According to the Center for Effective Philanthropy, practically all not-for-profits in the United States solicit feedback from their clients when designing programs and services. However, resource constraints — lack of adequate staffing, funding and sophisticated technology — may mean that they don’t collect data as often as they’d like or use it as well as they could.

a woman's hand drawing a green check mark with a green marker next to a box with a smiley face, drawn above a medium smile face and sad face; image used for a blog post about getting feedback for not-for-profits

If you’d like to collect more, and more meaningful, feedback from the beneficiaries of your not-for-profit’s services, here are five suggestions:


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How well do you listen to your not-for-profit’s supporters on social media? If you don’t engage in “social listening,” your efforts may not be good enough.

This marketing communications strategy is popular with for-profit companies, but can just as easily help not-for-profits attract and retain donors, volunteers and members.


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Perhaps you wrote a social media policy several years ago when your not-for-profit set up a Facebook page. Since then, not only has your not-for-profit likely changed, but new social media platforms have emerged. At the very least, the sites you use have probably revised their terms of service. That’s why it’s time to revisit

Many not-for-profits are adopting a marketing tactic called “social listening” that for-profit companies have used successfully in the past. Social listening costs relatively little and can give you valuable insight into issues that resonate with your supporters. This allows you to better tailor your communications.

Identify and engage

Social listening starts with monitoring social media

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Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Chris Jones, Vice President at Pierpont Communications and head of their Energy in Crisis practices. Pierpont also plays a key role in the Profit and Peril Report. Chris, welcome back to the Playbook