Expanding a Service Offering
A non-profit financial services organization, with a mission of giving to causes important to its members, was interested in finding ways to encourage members to be more generous with their giving. It conducted quantitative research to test ideas to increase financial giving but, with none emerging as clear winners, it sought to better understand members’ mindset.
To provide insight into what members might find useful and inspire them to give more, we opted for qualitative research. This would allow us to explore members’ philosophies and habits around giving, as well as get reactions to specific ideas that the client was considering. A combination of in-person and online focus groups was used to include people from diverse geographic and giving backgrounds. Participants in both focus group formats were shown stimuli to better understand situations in which they feel compelled to give and how they prefer those interactions happen. Concepts to make giving more convenient were also explored, with rich discussions to understand members' hesitations to service enhancements being considered, benefits it offered, and how ideas might be improved.
The findings revealed the path that many people follow in deciding to give to organizations, many compelling situations that influence people to give financially to a cause, and roadblocks that stunt giving. However, despite having service enhancements that would make giving easier and convenient, we could not recommend any that would have a measurable positive impact. Their current platform was addressing member needs and other problems experienced were not significant enough to drive them to new ways of giving. The client agreed and did not move forward with this initiative.