Measuring Community Success More Than Just ROI

Social leaders ready to take the next step in their community journey now have access to a new assessment tool to help them evaluate their community’s strengths and weaknesses, and make better decisions to build more successful online sharing spaces for their employees, customers and partners.

The Community Performance Benchmark (CPB), developed by The Community Roundtable and released today, helps leaders understand how effectively their community management efforts are performing against organizational objectives. 

“Community management has evolved to the point where organizations understand the impact of communities and the best have created roadmaps and ways to measure value,” Rachel Happe, co-founder and principal of The Community Roundtable and CMSWire contributing author, noted in a press release. 

“However, goals simply tell you where you want to be, not how to get there. The Community Performance Benchmark gives you an understanding of where you are, your management gaps and your opportunities.”

How Does it Work?

Using The Community Roundtable’s Community Maturity Model as a guide, the CPB evaluates a community’s management maturity on each of eight core competencies: strategy, leadership, culture, community management, content and programming, policies and governance, tools, and metrics and measurement.

Going beyond simple ROI, evaluating on these competencies provides managers with critical data for revising strategy and informing planning. 

“Measuring ROI is important, but it’s an output,” said Happe. “What we strive to do with the Community Performance Benchmark is provide a trusted third-party evaluation that helps organizations build the systems required to deliver repeatable results, and identify areas of untapped potential to strengthen community management even further.”

The tool then compares maturity results with average and best-in-class communities that participated in the State of Community Management 2014 survey, giving a clear picture of how the community is performing, relative to others.


For example, the latest State of Community Management survey found that 76 percent of best-in-class communities had resourced roadmaps, and 85 percent could measure their community’s value. The CPB shows managers where their organization stands relative to these dimensions, making it easier to build more effective systems that deliver business outcomes. 

Finally, the CPB provides recommendations on how to strengthen community performance.

What Can We Learn?

By understanding where they are relative to the Community Maturity Model’s eight competencies, community leaders can better:

  • Assess the maturity of their community
  • Justify their community roadmap
  • Identify planning gaps and opportunities
  • Plan and budget for the future

For more information about the Community Performance Benchmark, you can visit or contact the Community Roundtable at mailto:[email protected].