What the HECK do you ACTUALLY know about ‘your’ charity’s supporters, donors & campaigners?
In fact, were they ever ‘yours’ at all?
People, (donors et al), are situational, complex, wear masks, have shifting allegiances. They’ll be extremely loyal to you for a decade. And then move on, without warning, to the next big, shiny thing.
Some in the charity sector believe you should never ask ‘why?’
-> Because people don’t know what they want.
-> Because people can’t tell you what they do want (other than love, life, free Wi-Fi and the occasional free latte at the coffee shop).
Thing is this ‘why?’ question is a foundational piece of your charity’s success:
-> Why are my staff here?
-> Why are major donors donating to us not another charity?
-> Why are direct debit donations down but monthly support up?
-> Why are my service users so dissatisfied?
The purists will say oh but the quant data, the financials. We’re drowning in data. Analytics. Dashboards. Reports. This is where the answers lie. THIS is the truth.
But these will only tell you what. And will only explore the past. All the data in the world can’t tell you why.
Purists will say well qualitative (why) research is 🐴 💩. Small numbers of people. People lie.
But again this is wrong. Now qualitative research can be done at scale, with numbers even your board can get behind.
Qual research is NOT about taking your people at their word AND IS about interpreting what customers really want and need. And this takes researchers with skill, experience, and confidence.
If you are leading Marketing, Comms, Campaigns, Fundraising or even a charity, ‘why’ is about to become the most important question you’ll ask in the next 18 months.
Nothing will matter more.
This means market research. This means qualitative data at scale. This means answering and understanding people’s why.
It will guide your every decision. It will consume you. It will become your obsession. Goodness this sounds like a French perfume advert.
At Outrageous, we are obsessed with ‘why?’
We are a micro-SWAT team of activist researchers.
We hate long PowerPoints and dusty reports.
We believe charities need to ask more why questions.
Because ‘your’ people will only stick with you if you understand them. And if you help them.