‘Speak Up Week’ – how to get clients interested in giving feedback

Our House in Little Rock, Arkansas provides housing, children’s programs, career and homelessness-prevention services. And a master class in how to get your staff and your clients enthused about collecting feedback. Joy Ritchey, Grants Manger for Our House, which serves more than 1800 people a year, explained that they have a history and culture of seeking client voice in programing. Such as their mini documentary series staring their clients. But when they had an opportunity[…]

To increase impact – listen to those you serve

Foundation leaders believe to increase their impact they need to listen to the people they are supposed to serve. There is concern among US foundation leaders that this is not currently happening. These insights come from a report by Centre for Effective Philanthropy commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to mark its 50th birthday. It makes interesting reading – particularly where CEOs highlight the need to listen and learn both from the people[…]

Shifting the power to service users

The Mayday Trust totally overhauled the way it supports people experiencing homelessness after listening to feedback (See previous blog). The new way of working involves really listening to clients and to do this effectively involves addressing the multiple power dynamics in play between funders, charities and the people they serve. Pat McArdle Mayday Trust’s chief executive officer said: “We began to shift the power dynamics in all interactions to give people more power and choice.”[…]

From client feedback to radical redesign

Client feedback resulted in a radical redesign of how one homelessness charity offers all its services. Back in 2011, thanks to the tough funding climate in the UK the Mayday Trust was considering whether it should merge with another organization and decided to review its services. In an attempt to discover the charity’s unique offering they spoke to over 100 people experiencing homelessness and frontline staff inside and outside the organization. The results were complied[…]

User voice – how charities should measure impact

Keystone Accountability is built on the knowledge that the voices of constituents are key to improving the performance of your organization. In a paper published today Keystone’s chief executive David Bonbright and NPC discuss how user voice can and should be part of measuring the impact of charities. The guide is intended to help charities use feedback from their users to improve their performance and results. Director of Development at NPC, Tris Lumley said: “While[…]

Are you really listening to the people you serve?

We believe listening to feedback from the people you serve can help improve outcomes. This feedback is an often overlooked but vital part of performance management. To make things easier for time and cash strapped organizations, Keystone Accountability has developed an online tool to help people collect and benchmark their feedback data. The Feedback Commons is designed to help organizations listen and respond to those they serve while gaining insight from others doing similar work.[…]

Turning high scores into low scores, or overcoming courtesy bias

Overcoming courtesy bias – the tendency of people to tell you what they think you want to hear – is challenging. Especially in situations with a power imbalance. But for feedback data to be useful it has to be honest. One of our clients came up with various ways to overcome this courtesy bias and find ways to persuade constituents that being frank is in everyone’s best interest. The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides[…]

Peace Direct introduces two way reporting to partners

International non-governmental organizations often ask a lot of partners in terms of reporting requirements – but how many provide reports in return? This simple innovation, introduced after receiving feedback from partners has changed the dynamic for INGO Peace Direct. Peace Direct, which supports local peace-building organizations, engaged Keystone to survey their partners about the state of the partnerships. They discovered that reporting to partners is an important step in accountability. Tom Gillhespy, Head of International[…]

Five things not to do with survey results

Today we explain what not to do with the results of our Partnership Survey. 1. Having commissioned the survey, paid for it and more importantly partners have spent time answering it – don’t ignore it. Even if you don’t like the results it is important to try and understand why your partners feel that way about your organization. The very best way to find out more about their responses is to talk about it with them.[…]

Using feedback to measure CECP’s impact

Keystone Accountability has been working with CECP, a coalition of CEOs who believe that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance, on feedback loops. In the guest blog below Courtney Murphy, CECP’s Director, Strategic Initiatives, explains what they discovered. Over the course of the past year, CECP, with guidance from Keystone Accountability, has been systematically collecting feedback from our companies to improve our work and help us measure the impact we as an organization[…]

Lynn coordinates Keystone's various programs and manages outreach, crafting stories on the power Constituent Voice. Previously she was Rwanda country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and before that, BBC Media Action.