In social change organisations we want to change things. Real world things. Things that make a difference to people.
If changing the numbers in our website statistics can contribute towards that, then we want to change those numbers.
But it can be far to easy (doubly so, it seems, when reports for funders are involved) to get trapped looking at the numbers, and to lose sight of how those are part of creating change for people.
I recently had the chance to put together a training pack/guide for Participation Works about web analytics, and how they can be used in a social change focussed organisation.
Much of the guide was specific to Participation Works, but a lot is, I hope, relevant to other social change organisations as well. And as I must acknowledge much debt to shared content from Beth Kanter and many others in putting together this guide, it only seems right to share what I can of it back freely to non-profit organisations.
So, attached to the bottom of this post you will find an outline version of that guide for you to use, adapt and build upon . To quote from it:
This is a skeleton document for building a guide to web analytics for social change organisations.
It is shared under a creative commons non commercial license in the interests of supporting those working with not for profit organisations. If you wish to use or adapt this guide as part of paid consultancy to not-for-profit organisations, or in private sector settings, please contact email@example.com in advance.
This guide is not out-of-the-box ready to be used. Throughout this document you will find text highlighted in yellow which will need customizing for the particular context where use of this guide is intended. This customization will require some technical knowledge. Other areas of the document not highlighted in yellow may also need to be changed depending on your context.
That said, most of Chapters 1, 2 and 4 can be taken and used fairly as-is.
Oh, and whilst you are thinking about ways of measuing the impact of your organisation, if you happen to be:
From a not for profit organisation,
Based in Enland,
Working with young people, or with young people as stakeholders in your work,
then you might want to get in touch with Participation Works to find out about their free programme of training and support third-sector organisations in building their capacity to listen to and respond to the voice of children and young people. The web analytics only tell you so much… it’s the conversations with, and the handing of power to, service users that really helps you know whether you’re heading in the right direction…
Attachment: Analytics for social change organisations.doc