Public Resource

A Practitioner's Guide for Measuring Movements

Brittany Bennett, Sunrise Movement

In this blog post from May 2021, Brittany Bennett, the Data Director for Sunrise Movement, breaks down her five metrics for measuring people power in a movement. Using a table of all a supporter's actions over the course of their engagement with Sunrise in chronological order - the "one table to rule them all - Ms. Bennett identifies five metrics that offer insight into the efficacy of an organization's organizing and campaign work. She delineates each of them links them back to the table, and show how they can be used to align an organization's programs in order to maximize its organizing. 

The five elements are:

  1. Total engagement of the base month to month.
  2. New members to the movement.
  3. Lowbar to Highbar conversion.
  4. Repeat Actions.
  5. Member Absorption.

Each element can help an organization answer a set of questions. 

Total Engagement helps answer these questions:

  • Do we need to change our programming or asks to be more relevant or interesting to our base?
  • Are we providing our base with enough ways to take action? Should we increase the number of asks this month?
  • What barriers might exist to taking action? How can we make volunteering with us more accessible?
  • Should we repeat any popular actions? Not run any actions that didn't perform well?

New members to the movement:

  • Should we repeat any actions to bring in more people?
  • Do we need to tweak the programming of any actions to resonate more with the people we're attempting to reach?

Lowbar to Highbar conversions:

  • What interventions should or can we make to encourage more people to take Highbar actions?
  • What barriers and limitations can we remove from our culture, programming, or structure?
  • What new programs should we create that will resonate with our base?

Repeat Actions:

  • Should we run a reengagement campaign, and on who, to encourage more repeat actions
  • How large is our crowd? What kind of engagement on Lowbar actions can we expect, and how does that impact our strategy?
  • What are common actions among people who take multiple actions, and can we do more of these?

Member Absorption:

  • Are our programs effective at absorbing people as members, why or why not? And what can we do to improve them?
  • Which of our programs are the best at absorbing members long-term, and should we repeat them? and how?