This next part in our series from the National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS) focuses on determining ROI, one of the most talked about issues in our community today. As more nonprofits are engaging in social media, and as budgets continue to be tight in the current economy, it’s a natural question. How do we know this stuff is working? Can we even measure it?
I’m going to take some of the suspense out of it for you. These guys say you can. In fact, Paul Gillin gives you a road map in the first three minutes:
1. Know the lifetime value of a donor / volunteer – when someone supports your organization, what’s the average $ per year the give, and how many years do they stay with you? $ multiplied by years, and there’s your lifetime value.
2. Start keeping records now – Use historical data from physical events: how many attended, how many gave, what totals were raised? If you have already run online fundraisers, so much the better. If you’re running your first, keep track of how visits turn into donors.
3. Do the math – now that you’re keeping track, measure how many new volunteers or donors have come from online activities. What % of your Facebook fans have shown up in the real world at an event? What % of your Twitter followers have donated? What are the actual numbers – how many people have acted. Multiply # of people taking action by your average lifetime $, and you know how much your organization stands to bring in from a particular online (or offline) effort.
Watch the video for more from Paul, and for additional comments on the same topic by Joe Rospars, Craig Newmark, Andrew Noyes, and Jack Dorsey. In all, a valuable primer on understanding the return on your social media investment. Take a look!
To see part one in this series, click here.