You all know that the key to fundraising is building and maintaining relationships with current and prospective donors. Focus groups are a great way to get to know your donors even better and find out what inspires them.
Benefits of using focus groups:
- Provides deeper insights and broader perspectives on a variety of topics.
- An efficient, low-cost strategy to gather authentic data.
- Increases participation and engagement of stakeholders, fostering loyalty.
- Provides inspiration for future targeted communication and marketing.
Steps for coordinating focus groups:
1. Determine the purpose and objectives for the focus group.
It could be fundraising, strategic planning, program development, etc.
2. Recruit a professional facilitator to engage participants by creating an open environment where they can speak freely.
The most effective facilitator will have no prior history with your organization.
3. Identify a note taker if necessary.
4. Recruit 7-10 participants who are comfortable expressing their thoughts.
This can include donors as well as beneficiaries, vendors, board members, and community stakeholders. You may choose to conduct several focus groups and divide participants by age, affiliation, gender, or race/ethnicity.
5. Establish a focus group agenda and questions.
Remember the purpose and objectives you created earlier.
6. Schedule the focus groups on a continuing basis.
Focus groups are most effective when you incorporate them into your long-range plan rather than having a few isolated sessions.
7. During the focus group, capture thoughts and ideas and record the session.
Be sure to tell participants in advance that their responses will be recorded but kept anonymous.
8. Create a focus group report.
List recurring themes and identify major findings of each group. Then determine action steps related to your findings. Share this report with participants, your board of directors, staff, and other stakeholders.
Focus groups help your organization find out what stakeholders want, while helping donors become more inspired and closer to you when they see how important they are to your mission.