This book is a how to guide for NPOs who want to use social media purposefully.

It is one of most approachable and practical books I’ve read. It offers a step-by-step guide, templates and other online tools towards aligning your NPO goals with your ultimate impact -all by using social media measurement. And somehow the authors make this information-dense primer an entertaining read.

Here are the seven basic steps in the process. And as you’ll notice, define, define, define…most of the them involve planning.


The hardest part of this, once you’ve decided on your SMART goals, is defining your metrics (or KPI’s) and using sensible benchmarks. This isn’t just collecting a bunch of vanity metrics (although these can start you off), but more about measuring whether your supporter has moved beyond retweets or likes to do something that leads towards real world impact.

cartoon from (and featured in the book, Measuring the Networked NonProfit)

The authors spend a fair amount of time showing what you might measure and to what end. They also suggest tools to use, whether your NPO wishes to change attitudes or behaviour, engage in social fundraising or crowd-source ideas.

Once you have your measurements, the analysis and its presentation are critical. The authors devote an entire chapter to “using your data to tell stories, make decisions and change the world”. This is the so what? of measurement. Is what we are doing moving us towards our mission? And what can we change to improve our next effort?

When the authors tackle more advanced concepts like measuring relationships and gauging networkedness the book becomes a bit thinner. These are less evolved online approaches and so there are fewer case studies to pick from and the tools tend to be more expensive. We look forward to the next edition of this book with these sections updated!