Constituent Voice as a Crucial Component of Nonprofit Performance Assessment

Session Number: 2415
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Feedback loops, Foundation, Nonprofit Evaluations
Session Chair: Richard Vezina [Vice President - Harder+Company Community Research]
Discussant: Sarah Stachowiak [CEO - ORS Impact]
Presenter 1: Valerie Threlfall
Presenter 2: Richard Vezina [Vice President - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Elizabeth Kelley Sohn [Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Diana D. McDonnell [Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Veronica Awan [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Time: Nov 03, 2018 (11:15 AM - 12:00 PM)
Room: Hilton - Hope Ballroom B

Abstract 1 Title: Listen for Good: Acting on Feedback from Those We Seek to Help
Presentation Abstract 1:

More and more, foundations and nonprofits seek to ensure that their work is having an impact and is grounded in data. One frequently overlooked source of information for these organizations is feedback from the people who receive services about how things are going from their perspective. This input, often called “constituent voice” or “beneficiary feedback,” is an untapped source of wisdom. A growing body of research demonstrates an important link between beneficiary perceptions and beneficiary outcomes. Listen for Good, an initiative of the Fund for Shared Insight, is grounded in the belief that for foundations and nonprofits to be high performing, they should listen to--and act on--feedback from the people they seek to help. We will share lessons from Listen for Good’s initial rounds of funding about what it takes for nonprofits to collect feedback from clients and use it to improve their services.


Abstract 2 Title: Is the Net Promoter System Right for Nonprofits?
Presentation Abstract 2:

Use of the Net Promoter System (NPS) by nonprofit service providers offers an opportunity to use the same tool to interpret beneficiary feedback across a variety of settings. We will share insights from Harder+Company’s analysis of feedback from nearly 30,000 Listen for Good survey respondents served by dozens of organizations. Findings suggest that the NPS taps into elements of beneficiary experience that have been more traditionally measured to assess nonprofit performance, including whether respondents feel that their needs have been met. This indicates that NPS may be a good proxy for overall client experience that nonprofits have historically measured in more customized ways. But other findings indicate that the NPS might not be the right vehicle to collect the more critical feedback, and questions remain about difference in NPS by race, age, and gender. We will discuss the implications of these findings for future social sector use of the NPS.


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Listening to clients allows an organization to connect more authentically to the people it seeks to help, benefit from the wisdom and experiences those clients have, and shift the power dynamic between providers and clients to be more balanced and equitable. This is particularly important since the views of those most directly impacted by services can often get overlooked in organizational decision-making. As part of a holistic approach to nonprofit performance assessment, evaluators can benefit from adding tools such as the Net Promoter System (NPS) to their toolkit.

In this session, we will share an overview of the latest practices related to client feedback. We also describe how the NPS has been tested and used for nonprofit service delivery, and the impact it has had among nonprofits using it. Finally, we will facilitate a discussion about how NPS and other client feedback approaches have been used effectively for different evaluations.