Impact: A Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects

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Journalism & Media Innovation, Engaged Communities


To create a practical guide to help organizations analyze the impact of their community information and media projects. The guide synthesizes Knight Foundation internal insights from evaluating the Knight Community Information Challenge and journalism projects over two years. It includes a set of assessment tools, tips and examples from individual projects.

Key Questions: The guide is designed to help grantees and others manage and strengthen their projects by answering questions such as:
· What questions should I ask when evaluating my information and media project?

· What outcomes should I track for my project?

· How can I best utilize web analytics and social media tools to understand reach and online engagement?

Report Partners: The report was produced in partnership with FSG Social Impact Advisors.


• Project Description and Related Outcomes – Describe project activities and their purpose for advancing your goals.

• Target Audience and Project Design – Define your audience to inform your website design and track outcomes.

• Evaluation Purpose and Key Questions – Engage stakeholders to develop key questions that ensure the evaluation produces information that will improve the project and inform communications to your key stakeholders.

• Website Analytics – Tips on how to use website traffic data to examine meaningful outcomes related to your project’s reach, penetration and engagement.

• Social Media Analysis – Tips on how to use social media techniques to track: (a) the reach and diffusion of information generated by and about your project; and (b) audience sentiment related to your project. The guide includes a list of simple, useful social media analysis tools, such as Facebook Insights, which tracks followers, messages and fans.

About our Journalism & Media Innovation focus area

Our goal at Knight Foundation is to preserve the best aspects of journalism and use innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age.

About our Field-wide Research methodology

Field Research is primary and secondary research done for Knight Foundation.