nfpSynergy - research consultancy helping not-for-profits thrive
It has been another full and fulfilling year at nfpSynergy, providing research to support a diverse range of charities with a diverse range of needs. Naturally, many of these needs reflect the ongoing climate of a competitive and relatively austere market place. In light of this, how can charities best respond? Essentially, how can they deliver more with less?
The voluntary sector is facing up to ten years of turbulent times, warns a new report. The New Alchemy, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, says volunteering is under-valued, under-prioritised and organisations could miss a huge opportunity by not responding to changes in society.
The report, out today, says that “volunteers have too often been seen as cheap ‘service-delivery’ and a slightly unreliable resource’ to be ‘used’ for particular ends” by organisations not engaging with a changing world. It also warns that when baby boomers, those born in the late 1940s and the 1950s, reach retirement, charities will have to compete with a whole range of activities to attract volunteers, who may prioritise hobbies from skiing holidays to cruises and weekend breaks.
As a result, it says the sector will miss out on crucial skills, experience and energy and that charities need to stop viewing volunteers as a means to an end or face a decade of struggle.
It's Christmas time and as per tradition we're giving away 12 more of our reports. They address key issues like lobbying, fundraising and trust, plus a couple of niche ones like Gift Aid and media spending. Enjoy!
1. The Politics of Charities; who thinks they should be allowed to lobby?
We spoke to the general public, journalists and MPs to find out who thinks charities should lobby... and who thinks they should be political.
2. Global Digital Fundraising – a world of opportunity
Technology has changed the world we live in beyond all recognition, so how do charities adapt?
3. A Healthy Audience: is there a link between prevalence and donations?
It's often said that the charities set up to fight the most prevalent conditions raise the most money. But do they?
4. Nine campaign tactics for charities to consider before a General Election
With the election rapidly approaching, it's time to prepare with nine top tips.
5. Thanks For Everything! How charities recognise their key donors
All charities fundraise, but how do they show appreciation to those who made the difference?
Macmillan Cancer Support set ambitious targets in terms of service provision and delivery. A new direction in brand advertising was needed to build awareness of services and urgent need for support, whilst maintaining key brand attributes such as warmth, support, empathy and trust.
nfpSynergy was commissioned to conduct research exploring this territory alongside the core pillars of brand advertising testing. We looked at the effect on perceptions of Macmillan and the views and preferences for alternative creative approaches.
We conducted six focus groups among people living with cancer, people affected by cancer and supporters of Macmillan. This approach softened the boundaries between the different types of audience. We also conducted 12 individual in-depth interviews.
The research generated a number of key insights about aspects of the creative approaches which were working well, less well and critically why. Collating the thoughts, feelings and responses of the target audience gave a clearer idea of the challenges and rewards of different approaches and better equipped them to develop the creative in a way which will deliver.
Gap between consumer and donor confidence widens
The Donor Confidence Index is nfpSynergy's new charity sector equivalent to the consumer confidence index. As consumer confidence does not always predict people’s sentiment towards giving to charity, we have created a new index from our wealth of data to reflect the public’s warmth towards giving at any moment in time.
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My ceramic poppy arrived in the post today – one of the 888,246 made for the “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London, a poignant commemoration of the centenary of the start of the First World War. It has moved thousands of visitors and was an inspiring fundraising initiative, with the proceeds of each sale benefiting selected service charities.