Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Evaluation Series: Nonprofit Communications and Marketing

Nonprofit communications and marketing professionals can and do use evaluation in a variety of meaningful ways. From evaluating communications efforts to holding focus groups to identify branding strategies. While many believe that these sorts of tools are only for our for-profit counterparts- this is simply not the case.

The underlying goal of nonprofit communications and marketing professionals is to ensure that the organization’s mission is communicated effectively. To achieve that, a lot of factors come into play. Do they have an appealing slogan and logo? Does the website draw people in? What type of advertising works best? How are people hearing about our organization? These are all questions that evaluation can answer.

You don’t need to do a formal evaluation or even hire a consultant. You just need to understand the role and importance evaluation plays in your day-to-day work and do your best to follow best practices.

What do I mean by best practices? I mean that when you use evaluation make sure you are doing everything in your power to do it right. For example, focus group best practices dictate that you need to make sure you have the right people participating in your focus group- not just settling for whoever signed up. These sorts of best practices can easily be found via a quick search online. I also have linked to a variety of resources throughout this post.

Watch for tomorrow’s post- Evaluation Series: Human Resources.