and strengthen a global community on country-led M&E systems, registered users have the facility to complete their own social profile and exchange experiences and knowledge through blogs, discussion forums, as well as to upload documents, webinars and videos.



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EvaluationPrinciples-FINAL.pdf

Beth Kanter's insight:

Via Mario Marino Thanks to Lucy Bernholz for bringing to our attention the Hewlett Foundation’s Evaluation Principles and Practices. We found the report, authored by Fay Twersky and Karen Lindblom, to be insightful, pragmatic, straightforward, and loaded with kernels of wisdom. As I shared with Fay in an email, the paper’s Seven Principles of Evaluation should be made into a card for easy reference for anyone who wants to stay focused on the critical question “to what end?”

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e3 Made to measure

e3 Made to measure | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
PopTech is a global community of innovators, working together to expand the edge of change.
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Pinterest: Really Useful Tools to Measure Each Pin Impact

Pinterest: Really Useful Tools to Measure Each Pin Impact | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Use these Pinterest tools to measure your impact and receive analytics to measure your pinfluence and pin impact for your small business.
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What Data Can’t Do

What Data Can’t Do | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Data can’t account for everything in our experience, nor serve as the only guide for our thinking, planning and decision-making.
Beth Kanter's insight:

Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.

Computer-driven data analysis, on the other hand, excels at measuring the quantity of social interactions but not the quality. Network scientists can map your interactions with the six co-workers you see during 76 percent of your days, but they can’t capture your devotion to the childhood friends you see twice a year, let alone Dante’s love for Beatrice, whom he met twice.

Therefore, when making decisions about social relationships, it’s foolish to swap the amazing machine in your skull for the crude machine on your desk.

Data struggles with context. Human decisions are not discrete events. They are embedded in sequences and contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality. People are really good at telling stories that weave together multiple causes and multiple contexts. Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking, and it cannot match the explanatory suppleness of even a mediocre novel.

Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation. Falsity grows exponentially the more data we collect. The haystack gets bigger, but the needle we are looking for is still buried deep inside.

One of the features of the era of big data is the number of “significant” findings that don’t replicate the expansion, as Nate Silver would say, of noise to signal.

Big data has trouble with big problems. If you are trying to figure out which e-mail produces the most campaign contributions, you can do a randomized control experiment. But let’s say you are trying to stimulate an economy in a recession. You don’t have an alternate society to use as a control group. For example, we’ve had huge debates over the best economic stimulus, with mountains of data, and as far as I know not a single major player in this debate has been persuaded by data to switch sides.

Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar.

Data obscures values. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”

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New Arts Research Center to Open at S.M.U.

New Arts Research Center to Open at S.M.U. | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
A new arts research center will soon be opening at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Beth Kanter's insight:

A benchmark project for arts organizations

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Pitchers and Catchers and Fundraisers: Why Nonprofits Don't Really Play Moneyball - Forbes

Pitchers and Catchers and Fundraisers: Why Nonprofits Don't Really Play Moneyball - Forbes | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Beth Noveck (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in a few scant days and even those of us laboring under blizzard conditions and unyielding cold gray skies that seem to stretch forever (yes, I live in New York)...
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More on setting nonprofit free ...

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R.G. Riles's curator insight, February 10, 2013 2:30 AM

We'll be sharing insights for nonprofits in our new scoop.it magazine, as well as our web-based marketing insights.  Where better to start our repertoire of nonprofit stories, than with something comparing nonprofit financial management to one of our favorite movies, "Moneyball."  What do we think of this comparison?  What is undervalued in the nonprofit world?

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Post Planner Review

Post Planner Review | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
You already know from my Twitter tools post what a big fan I am of social media tools. When it comes to Facebook, I’ve been playing around with lots of differ ...

Via Jimun Gimm, Debra Askanase
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Debra Askanase's curator insight, February 7, 2013 8:34 PM

All sorts of great posting customizations and plannig for posting to your Facebook page from Post Planner, free and paid version reviewed.

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Introducing.....Data Unity

Introducing.....Data Unity | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Open data is cool, it’s sexy and it’s happening….unless of course you don’t live in the Internet and you’re not a geek.
Beth Kanter's insight:

For some time I’ve been rather concerned that discussions about open data and its potential are the sole preserve of data specialists. NCVO’s Karl Wilding summed it up rather nicely as ‘a minority sport played by geeks’. And yet it’s my firm believe that open data is relevant, exciting and…if not sexy, then at least important for a much wider audience, particularly social organisations and not for profit groups.

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How Data Can Help Defeat Maternal Mortality - By Melinda Gates

How Data Can Help Defeat Maternal Mortality - By Melinda Gates | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Beth Kanter's insight:

Article from Melinda Gates about why measurement is important.  Picks up on themes on Bill Gates Annual Letter



Bill and I are used to journalists calling us data nerds. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment, sometimes it's not, but we always take it in a positive way. At Microsoft, we analyzed mountains of data to make the best possible business decisions. We have tried to bring the same culture to our foundation. However, we've had to come to terms with the fact that in certain areas of global health, the data just aren't very good.



If we invest in better measurement, we will get a lot more impact out of all that courageous effort.



Her Tweet To Me:

https://twitter.com/melindagates/status/299308224660787200


Blog Post: http://www.bethkanter.org/bill-gates/



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CEP | Data Point: Foundations’ Information Needs vs. Nonprofits’ Needs | The Center for Effective Philanthropy

CEP | Data Point: Foundations’ Information Needs vs. Nonprofits’ Needs | The Center for Effective Philanthropy | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
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Identify Outcomes

Helping Practitioners Deliver More Effective Programs
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Guides your nonprofit through identifying outcomes and links to research for a variety of areas - employment, education, health, relationships, civic engagement, etc

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What Obama’s Campaign Can Teach Nonprofits About Measurement (SSIR)

What Obama’s Campaign Can Teach Nonprofits About Measurement (SSIR) | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Five measurement practices that Obama’s campaign and high-performing nonprofits have in common.
Beth Kanter's insight:

Outlines the measurement practices of Obama's campaign.


"The Obama campaign took what author Sasha Issenberg, who closely observed the campaign’s data strategy,called “a decisive break with 20th-century tools for tracking public opinion.” What do you believe it will take for nonprofits to follow a similar course in their measurement approaches?"

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Stanford University Explore Courses

Beth Kanter's insight:

Mario Marino had this to say:


Speaking of the Hewlett Foundation, former Hewlett Foundation CEO Paul Brest, who has been recalled to active duty at Stanford, is teaching a course on managing to outcomes at the Graduate School of Business. A review of the course syllabus made it clear that he has done an excellent job in organizing this subject matter and brought balance, focus, and breadth of consideration to a topic many see too narrowly. My immediate reaction was, “This is a course I’d love to attend!” Paul notes astutely in the introduction: “Ever mindful that performance management is a graveyard of good intentions, we will study the practical aspects of institutional change—including leadership, accountability, learning, and culture—that often account for the difference between success and failure.” It’s a real honor that Paul assigned Leap of Reason as the class’s first text.

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We Need More Insights, Not More Data

We Need More Insights, Not More Data | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Marketers are all over big data - but are they looking to big data at the expense of true insights and missing the heartbeat of their customers?

Via janlgordon
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William J. Ryan's curator insight, March 4, 2013 8:35 AM

Same can be said for learning as well, we track a lot in LMS's but are we measuring what matters?  Have we defined, and agreed upon, the metrics that will help the business and the performance of the community we serve?

Irina Radchenko's curator insight, August 13, 2013 7:32 AM

Today’s connected consumer has access to an insane amount of information, all at their fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphone access to the web.

 

From checking restaurant reviews and stock prices, to taking pictures of a new pair of jeans and asking the opinion of friends on Facebook, today’s consumer is no longer restricted to choosing a brand through a push marketing approach.

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Negative Feedback Analysis | EdgeRank Checker

Negative Feedback Analysis | EdgeRank Checker | Measuring the Networked Nonprofit | Scoop.it
Beth Kanter's insight:
  • ow much Negative Feedback does my content typically receive?
  • What is the normal amount of Negative Feedback that Pages in my industry receive?
  • How many fans are now unreachable because of prior Negative Feedback?
  • How is Paid Media influencing Negative Feedback for my content?
  • Which topics are creating Negative Feedback?
  • What specific content is receiving Negative Feedback?
  • Of the different types of Negative Feedback, what is the severity of my Negative Feedback?
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