Raising the Awareness of a Nonprofit Business [With Examples]

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Operating as a lesser-known nonprofit organization against huge national organizations can be daunting.

The struggle to obtain resources such as donations and volunteers is more difficult and the ability to serve those in need is negatively impacted by this lack of awareness.

In fact, many studies have shown that 1 in 2 consumers are more likely to do business with a company whose logo they recognize.

From a nonprofit perspective, this could apply to donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders.  

Therefore increasing the brand awareness of a nonprofit organization becomes imperative.

Perhaps the most effective strategy for achieving this goal is market research. A simple online survey can give you the answers you need to elevate your brand, remain competitive, and be effective.

Take for example a study our market research company completed where we administered a detailed non-profit brand awareness study for a hunger-relief organization.

Let’s examine what the project comprised and discovered!   

The Challenge

The hunger-relief organization wanted to understand its competitive market better and how state residents perceive their organization.

The objectives of the market research were to survey residents in to capture the following: 

  • Understanding the share of demographic segments in the state 
  • Measuring unaided and aided brand awareness of national and other local hunger relief organizations
  • Knowledge of the ~5 to 10 industry KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
  • A better understanding of the organization's mission, value, and experience

Multiple parties had a role in the study.

We had no direct communication with the end client, however, we had produced several studies for one of the other groups involved. They were very knowledgeable of the market research process and understood the clients’ needs. 

The Solution

To address the end client’s objectives, Drive Research and our partner company recommended using an online survey to collect feedback.

Online surveys are a low-cost market research methodology that is perfect for nonprofit businesses that are on a budget.

Better yet, they can be completed in a fast turnaround while still producing reliable data is reliable that can be easily quantified.

The Approach

We began the study with a kickoff call with our project partner who highlighted the end client’s objectives.

Our role was to perform the research tasks that were given to us by our project partner. These included designing the survey, conducting fieldwork, and reporting on the key findings. 

The survey included 40 questions and took an average of 8 minutes to complete.

In relation to the objectives listed earlier, the survey themes were: 

  • Awareness, Perception, and Habits
  • Insights on Perception
  • Insights on Donations
  • Sources of Awareness
  • Demographics

After we drafted and sent the survey to our partner to review, we programmed the survey and prepared fieldwork. 

The target respondent included any resident adult in pre-selected counties in the client’s state. Respondents were represented from a variety of demographics across age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, and urbanicity.  

To help us reach the targeted counties requested by the non-profit, we partnered with a third-party market research panel. They could collect enough responses in a fast amount of time that would keep us on our project schedule. 

The Results

The study recruited just over 1,300 responses and achieved its targeted number of responses of 1,000 after data quality checks. The margin of error was +/- 3.1%.  

The 300 or so responses that were not utilized included respondents who did not fully complete the survey or were disqualified for security purposes.

For example, someone who took the survey too fast or slow.

Oversampling is common in nearly all online surveys because of these reasons. We emphasize data cleaning in all surveys to ensure that the results are valid. 

Final Thoughts

Since we were limited to only a research role in the study, we could only receive feedback about client satisfaction from our project partner.

They told us the hunger relief organization was fascinated with the results and knew the findings would help them make key decisions going forward.

While the reporting for this study was not as comprehensive as other studies, the data and topline findings delivered still provided valuable data points and insights that the organization could utilize. 

We know that each client approaches the data differently. However, we believe there is no particular way to understand this information. There is always something to learn no matter which way you look at it. 

Contact Our Market Research Company for Nonprofits

Having awareness is beneficial in life and business. 

Nonprofit organizations depend on a thorough understanding of their industry, competitors, clients, donors, and volunteers to be successful.

Drive Research knows how to craft a personalized brand awareness study to give you a complete grasp of the non-profit world around you. 

Interested in partnering with our team on your next market research study? Contact us 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.

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