This is a 5th week. At SCVRJP I’ve structured our programs to be monthly or every other month. The recipe goes like this: 3rd Wednesday Victim Impact Panel, 1st Wednesday’s Safe Teen Driving Circles, 2nd Tuesday Underage Consumption Panels, 3rd Monday’s board meeting. You get the idea.
I don’t have any 5th week sessions. Therefore it’s like a whole extra week in the month! How many people want an hour in a day! I got a whole week! On top of that, things are great at SCVRJP, I have two staff and an intern right now, everyone is quickly learning and taking on tasks. This freed me up to focus on a project. The project: our evaluation forms.
Every session we do has an evaluation form. I use the results to explain how we are doing. Usually for grants, but these results are also used in marketing SCVRJP. For example, a powerpoint: Quotes from our community providing the reactions of people involved in our services.
I love the work of Clay Shirky, I heard him say that you only need 1 question for marketing: would you recommend this to others? That made sense to me! So I updated all 2010 evaluation forms, all 7 of them. Now in addition to program related measurement, each survey has 2 consistent questions.
1.) Overall, how would you rate this program?
2.)Would you recommend this program to others?
I can’t wait to keep track on that, not just for each program, but for our services overall. This is a marketing tool.
At the recent MN Council of Nonprofits Tech Conference, I learned a TON about marketing and fundraising. The echo in my head, from the keynote presentation, I heard: the economy is in a recession, our mission’s are not.
As non-profits we have to position ourselves as necessary and relevant. The first quarter has passed, and I’ve just got my survey’s updated. I thought I was too busy (well I was), I now realize the power I have harnessed by taking time to focus on my data.
In addition to using the aggregate data from the surveys, I plan to do volunteer spotlights in our monthly e-newsletter, (to sign up, email your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: NEWSLETTER). Guess what my common question in the volunteer spotlight? Would you recommend this program to others? Why?
I also learned at the #MNnptech (facebook link) conference that individual stories will do better to promote your program. I am scooping up stories right and left now, preparing for a website update.
If you are in a non-profit, your work at evaluation and marketing never end. In restorative justice all relationships are bilateral, things go both ways. You might as well, make your evaluation and marketing a two way street.
Props to MNnptech conference keynote Katya Andersen, she did a great job!