About KYOB

Colleen DIlenschneider Know Your Own Bone

What is KYOB?

Successful nonprofit organizations do not choose between social mission and financial sustainability. Know Your Own Bone is a blog about online engagement strategies with a lean toward business-related best practices and achieving long-term organizational relevance.

Know Your Own Bone focuses on your audience and how they think and behave. Sometimes the things that organizations think are great business ideas are actually shortsighted and may lead to an organization’s demise (i.e. when museums commit “Blockbuster Suicide,” offer discounts on social media channels, or build marketing plans around what they offer and not for whom they offer it). KYOB posts task organizations with answering the question: Is what we are doing aligning with market behavior/expectations while aiding our mission and also ensuring our future financial success? (And – hopefully – KYOB posts provide helpful data, case studies, and best practices to aid in a hearty “YES” in response).  So, how does social media and online engagement drive attendance? I have a lot of data that answers that question, but here are the basics.

Why “Know Your Own Bone?”

Henry David Thoreau said, “Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it and gnaw at it still.” My bone is getting people excited about social good (particularly creative, informal learning)– and (when I can) empowering the hard-working, big-hearted folks who make it possible.


Where does the data come from?

All of the data on Know Your Own Bone is from my work with IMPACTS. It comes from three sources:

  1. The National Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage Study. This is the source of a vast majority of the data published on Know Your Own Bone, and I frequently refer to this ongoing study. It is both nonproprietary (meaning I have permission to share it) and also extremely large and constantly in-market. The survey currently has over 108,000 respondents.
  2. Data from other studies carried out by IMPACTS. I will make note of when these studies are used. (As a note: global data from international projects fall into this category.)
  3. IMPACTS monitors perceptions related to 224 visitor-serving organizations in the United States
  4. Client data that I receive permission to share


Three things that you should know about KYOB and me:

1) I work for a behind-the-scenes, predictive technology company called IMPACTS
I’m the Chief Market Engagement Officer for IMPACTS, a privately held company that provides predictive intelligence to inform development, economic, marketing and policy strategies. My team works primarily with the Company’s nonprofit, visitor-serving clients to establish digital marketing best practices, develop strategic marketing plans, and manage the deployment of multiple digital marketing tactics. We think of ourselves as a “behind the scenes” company because we believe that our clients – the organizations who strive to achieve meaningful social impacts at the very core of their missions – are the stars who deserve the spotlight.  This, folks, is my day job. It’s also my passion and it’s laced into nearly everything I write here on KYOB.

2) A vast majority of the data I share is supplied by IMPACTS
It’s also usually the first time it’s been published for the public, was generally rather pricey for the company to acquire, and is being shared only after my significant hounding of the Company’s (very generous) CEO, arguing that the data will “better the sector.” During my work at IMPACTS, I keep my eyes peeled for interesting data relevant to the general market, and then ask IMPACTS if I may share that bit of data with nonprofit professionals. I like to think of myself as a private-sector/nonprofit-sector double agent (…with permissions).

3) I blog to help the nonprofit sector
I blog because every day I’m in meetings with access to insanely awesome, blindside-the-nonprofit-CEO data and analytics – and often that data is important for the sector to move forward. If it’s not data, then it’s a best practice that has caused a stir among clients, also begging to be shared. Certainly, a very vast majority of the information that I have is proprietary, but KYOB is a platform to share what I can. You won’t catch ads on this blog. My goal is knowledge transfer – not commerce.  I write KYOB because I think it’s the right thing to do (and, as I mentioned, I am a sneaky double agent… or perhaps just a millennial who cannot keep her mouth shut ). 😉


I hope that you’ll share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments section of KYOB posts and that you’ll connect on Facebook and Twitter or . I’m grateful to have a terrific group of readers who are busy pursuing their own passions and who help keep the nonprofit sector rolling along. Thanks for reading and I hope that you find this blog helpful to you and your organization.