Effectiveness Tools & Resources Posts

Karuna Trust: What’s Lost in Translation in Conversations About Youth Dreams

Karuna Trust: What’s Lost in Translation in Conversations About Youth Dreams

Karuna Trust is a recipient of our 2015 Feedback Fund. Recently, they shared these insights with us.

As part of our work with partners in India and Nepal, Karuna Trust collected stories from the beneficiaries of the projects we’re supporting. It helps demonstrate the tangible change that the projects can bring to young people and their families. So we were excited to receive funding from GlobalGiving to try their storytelling method with two of our education projects – the Amaravati Hostel and Green Tara Trust. After discussing with our partners and GlobalGiving, we agreed to focus on exploring the hopes and dreams of young people. We wanted to find out what their ambitions were for their future, what they imagined their lives to be like, and what challenges they were facing. We hoped to create a picture where we could see form the results what extra support the young people might be requiring and this would help us to refine our work further.

One Year of Listening, Acting, Learning and Repeating with GG Rewards

One Year of Listening, Acting, Learning and Repeating with GG Rewards

This week is the one year anniversary of GG Rewards! During the past year, we’ve seen nonprofits that Listen, Act, Learn, and Repeat tend to be more effective and create more positive impact in their communities! To celebrate this anniversary, we wanted to share how one nonprofit earned points, gained Superstar status, and increased their donor visibility by telling us about their “most success initiative started to date” in GG Rewards.

Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women’s mission is to give their women a hand up, instead of a hand out, so that they can pull themselves out of poverty. Focused on supporting women’s’ groups in rural Ugandan villages, Grassroots Uganda- EAW empowers women through a variety of initiatives from small scale business training to teaching innovative farming techniques. But every initiative starts with asking the same question of the women they work with: What is your biggest need?

Thanks for Your Feedback!

Thanks for Your Feedback!

Here at GlobalGiving, we strive to Listen to, Act on and Learn from your feedback.  So we are very grateful for the 750+ responses we received for the Project Leader Quarterly Survey this May!  This survey has given us important insights into what you think of GlobalGiving and how we can better support the wonderful work that you do.

One of the questions we asked is what kind of improvements to the website would you like to see.  Thirty-three percent of you said creating project appeal templates to email donors outside of project reports is your top priority, while 20 percent of you would also like to be able to embed videos in project reports.  We hear you!  We will be working with our team to implement these features so you can better communicate with donors and show them the importance and impact of their support.

We also asked what training topics would be most beneficial for your organization.  Eighty-three percent selected “Reaching potential donors on GlobalGiving or on social media,” while over 50 percent of respondents would like trainings in managing donor relationships and communicating with existing donors.  It is clear that donor recruitment, management and retention are topics that you are interested in!  We will be sure to put together more trainings on donor relationships in the future.

Net Promoter System: Experimenting with SMS surveys in the Philippines

Net Promoter System: Experimenting with SMS surveys in the Philippines

At GlobalGiving, we believe that collecting and using feedback from constituents is an important part of the development process.  We have been working to discover tools and practices that make it easy for nonprofits to listen to those voices.  One of the tools we’re exploring is the Net Promoter System.

You may have heard us talk about to the Net Promoter System (NPS) before. You have probably even answered the NPS question before! The Net Promoter System) is a tool that was developed by Bain & Company for the for-profit sector to measure how loyal a customer is to a certain company- and consequently serves as an indicator of future profit. The NPS score is based on a 0-10 scale response to the following question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?  This question divides customers into three categories: Promoters (who give a score of 9 or 10), Passives (who give a score of 7 or 8), and Detractors (who give a score of 0-6). The score is then determined by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives are ignored in the equation.

The score is useful when used in two distinct ways: when compared to other companies within a specific industry (which gives you a basic ranking system), but more powerfully when companies use the feedback provided in the common follow up question (“Tell us more about why you chose this score”) to make changes which move more of their customers into the Promoters bucket.  

The NPS has been used for over a decade in the for-profit sector, and is considered by many to be the single most useful question a company can ask its customers.  

Similarly, we think this could be a powerful, inexpensive, and easy tool for nonprofits to use to understand how their ‘customers’ feel about the work they’re doing.  We wanted to test this by asking this question to via a short SMS survey to a group of constituents served by GlobalGiving nonprofit partners.

Designing the Pilot

In June 2014, we began exploring what a pilot experiment around NPS via an SMS survey would look like. We decided to use the FrontlineSMS platform to send out the surveys. We then needed to decide where and with whom it would make most sense to run this pilot. We considered several factors, such as familiarity with SMS surveys, mobile use among the targeted population, and whether potential GlobalGiving partners were already using digital communications with those they serve.

In October 2014, after running an application process with Philippines-based GlobalGiving nonprofit partners, we selected three organizations to help us run this pilot: Mercy in Action, HOST-NGO, and International Disaster Volunteers. One of the reasons we chose to run this pilot in the Philippines was that one of our staff members would be traveling there for site visits and could provide in-person support before the launch of the surveys.

What We Did

Feedback Series, Part Three: Leadership Council Case Study

Feedback Series, Part Three: Leadership Council Case Study

In the third part of our Feedback Series, we’re excited to share a behind the scenes peek at GlobalGiving’s Project Leader Leadership Council.

Last week, we introduced our Annual Project Leader Survey as one way that we collect feedback from our nonprofit partners. The survey is a useful tool for checking the pulse of our community and understanding the general needs and priorities of a large portion of our partners.  But, the survey doesn’t allow us to engage respondents in a conversation, to ask clarifying questions, or to dive deeper into specifics. That’s where our Leadership Council comes in!

A Diverse Advisory Committee

The Council is an advisory committee made up of about 20 representatives from GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners, who meet to provide regular feedback and engage in discussions about new features on the site and ideas for future campaigns. Members represent GlobalGiving’s diverse group of partners: from old-timers, who have been on the site for years and seen how GlobalGiving has changed over time to some of GlobalGiving’s newest community members, who can bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the group. Our Council members also vary widely in their geographic location, access to the internet, experience with online fundraising, and other identifying traits that tend to also make GlobalGiving organizations so unique.

Influencing Important Decisions

The Council meets via conference call at least twice a year to discuss important GlobalGiving decisions, and each member also provides ongoing feedback via email and the Leadership Council Facebook group. Because we believe that project leader voices and opinions should go into the design and implementation of all of our programs, we often present new programs or website features to our Leadership Council for testing and feedback before rolling them out to the entire GlobalGiving community. In addition, we often solicit new ideas or solutions to problems from our Leadership Council members.

For example, in 2014, GlobalGiving’s Bonus Days had skyrocketed in popularity and, consequently, matching funds began running out early in the day, resulting in unmatched donations and dissatisfied donors and Project Leaders. With limited matching funds available, we knew that we needed to begin exploring alternative Bonus Day structures, so we took this challenge to our Leadership Council. Several Council members presented their ideas for new Bonus Day structures to the group, which engaged in a productive conversation about which solution best met the needs of GlobalGiving’s diverse network of  nonprofit partners. From this conversation, several viable options emerged, two of which we have already tested in the past year! Thanks to our Leadership Council, we tested time-released matching funds in Microsoft YouthSpark’s #GivingTuesday Bonus Day in 2014 and a Pro-Rated Bonus Day in May 2015. Keep an eye out for more on our Pro-Rated Bonus Day later in our Feedback Series!

More recently, GlobalGiving invited our Leadership Council to share feedback on our new GG Rewards dashboard before it went live. We asked Council members to do some simple tasks on the new dashboard to test its usability, and we invited participants’ feedback on everything from the rationale and purpose for the new GG Rewards program to the look and feel of the actual webpage. This was one of many conversations that we’ve had over the years with our Leadership Council as GlobalGiving has moved in the direction of rewarding organizations not only for their fundraising activity but also for the ways in which they Listen, Act, and Learn on and off the GlobalGiving platform. This most recent conversation won’t be the last! We will continue to solicit input from the Leadership Council as this program evolves.

Proposing New Ideas

In 2014, after years of running our Annual Project Leader Survey and leading the Leadership Council, we were feeling pretty good about the way that we collect and act on feedback. I, for one, was starting to think we had this feedback thing nailed. And then we got a wakeup call. One of the Leadership Council members reached out individually to discuss her concerns that GlobalGiving was really steering the feedback conversation. We were determining the discussion topics and only reaching out when we needed input. As she pointed out, we weren’t inviting unsolicited feedback or entirely new ideas.

So, this year, we’ve made some changes, and we’re trying to take a step back and invite Leadership Council members to steer the conversation. For the first time, we invited Leadership Council members to submit one-page proposals to GlobalGiving about changes or improvements that GlobalGiving could make to enhance their organization’s experience. Last week, we invited five members to present their proposals. These proposals ranged from improvements to project reports to translating our website into multiple languages and offering donations in several currencies. Representatives from several GlobalGiving teams were present to listen and ask questions. We will be using the proposals and subsequent feedback on the proposals from other members of the Leadership Council, to inform future improvements to the website and our services. Stay tuned for more information about the proposed ideas in 2016!

We’re still learning the best way to solicit, collect, and act on feedback from the Leadership Council. If you would like to be a part of this journey with us, you are invited to apply for GlobalGiving’s 2016 Leadership Council. Applications will be available in early 2016.