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Do Organizations Measure and Use Constituent Engagement Data?

Resource Center - Foundation

An Infographic from NTEN and Avectra

By John Clese, Director of Product Marketing, Not For Profit, Avectra

Everyone talks about constituent engagement but we were curious to find out exactly how today’s nonprofits and associations are managing their constituent, donor and member data. We know how it is, though—you don’t feel you have time to read another report.

So when it came time for us to share the results of our recent NTEN and Avectra survey, we created an infographic to illustrate some key findings for you. This infographic illustrates our findings from the first stage of the research—an online survey of over 200 communications and fundraising professionals from nonprofits and associations.

Specifically, the survey questions focused on “engagement” data—that is, the actions and interactions that organizations have with their constituents that represent all the actions that occur outside of the typical (transactional and financial) data that are traditionally used for measuring and determining an organization’s health. Many are familiar with the idea of tracking the last time a donor gave money, or looking at email clicks to see when donors opened an email from you. Engagement data goes much further and looks at things like a donor's social media activity, how often they volunteer for your organization, or whether or not a donor is more likely to give after receiving communications from you.

There are some encouraging signs that more nonprofits are recognizing the value of social media engagement. For example, in response to our question “What kind of non-financial activity are you tracking?” we found that many organizations are now tracking social media activity at a rate approaching that of traditional forms of engagement such as email open rates. In fact, 86 percent reported tracking constituents’ activity on their organization’s Facebook page, the same percentage that track the more traditional eNewsletter subscription rates.

Also, about two-thirds of our respondents reported that they see some correlation between key engagement data and other key indicators.

With only 17 percent of responding organizations tracking Twitter mentions and measuring the viral reach of social networks, and 27 percent tracking attendance at free events, we see room for improvement. It is only by tracking, measuring,  and analyzing participant and engagement data that organizations  will be able to gain a clear picture of their overall health.

The next stage of the study is where we (NTEN and Avectra) asked a select group of organizations about HOW they manage their data process internally, and what they do with that data. We asked questions such as the types of engagement data nonprofits are collecting and why, as well as how they are using and sharing that data within their organizations. For more information, take a closer look by reviewing the full research study report—it’s worth the time! 

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