Use your data to inspire, motivate and engage


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Michele Madden, nfpSynergy, and Gideon Burrows, Editor at

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Use your data to inspire, motivate and engage

  1. 1. Measuring and Communicating Your Impact Conference 29 June 2011CharityComms is the professional membership body for charity communicators. We believe charity communicationsare integral to each charity’s work for a better world.W: T: 020 7426 8877
  2. 2. Use your data to inspire, motivate and engageJune 2011Tel: 020 7426
  3. 3. Purpose of session• You’ve done your research. So how do you present it in a way that excites the press, inspires your supporters and impresses funders - and all without being sensationalist or inaccurate?• how to use statistics accurately• how to choose and present your data to appeal to your audiences3
  4. 4. First things first....• What IS your research?• What does it mean for your organisation?• Do you understand it?4
  5. 5. Talking about statistics5
  6. 6. Talking about statistics 13, 18, 13, 14, 13, 16, 14, 21, 13• Averages; mean, median and mode• Base• Percentages and percent changes• Sub-groups• Correlations• Confidence and significance• Standard deviation, regression6
  7. 7. What do you need to look for?• Where did the data come from?• How was it collected?• How ‘robust’ is the research?• Be careful with correlations7
  8. 8. Barriers to volunteering 80% Lack of time 5% 15% 10% Lack of skills 65% 25% No Not sure Yes 12%No opportunities 74% 14% 34% Not interested 52% 14% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Q.10. Please state whether or not the following issues are a barrier to you engaging in volunteering? Base: 25 respondents Service research, 2002 RubbishResearch Ltd
  9. 9. Exercise• Look at the chart o What is it saying? o What is interesting? o What might you be concerned about?• 3 headlines o Dull but correct o Middle of the road o Outrageous9
  10. 10. 14 12 StatutoryIncome (£ billions) sources 10 Individuals 8 Internally generated 6 Private Sector 4 2 0 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/0810 Source: The UK Civil Society Almanac 2010 (NCVO)
  11. 11. Volunteering habits Mean times 56.1 volunteered each year, 55.5 45.2 43.5 39.4 38.5 36.9 24% 21% 19% 20% 19% 18% 16% 16% Total 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75+ “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes Base: 1000 adults 16+, Britain.11 11Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2009, nfpSynergy
  12. 12. While government may not grow, individuals couldprovide more income for charitiesTotal increase in disposable income from 1980 in real terms 160% 140% Forecast 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 Base: UK12 Source: National Statistics/nVision
  13. 13. Writing it up • Give your writing passion, enthusiasm and urgency • But make it convincing and honest Tireless campaigning by environmental campaign groups led to World Leaders agreeing a new protocol for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2015. Really?13
  14. 14. Rolling out the old charity clichésOur charity...• Works in some of the poorest countries in the world...• ... recently completed a project in Poorsville, one of the UK’s most deprived areas....• ... where we’re tackling a growing trend for people to be...• ... this is rapidly turning into one of the most urgent issues facing the UK/ministers/the world/the climate...• ... hundreds of thousands are showing their support14
  15. 15. Generalisations and clichés work against impact..• The UN ranks countries in terms of poverty. We work in the bottom five.• Across the UK, three in 10 people are unemployed. In Poorsville, it’s the other way around. Only three in 10 have a job.• 120,000 have signed our petition. Twice that have Liked our campaign on Facebook. Yes, but so what....?15
  16. 16. Use your statistics to give your copy verisimilitude• Last year we worked with more than 3,000 families across the UK o Last year we worked with 945 dads, 1,564 mums, 865 pupils. And three pet dogs.• You helped fund our emergency response to last year’s floods o Your donation helped pay for 3,253 hot, crispy bacon sandwiches and 6,453 desperately steaming cups of tea for those stranded by the floods last year• Children in Tanzibon are now going to school o Tanzibon’s school age pupils used to spend their day struggling to find safe water to drink for their family. Now all they struggle with is tough maths problem set by teacher. Exercise: Try writing a line using verisimilitude, based on your statistics16
  17. 17. Make your statistics accessible• Women in some parts of Tanzania spend eight hours every day collecting water. o It takes you eight seconds to fill the kettle. It takes Miranda eight hours. o From the moment you left home this morning untill the moment you walk through the door tonight, Miranda will be collecting water in the hot sun. o Miranda walks the distance you drive to work everyday – with a barrel of water on her head.• 60,000 children in north London live in poverty. o The number of children living in poverty could fill the Emirates stadium EXERCISE : Use comparisons that work for your issue, and your audience17
  18. 18. Tell a story “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” Paint a detailed picture of one person or family affected by your issue. There are 10,000 like Terry in need of your help.18
  19. 19. Use different types of graph.... In total these 3204 organisations spend £632,391,237 in individual grants.19
  20. 20. MapsMany Eyes UK regionsmap and world map are Percentagegood and quick.Have to use all theregions, you just can’tuse the summed regions- i.e. East Midlands andWest Midlands must stayseparate. 20
  21. 21. UK region-specific number well over 2000 Scotland 91 UK wide 721Overseas 53 Ireland 46 England 67 Wales 64
  22. 22. Spontaneous awareness 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. Mapping Income £500mSpecialist Generalist Income £0m 24
  25. 25. Presenting data• Don’t overuse complex graphs and metrics o Horses for courses• Be honest and upfront about any weaknesses in the research methodology – people more likely to believe you• Be careful with percentages and quotes, do a data check• Think about the participants – would they want to be represented like this?• Don’t exaggerate, take things out of context, twist the findings – comes back to bite you!• When you’ve written it up go back to the data and check you haven’t moved too far away from the original meaning25
  26. 26. Suggested resources• BBC News Styleguide• Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers Howard Evans (Pimlico)• Many Eyes maps http://www-