How do you measure gifts of time, expertise and leadership? What indicators can you use to assess grassroots power building, organising and volunteer initiatives?
More than 500 individuals participated in the Measuring People Power survey, offering many rich, long-form answers. They represent more than 170 organisations measuring contributions of time, energy and engagement — from grassroots groups to global NGOs. (Notable ‘blind spots’ include mainland China and Russia, as well as certain conflict zones, where reporting publicly on people-powered campaigning carries serious risks.)
These case studies are examples of organisations experimenting with innovative ways of measuring people power. Hopefully they provide some inspiration for how you might value and measure not just breadth, but also depth of engagement, relationships, and collective power building.
What happens when an organisation commits to logging all the time and effort that volunteer supporters pour into a campaign and adding up its equivalent in staff time? Équiterre, a Canadian environmental NGO, did just that—and discovered a novel way to calculate the value of people power.Read More
Friends of the Earth Netherlands traditionally focused on growing their supporter base by recruiting for one-off events—for instance, petitions or single actions—while neglecting longer-term leadership development and the creation of enduring local teams. But as they engaged more people than their staff could manage on their own, and with a desire to build long-term power across the ups and downs of individual campaigns, they began a process of refocusing their work—and what they measure.Read More
The Transformational Index (TI) is a process for creating a bespoke measurement system that starts with the overall objectives an organisation is trying to achieve and uses them as reference points for creating performance indicators. This approach was presented to us by Rachel Collinson, co-chair of Unlock Democracy, an organisation that works for a more accessible and representative political system for U.K. citizens.Read More