Metrics – How Do You Use Them?

MetricsWhen you want to know that you’re on track, you measure the results you achieve against your organization’s goals.

Metrics are useful in helping your organization determine where you are successful and can be used to complement the inspiring stories you tell your supporters and the community at large.

Reviewing metrics on a regular basis, also identifies the areas where you are not measuring up and need to modify your strategies to improve the results you are achieving.

It can be very tempting to only use the data that makes you look good in the public arena. Don’t fall into this trap, it’s a steep and slippery slope.  Being open about the areas where you’re not quite hitting your targets speaks to your desire to be transparent. It strengthens the trust between you and your donors, especially if you also share the steps you are going to take to improve the situation.

Metrics are a useful tool for you and your community, but they don’t stand on their own. Stories connect the hearts of donors to the work of your organization. Use metrics to support your stories.

Remember that just because something can be counted or measured doesn’t mean it counts. Think carefully about what you want to measure and gather the data that helps you support your mission.

How do you decide which data you collect and measure? How does the data you collect support your stories? What steps can you take today to be more transparent with your supporting community?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.



  1. Jean

    This: “Use metrics to support your stories”. And use social media as an organization’s sole form of customer/client response is limited. Not everyone subscribes to your organization’s e-newsletter, blog, facebook or twitter feed.

    • The Other Bottom Line

      This is true Jean. That’s why I believe that no organization should rely only on online communication.

      One also shares stories through direct mail, annual reports, etc., events, telephone conversations and one-to-one conversations, particularly where major donors are concerned.


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