How to Increase Community Awareness for a Local Cause

hands holding the world

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on nonprofit organizations. 

For context, the community development sector of the Federal Reserve System administered a COVID-19 community impact survey and discovered that the demand for nonprofit services increased by more than 70% during the pandemic. 

However, with so many people in need of support and resources, nonprofits are challenged with the task of identifying the prevalence and magnitude of issues among their local populations.       

This can be difficult to solve and dedicate time and resources towards, however, there are plenty of market research options available to nonprofits of all sizes and areas to help them better address the issues facing their communities. 

For instance, we recently conducted a successful hunger prevalence study, measuring issue prevalence among locals. Conducted for a hunger relief organization, this project produced several fascinating and valuable findings and insights.

Let’s discuss what our market research study entailed!   

The Challenge

A non-profit organization that is committed to doing whatever it takes to build a hunger-free community, contacted our market research team. 

They felt their community was unaware of how many of their peers go hungry every day. Therefore they wanted to collect data to forecast the percentage to help grow awareness of food insecurity.

The objectives of the market research were to survey residents in the nonprofits’ state on the following themes: 

  • Defining hunger
  • Measuring hunger prevalence
  • Ranking hunger against other community initiatives 
  • Identifying current motivations and barriers among residents

The Solution

To address the end client’s objectives of measuring issue prevalence among locals, Drive Research recommended using an online survey to collect feedback. 

Online surveys are a cost-effective and timely methodology that would provide the client with data to repurpose for content and PR.

The target respondent included any resident adult living in Minnesota – the nonprofit’s state of operation.

Respondents were from a variety of demographics across age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, and urbanicity.   

Recommended Reading: How to Use Online Surveys for Better Content Marking

The Approach

We typically begin each of our studies with a client kickoff call. For this study, we were only able to have a kickoff meeting with our project partner who would relay the end client’s objectives. 

As much as we would’ve liked to interact with the end client, this method still worked well. 

Multiple parties having a role in this type of study is not uncommon.

There are times when we bring on third parties to perform a specific task or phase. On the other hand, there are instances, such as this one, where our market research business was brought on to help fulfill research needs. 

For this nonprofit organization research study, we designed the survey, conducted fieldwork, and reported on the key findings. We sent the report and data files over to our partner and they handled the remaining tasks.  

The survey included 25 questions and took an average of 5 minutes to complete.

In relation to the themes listed earlier, the topics discussed in the survey included: 

  • The importance of hunger
  • The perception of hunger 
  • Insights on volunteering, donating and advocating

Once we drafted the survey, we sent it to our partner to review. After we received sign-off, the survey was programmed and tested internally within our team

To find the sample of respondents, we partnered with a third-party panel company. They could send our survey out to respondents in the targeted state in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  

The Results

The study on measuring issue prevalence among locals recruited approximately 1,600 responses and reached its targeted number of responses of 1,000 after data quality checks. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%.  

The responses that were not utilized included those who did not fully complete the survey or those who were disqualified for security purposes. Over-recruiting is common in most studies because of these reasons. 

We enact data quality measures across all phases of the project to ensure responses are valid. 

One of the measures we included for this nonprofit organization research project was attaching red-herring prompts to grid questions to eliminate respondents who aren’t reading each question thoroughly.

Data quality checks and data cleaning are necessary components for a successful study.  

Client Satisfaction

Given the confidentiality of our role in the study, we could never ask the end client directly if they were satisfied with the results. 

However, our partner client told us the nonprofit was pleased with the findings and felt the data would help them better address hunger in their community. 

While the reporting for this market research project was less involved, the data and topline findings obtained could still guide and generate future decisions and discussions. 

We explain to our clients that there is no singular way to absorb the information and everyone approaches them differently. We hope they utilize all data points and insights, both positive and negative, to help them achieve their goals. 

Contact Our Market Research Company

Nonprofits are stakeholders in the communities they serve. 

Managing resources efficiently and operating effectively is key to the success of any organization. Investing in market research will help you better understand the prevalent issues in your community and how to allocate resources to address them. 

No matter the size or focus of your organization, Drive Research knows how to create a customized nonprofit organization research project that can provide you with valuable insights about your company and the people you support!    

Interested in collaborating with our team on your next market research study? Contact us through any of the ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Justin, here.

subscribe to our blog



Public Relations Surveys Market Research Case Studies