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3 steps to measure influence

by The NonProfit Times - May 9, 2013

How influential is your nonprofit? That’s a question to wish all nonprofit managers want to know the answer, and it turns out that it takes a little more work than simply Googling your organization’s name.

While seeing where on Google your nonprofit’s website ranks does give you some information about how popular you are, it doesn’t give you all the information you need. As Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine explained in their book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” nonprofit managers need to seek out exactly who is writing about their organization.

Kanter and Paine wrote that determining whether these writers’ participation helped move the needle on your defined goals is the key to measuring how influential you are. They identified three steps that will help you seek out and analyze these influencers:

Step 1 – Learn What Data You Already Have Available: If you are already monitoring your media coverage or your social conversations, examine the previous three months of coverage and identify anyone who has mentioned you more than three times.

Step 2 – Use Search Terms to Work Backward to Discover Who Writes About You: Once you’ve identified search terms and key words that are commonly used to describe you, set up a Google Alert to look for posts that include them and track the authors of the posts that appear.

Step 3 – Make a List, and Check It Twice: Make a list of all your influencers and rate them according to the following criteria: Frequency, relevance, resonance, and trust.

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