Right now, members are joining. Visitors are planning. Tweets are being retweeted, ads are being served, links are being clicked. Data, good sweet wonderful data, is being generated — but if we let it slip through our fingers, it does us no good at all.

That’s what makes our annual Benchmarks Study so great — it freezes the flow of data, and captures this moment so we can examine it, contemplate it, and learn from it.  We’re collecting participants for our next Benchmarks now, so we can include as much reliable information as possible on everything from digital fundraising and advocacy, to email and advertising, to web traffic and social media.

We’d really like you to be a part of Benchmarks. Each year, we partner with a wide variety of nonprofits who provide the data behind every chart, table, and insight in our study. We even have a Culturals sector that includes museums from around the country. It would be even better with your participation!

If you’d like the join the fun, please review and fill out the consent form here. We’ll reach out with next steps. If you’d like me to keep convincing you/explain how this works, read on!

The data we pull is extensive, but pretty standard: list size and social media presence, online giving numbers, email metrics, etc. Then, we aggregate the numbers with other organizations so your specific dataset isn’t identifiable. (Your data security and anonymity are VERY IMPORTANT to us. All-caps bold important.) And finally, we spot the trends, dig into what the numbers mean, and put it all together in a lovely little package.

By adding your data , you’ll see how your museum stacks up against your peers. And, you’ll help make Benchmarks even more useful for folks just like you. Folks who want to know what kind of a digital ad budget might make sense for their nonprofit. Folks who wonder if their open rates are too low, or if their peers are pulling ahead when it comes to monthly donor growth. Folks with a deep and abiding and unashamed love for nerding out on nonprofit numbers.

There would be a time commitment on your part. We do our best to make this easy, outlining what data we need from you — mostly some data exports and coding of your message data, but it does sometimes take 8+ hours to complete. And in addition to helping make the study, after it’s released you’ll get an individualized analysis comparing the data you submitted for your organization to other organizations of your size and type. Again, we take measures to make sure that your organization’s data is confidential and non-identifiable in the final study. Only you will know how your organization stacks up in the end!

If you would like to participate, fill out this form to let us know. And of course, let me know if you have any questions at all.

Thanks so much,

Yoon Lee

Senior Vice President, M+R


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