For families struggling to make ends meet, navigating the systems set up to help them can be daunting and demoralizing. By the time many people walk through our doors, they feel hopeless. LIFT is committed to building trusting relationships – starting first by treating people with dignity and respect. We not only emphasize customer service, but we actively ask the parents we serve (our members) for feedback after every meeting with them.
While LIFT historically tracked member progress on goals, such as access to benefits, housing and employment, we struggled to track member progress on less tangible metrics. At the core of our evaluation is a commitment to systematically listen to our members. Since we first implemented Constituent Voice, our members have been providing us fascinating insight into what matters most to them, allowing us to serve them better. The survey is also unique because it helps LIFT assess relationship quality along with members’ personal and social foundations – all elements of LIFT’s theory of change that we previously struggled to measure in a systematic manner.
How we listen.
Based on customer feedback principles from the corporate world, our members are telling us if we are meeting their needs in real-time. Here’s how it works:
I. Members give feedback.
Using iPads in the office, we conduct micro-surveys of members after every meeting.
II. We analyze responses.
We slice and dice the data to see where we are performing well and where there is room for improvement.
III. We make sense of the data.
We ask our members deeper layers of questions through focus groups and individual interviews to further gain ideas on how to improve our work.
IV. We change stuff.
Most importantly, we identify ways to improve our program based upon what members tell and through analysis of survey and member progress data.
Our Measurement Partners.
LIFT is proud to be a part of several cross-sector collaborations focused on evaluation and measurement. Get to know our partners below:
Fund for Shared Insight is a multi-year collaborative effort among funders that pools financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. They do this by providing grants to nonprofit organizations to encourage and incorporate feedback from the people we seek to help; understand the connection between feedback and better results; foster more openness between and among foundations and grantees; and share what they learn.
Keystone Accountability works with a wide range of partners including major foundations, international development agencies and local organizations to improve the effectiveness of social purpose organizations to develop better ways of planning, measuring and reporting social change.
Feedback Labs is a consortium of like-minded organizations committed to making governments, NGOs, and donors more responsive to the needs of their constituents. They put citizens front-and-center and aim to make inclusion, trust, and empowerment standards across the field. They bridge communication gaps between everyday people and institutions to meet the pressing needs of communities.
Here are a few pieces that influence our thinking on member feedback:
- Listening to Those Who Matter Most, the Beneficiaries, Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Beyond accountability: feedback as transformation, Alliance Magazine
- The One Number You Need to Grow, Harvard Business Review
- Constituent Voice: Technical Note 1 (v1.1), Keystone Accountability
Want to learn more?
Contact Sophie Sahaf, Vice President of Evaluation at firstname.lastname@example.org