How social market research empowers charities to connect with supporters

Aoife Hamilton




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Social market research is vital to charitable work.  Although passion and dedication to making a difference are the driving forces behind charitable organisations, charities face a unique challenge: How do you connect with supporters in a way that resonates deeply with their motivations and preferences? The answer lies in talking with them – and a valuable tool for this is the strategic use of social market research.

Understanding the Donor Landscape

Let’s start with market research. It’s like the compass that helps charities navigate donor motivations and preferences.

Donor Motivations: What drives someone to support a charity? Is it a personal connection to the cause, a desire to make a local impact or a passion for specific issues? Market research helps charities understand these motivations and tailor their campaigns accordingly. It’s about speaking directly to the hearts of potential donors.

Giving Patterns: Different donors have different giving patterns. Some prefer one-time donations, while others are committed to monthly contributions. By delving into these patterns, charities can create giving options that align with how supporters are comfortable donating.

Preferred Communication Channels: Do your supporters prefer email updates, social media engagement, or traditional mailings? Market research unveils these preferences, allowing charities to communicate through channels that resonate most with their audience.

Tailoring Fundraising Campaigns

Informed by insights from market research, charities can tailor their fundraising campaigns to connect with supporters on a personal level. 

Personalised Messaging: With a deep understanding of donor motivations, charities can craft messages that truly resonate. It’s about showing supporters that their contributions matter and that they are making a real impact.

Choosing the Right Timing: Market research can help to plan and time campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

Sustainable Giving Options: Understanding giving patterns enables charities to offer sustainable giving options that suit the preferences of their supporters. Monthly commitments, for example, can ensure a steady stream of support.

The Power of Social Research

Now, let’s shift our focus to social research. It’s the tool that helps charities dive deeper into the societal context of giving:

Community Dynamics: Social research explores the dynamics of communities and how they engage with charitable causes. It helps charities to develop strategies to most effectively champion their mission.

Cultural Sensitivity: Cultural nuances can significantly impact charitable work. Social research helps charities navigate these sensitivities and ensures their messaging is respectful and inclusive.

Find out how a social market research agency can assist your organisation

At CARD Group Research & Insight, we use cutting-edge research techniques, advanced analytics and behavioural science to improve stakeholder understanding. To find out more about our social market research services for third-sector organisations, please email our Director of Corporate Services, Aoife Hamilton.

About the author: Aoife Hamilton

As Director of Corporate Development at CARD Group Research & Insight, Aoife draws from more than a decade of experience in policy and social research gained predominantly in the charity and social enterprise sector. Aoife holds a BA (Oxon) in History and Politics and a CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management.