Collecting & Tracking Virtual Engagement Data

By Vinay Mullick

This blog post was written in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Director of Sports Management Programs at The George Washington University School of Business.


Collecting data remotely can be extremely difficult during these times of virtual programming and engagement.  But collecting data is essential in order to demonstrate your organization’s impact and reach. With this in mind, it is important to have a plan of action to track and measure success.  As recently discussed in the George Washington University Sport Philanthropy Certificate webinar on “Virtual Engagement Measurement & Evaluation,” below are different focus areas to keep in mind as you plan your approach to data collection for your virtual programs. 


General Check-Ins

If you have a way to reach your participants via phone, email, text or even snail mail, you should check-in to let them know you are there and that you care for their well-being.  If you can not reach a participant, see if there is a friend in the program who could help you reach out.  In asking if your participant needs anything, you will demonstrate that there is someone who cares about them. Moreover, this will help build or strengthen the relationship and trust. When checking in with participants, consider tracking the following data points:

  • The percentage of participants that have been contacted
  • The percentage of participants that have been reached
  • The platform through which participants have been contacted (phone, email, text, etc).  

Social Media Engagement

Depending on the platform(s) you utilize to stay in touch with participants, any of the following data points are applicable: 

  • YouTube video posts:  number of views
  • Participant challenges or assignments:  number of participants who submit/upload a post 
  • Posts:  Number of posts per platform, and the number of of likes, comments, or shares

Video Communications (Zoom, Google Hangout, Facetime, etc.) 

  • Number of attendees per session
  • Number of attendees who engaged with a camera view that is on
  • Number of video programming hours
  • Participation in video polls (i.e. Zoom polls)

Email Engagement 

  • Number of emails sent
  • Number of email responses 
  • If using an email platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact you can measure open rates and view which content is being clicked the most.  

Phone Calls & Text Messages

  • Number of calls or text messages sent
  • Numbers of call answered or returned by a live person
  • Number of response text messages received
  • Qualitative collection of participant  feedback (How are they? Where supports are needed, etc..)

COVID-19 Specific Data Points

  • Number of your staff members volunteering to support relief efforts
  • Number of items distributed at each distribution event  (PPE, food, clothing, etc..)
  • Number of participants and families impacted items distributed
  • Amount of monetary donations received to support COVID-19 efforts

Collecting and tracking the aforementioned data points will help your organization understand engagement with virtual programs and best determine if participant engagement is increasing, decreasing, or staying stable. Depending on your program delivery model, the approach can vary but the principles stay the same regardless of the medium you choose. 


Visualize Data and Share Program Impact with the UpMetrics Free Platform

The UpMetrics platform is designed to help nonprofits track key data points, visualize data, and share program impact with key stakeholders. The UpMetrics impact analytics platform is free to all  nonprofits through 2020. Nonprofits can sign up here, and view a quick video for more details.  Visit the Impact Page to view impact and fundraising profiles of other nonprofits who are utilizing the UpMetrics platform.  Please contact for more information.

The George Washington University Sport Philanthropy Certificate Program

This online program helps increase your impact, expand your network, and advance your career. To learn more email or visit

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