By Sara Weiss on October 22, 2015
We are well underway in the next stage of the Impact Radius Greater Good Initiative. With so many inspiring NGOs, we are taking our partner selection and evaluation process very seriously. While all the NGOs have been commendable, we’ve been employing our “maximum good evaluation framework” to help us find the perfect fit. We’ve scaled down our extensive list of potential partners to 30, then again down to 10. In our quest to find the best possible match, we are currently conducting another round of interviews with the remaining 10 nonprofits, hoping to understand their work and processes better.
While building and using our framework for this initiative, it occurred to the committee that this evaluation process could benefit any organization — and especially digital marketers.
Here are 5 questions from our evaluation framework that digital marketers should be able to answer:
1. What is the mission of your organization?
Old or young, established or growing, it is important to revisit the mission of your organization frequently. It’s easy to get lost as an organization grows and changes strategies. Reexamining your organization’s mission frequently can help form a strong, relevant vision for your company, helping to align goals and expectations. By formulating a clear purpose and actively and often relaying it to employees, there will be less room for miscommunication of responsibilities and a streamlined vision for success.
2. What do you perceive to be the greatest risk to new projects and your organization as a whole?
Understanding potential shortcomings and lapses can help your organization avoid mistakes and missteps before they happen. Don’t just focus on the best case scenario — plan, test and prepare for the very real risks.
3. What mechanisms does your organization use to obtain feedback from the people you serve?
Are you listening and taking notes? Listening to your target audience is vital. If you aren’t reaching your audience, or worse – alienating them, then you’re wasting your time and energy. Make sure your organization has a framework in place to enter into conversations with your target audience. There are a variety of ways to obtain feedback from your audience – distributing surveys, using feedback boxes, reaching out directly, conducting interviews and monitoring user activity from analytics are just a few examples.
If you don’t have the framework in place for feedback, you may be totally missing the mark with content, timing and delivery. Learn to listen and adjust your strategy to better serve everyone involved.
4. How do you monitor, track and evaluate investments?
No matter the size of your budget or funding stream, both digital marketers and nonprofits must stay informed on their investments. Are you monitoring, tracking, and evaluating your investments or are you just spending and hoping for the best? For a more sustainable future, develop a system or invest in software that helps you track your spend. Investing time and energy into this evaluation is a necessity for growth. Just as implementing an evaluation system will help a healthcare nonprofit compare production costs of one vitamin formula with another, you as a digital marketer can see and evaluate your investments on one channel compared to another.
5. How do you measure success?
For both marketers and nonprofits, measuring success can be very difficult. Generalized goals are easy, but how do you prove you’ve made organizational strides. Determining KPIs that matter for your organization are key. For a nonprofit working on improving female health, that indicator may be a decrease in maternal mortality rates in a specific region. For the digital marketer, it could be an uptick in the number of impressions or the number of shares. Take the time to fully understand your organization, the population you are working with/your audience and the results you want to see. Success can mean many different things. Decide what success means to you, set your KPIs and start measuring accordingly.
Nonprofit or marketer, here at Impact Radius we think everyone should hold their organizations to the highest standards. As work on the Impact Radius Greater Good Initiative continues, we’ll continue to provide updates. Until then, evaluate your organization with these 5 questions for a greater overall company good!