Deep Dive Breakout 1

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Voter data, consumer data, social media metrics, online analytics, and campaign performance insights turbo-charge your outreach efforts. We’ll discuss how your data not only tells a story, but also increases the effectiveness of your entire advocacy program in order to break through the clutter.

Notes from session:

Measuring campaigns is helpful because sometimes, folks won’t believe that something is/is not working without data.

  • Data can show trends in your program: Are aspects of your program on the upswing or downswing? Are tried and true methods working still? Is the shiny, new advocacy tool working as promised? For example, some organizations are seeing email engagement decrease and text engagement increase.
  • Data allows you to learn about your audience, and understand what issues will play well with them – and understand where you have challenges.
  • Data cuts through the noise: Numbers don’t lie. They can let you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Initial steps to take when working with data.

  1. Identify what you are trying to demonstrate with your data
  2. Ensure that your data is clean
  3. Streamline your data
  4. Identify the audience that you are attempting to influence
    • Internal team/department – making the case to your colleagues
    • Executive team – making the case to your bosses
    • State associations – measuring chapter and individual unit performance
    • Board Members/Association Membership/Employees – make them compete!
  5. Determine what is the best way to report on your data

Universal data points that will engage people/make them more likely to act.

  • Data that allow you to learn about your audience
  • Interest area data, from social media and web activity
  • Previous activity data – using a points system to identify top/most activate advocates
  • Supporters who sign petitions or share a personal story are up to four times more likely to write a letter to their lawmaker than a general member of our audience. The single best indicator that someone will take action on your behalf is … that they have taken action before! During a recent legislative fight, one organization found more than 68% of action-takers had already taken action on that, or another, issue. Most of them had signed a petition, and those who signed the petition were more likely to convert into sending a letter to their members of Congress.

How to distinguish actionable data through the noise and drill down to what is important.

  • Find a benchmark story – M+R’s is a great start for nonprofits, but many other vendors have their own. See which data points are relevant to you: M+R’s social data might not be the right fit, but their email data could be.
  • Each year, test the usefulness of data you track. Don’t get complacent: Four years ago, an organization might not have been tracking cell phone numbers that they can text. Now, they really should be.
  • Always have a plan for what’s next with your data. Think through why you are collecting the data, and what your CRM or system can accept in terms of appended or 3rd-party data.

Share innovative examples where data provided the winning edge.

  • One organization used Return Path ( to identify what email clients were receiving email, and where Gmail was putting it. They identified a problem with Gmail, and ran an extensive, ongoing campaign to clean their list and improve their list of Gmail-using people. This took data (the Return Path report) to initiate and convince colleagues to pursue.