Turning Passion into Actionable Data
3/8/16 / Mollie Boettcher
Nonprofits are among my favorite clients that we work with here at Corona for a variety of reasons, but one of the things that I love most is the passion that surrounds nonprofits. That passion shines through the most in our work when we do research with internal stakeholders for the nonprofit. This could include donors, board members, volunteers, staff, and program participants. These groups of people, who are already invested in the organization are passionate about helping to improve it, which is good news when conducting research, as it often makes them more likely to participate and increase response rates.
Prior to joining the Corona team, I worked in the volunteer department of a local animal shelter. As a data nerd even then, I wanted to know more about who our volunteers were, and how they felt about the volunteer program. I put together an informal survey, and while I still dream about what nuggets could have been uncovered if we had gone through a more formal Corona-style process, the data we uncovered was still valuable in helping us determine what we were doing well and what we needed to improve on.
That’s just one example, but the possibilities are endless. Maybe you want to understand what motivated your donors to contribute to your cause, how likely they are to continue donating in the future, and what would motivate them to donate more. Perhaps you want to evaluate the effectiveness of your programs. Or, maybe you want to know how satisfied employees are with working at your organization and brainstorm ideas on how to decrease stress and create a better workplace.
While you want to be careful about being too internally focused and ignoring the environment in which your nonprofit operates, there is huge value in leveraging passion by looking internally at your stakeholders to help move your organization forward.