How to run a Successful Research for Your Non-Profit Organization Like a Pro

Blocksurvey blog author
Mar 21, 2024 · 2 mins read

Launching a nonprofit organization can be hard, especially when starting out. But the challenges you’ll face are ongoing as you need to understand who you are serving and meet the needs of your membership.

To successfully run a nonprofit organization, you need to first know your target audience, the optimal funding strategy, operations and logistics, and anything else that touches upon the requirements of running the organization efficiently. In simple terms, before you jump into the game, always perform well-structured market research.

Why is market research important?

A nonprofit organization is no less than a regular one. Though nonprofit doesn’t work in terms of profit and annual income goals, they do need to do thorough market research to identify their to-be donors and people who would benefit from the services they provide.

The key role of research is to find the preferences of the donor and identify their demographic status. With proper research in hand, the organization can work on improving the return of investment by reaching potential donors.

Only enough funding can pave the way to the long run of an organization, though donors themselves will find you if your work is notable, that won’t be the case all the time. And hence, to grow your brand, to understand the whereabouts and preferences of your donors, to enhance your existing marketing strategies, and to reach government funders, annual fund donors, and major gift donors, successful market research is indispensable.

How to run research effectively

Successful market research helps you find who your supporters are, and it enhances the donor conversion rate as you will increase your marketing tactics through your research which will also eventually decrease your financial distress by providing you with financial sustainability. It will also help you get an idea of what messaging you can use to reach these target donors.

Basic steps for research

Here are some basic steps you can follow to conduct market research that provides you back with helpful insights:

  • Have a clear objective about the information you want to collect
  • Make sure to use the available resources around you. Don’t spend a hefty sum without being clear about the other possibilities around you.
  • Develop a visually appealing, and user-friendly survey for your audience that consists of demographic data and open-ended questions.Since it has a great statistical significance and represents a larger population.
  • Execute the survey and have an in-depth analysis of the outcome.

Two ways of research

These are some common and simple ways to conduct market research. Since market research helps with the financial stability of the brand and has a lot of other added benefits, here is how you can run full-scale research to identify your target market in two detailed ways:

  1. Through primary research
  2. Through secondary research

Primary research comprises first-hand data and information such as information obtained through surveys, marketing campaigns, in-person or online interviews, and direct communication. This information which is gained directly or experienced directly is more reliable.

Secondary research includes information that is already published or available publicly, such as government statistics, case studies, research papers, industry reports, and other available data that you are able to find in the media.

Another reliable source for secondary research includes data from NCCS, The National Center for Charitable Statistics. It is the one-stop solution for all the information regarding nonprofits and is easily accessible and also is free of cost.

To have a look at the statistical reports regarding nonprofit organizations,Statista is another helpful free resource. It provides detailed insights regarding every topic about charitable nonprofits.

Though both primary and secondary research plays a significant role, primary research is the key to identifying and analyzing the behavioral patterns and thoughts of the target audience. The insights in primary research are comparatively more reliable as it is through first-hand sources so you can vet them appropriately and see that they serve your very specific need.

For successful research, we recommend you to do a mix of both primary and secondary research, while also focusing more on the first-hand data.

Also read: Top 15 Non-profit organizations in the US

Ready to get started?

Research for a nonprofit can be an easy task while compared to the intense research that may be required for the other types of organizations. That’s because the support and the number of audiences are usually high in nonprofits and hence running market research with an effective plan in mind won’t be that hard.

Once the market research is done, have a well-curated plan for pitching people from your potential donor profiles and donor list, as it would lessen your burden. If you have a highly engaging and involved set of existing donors, the work would be much simpler than you imagine.

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blog author description

Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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