Closing the loop

For feedback to transform relationships it is imperative to close the loop. Go back to the people you asked, tell them what you heard and what you are doing about it. Then ask them what they reckon. As simple as that is, the dismal truth is that it is rarely done. It is this element of our method, Constituent Voice that makes feedback collaborative rather than extractive. It is here where the relationship building happens[…]

Responding to the sound of (mostly) silence

Out of the blue, we sent you, our clients, partners and friends, a short survey that asked what you think about us. Here’s what you told us. Firstly, you told us that an out of the blue survey is not the right way to do this. Ninety-two of you responded, for an overall response rate of eight percent. For those of you in current engagements with us the response rate was 12 percent. Our reigning[…]

Using client feedback to test a theory of change

US nonprofit LIFT, which works to end intergenerational poverty, has been using client feedback to test its theory of change. LIFT works with low income families in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Parents (who LIFT call members) are paired with volunteer advocates and they work together to achieve the member’s goals. These could be finding affordable housing, decent education or building confidence and skills to manage tough times. LIFT has been using[…]

Surveys: You’re doing it wrong

I have a confession to make. Despite two years of surveying thousands of respondents for our clients I still fire up Google in the hopes that it will one day tell me how to conduct surveys the right way. Now, this is mainly due to being overly ambitious: I would one day love to see a 100 percent response rate or a completely full raw dataset. In the meantime though, I’ll settle for actionable insights[…]

20 ways to know if partnering is paying off

Nonprofit organizations and foundations love to talk about “partnering”, “co-creating”, leverage”, and “synergy” – but do these hook-ups really yield as much value for the effort involved? Or is it just beneficial to be seen collaborating? I searched for reports on what value non-profit professionals typically get out of collaborations, but sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much research on this. One exception is Keystone’s own Partnership Survey. We measure this along dimensions of the[…]

Formalizing client feedback forces action

Musika is a non-profit organization working with private sector companies that serve the rural poor in Zambia. It provides technical advice, business model support and subsidies to its clients to reduce the initial risks of doing business with smallholder farmers. Keystone Accountability worked with Musika to help it better understand its market and customers, increase client loyalty and promote a client-driven culture. It wanted to find out how clients view the business opportunity presented by[…]