nfpSynergy - research consultancy helping not-for-profits thrive
I clicked onto Third Sector’s website last week to read the charity news. It’s a sad sign of the times that two of the first three stories were damaging for the sector. Even sadder was that they were both about fraud. It’s not unusual. I began to think, is the charity sector just more vulnerable to theft? Possibly, possibly not. I really don’t think it matters whether it is or not. And here’s why.
A quarter of parents give to charity because their children ask them to, new research suggests. The poll, out today, also shows that the same number are talked into fundraising by their offspring and one in ten are inspired to live a healthier lifestyle.
The survey, carried out by nfpSynergy among 240 parents in Britain, shows that 23% were asked by their children to give to good causes and did so as a result. The same number were talked into taking part in a fundraising event, while 9% became volunteers at their children’s suggestion. Kids are also persuasive when it comes to living better, with 22% of parents saying they became more environmentally friendly and 18% stopping smoking, eating more healthily or doing more exercise.
nfpSynergy also surveyed 550 11-16 year olds to see what they thought. 60% said they had talked their parents into donating, while 38% said their parents had fundraised and 24% thought their parents had become volunteers because they’d asked them.
The Children’s Society wanted to hear feedback from supporters and potential supporters about their current positioning, and explore alternatives. They wanted to tailor their positioning to reflect a new strategic direction and develop a consistent suite of messages that could be tailored for different audiences, whilst remaining true to their underlying values.
We conducted focus groups among supporters and non-supporters open to supporting The Children’s Society. We conducted research among supporters and non-supporters using focus groups, as we knew the group dynamic would most likely elicit brainstorming responses to multiple positionings and generate a winner. At the very least, elements from each could together be a winning combination.
The focus groups were a rich source of insight into both supporting children’s charities in general and the positionings for The Children’s Society in particular. We were able to give them guidance on which were the most and least powerful hooks in terms of messages and how to differentiate themselves from other charities in the sector. The Children’s Society also gained a clear idea of the mind-set of both its current and potential supporters. The project enabled them to select which messages to use and with whom and when in the supporter journey to use them, meaning they can now engage people more effectively.
Lobby Act could stop us speaking out for our beneficiaries, say charity workers
There has been a lot of debate over the past 18 months about the ramifications of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (Lobbying Act) for the third sector. But what impact has this legislation actually had on charities?
nfpSynergy has been exploring this question in a number of ways over the past six months. Our full findings will be released in a free report next month, but here are a few tasters:
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Since starting as a Research Assistant at nfpSynergy a little over three months ago, I've been surprised at how shallow my understanding of the charity sector was. Before coming here I volunteered as a researcher at a very small NGO. At the time, I thought that working on a project proposal and dealing with grant applications gave me some idea of the challenges that charities face, but after a few months of working on our Monitors and reports I've realised that the charity sector is far more complex than I knew.