Project evaluation is integral to ensuring that time, resources and budget spent are being used wisely, efficiently and – most importantly – successfully. Internally, tracking and reviewing performance and communication metrics will yield important insights that can help your organization evolve and fine-tune your efforts. Externally, assessing the effectiveness of your communication efforts can showcase to potential funders the depth and breadth of your networks and influence.
The following are ways to measure the impact of your communication activities. For several activities, All Points North Foundation requests that you track their impact and report the results. These examples do not imply you must employ all of these outreach methods, only those that work for your organization’s communication needs:
Distribution – Use print or electronic tracking forms to keep count of how much of your communication materials is distributed and to whom. The count should include reorders of materials.
Placement – Determine where materials were physically placed, e.g., banners on websites, how logos were displayed.
Allies and Partners
Engagement – Monitor which targeted organizations helped to distribute your materials and/or provided a speaking venue, used their communication channels and/or events venues to share your materials and story.
Results and reach – Monitor media coverage of your news article (hard copy and online/digital news article), press release and/or bylined article. Report to All Points North Foundation the following: total circulation (if there is a hard copy version), website visitor traffic (if digital version) and number of views of each placement.
Results and reach – Monitor the activity on your website by providing analytics on how many viewed your blog, e-newsletter, or story. Track the impact of your e-newsletter, e.g., how many to whom it was sent and how many actually opened it. Report to All Points North Foundation the following: total website visitor traffic/month, and number of visitors to the post page (website/blog post traffic); if an e-newsletter, report the total distribution list and number of views.
Engagement – Monitor increased connections and social media efforts across platforms (e.g., Facebook likes, Twitter followers, YouTube views) through social analytics.
Shares of posts, links, visuals, etc. – Track use of your and All Points North Foundation’s logo, visuals/graphics and other images on social media.
Social media footprint – Measure and understand results of an organization’s social media efforts across platforms using social analytics. Software like Sprout Social and Hootsuite enable users to find and engage with social media users who are influential on certain topics and have a sphere of influence. Report to All Points North Foundation the following: number of posts, total number of followers, and total number of engagements on a post (likes, shares, comments) for social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
Media coverage and social media amplification – Assess publicity generated, interviews conducted, articles and appearances secured, key messages conveyed and message amplification in social media.
Attendance and engagement – Track registration and attendance, volunteer and leadership participation, sponsorship involvement, logistics and venue execution, marketing spend performance and public response if there was a call to action.
General Public Engagement
Event participation – Determine the number of people participating in or attending your events and activities in the community through sign-up sheets or attendance-tracking records.
Requests for information and general communication – Document the incoming phone calls, web or mail inquiries, the types of requests and what/who prompted them to find out more about your organization.