Research for fundraising

Research for fundraising

We have conducted qualitative and survey research with sponsors and donors for arts organisations.

We found out what would motivate people to donate, and how the organisation can foster a sense of philanthropy among members and stakeholders, and answering such questions as : What programme would suit donors best? What stories work best in our newsletter?

Case study: how the major opera companies around the world seek donations

Using a  desk-based qualitative research technique called discourse analysis, we discovered that:

  • Some of these international opera companies presented their plea to donors as a vital life support. Donors “help” the company produce opera, or help the company “maintain a balanced budget”. These pleas were about the company. The donor was needed to help the company, in ways that were unspecified. 
  • In contrast, other companies described the role that donors would play. They suggested that donors' philanthropy helped pay for the shoes the dancers wore for example. The donor was positioned  as “you” who has a “role to play”. The company promised that the donor would participate in “unique experiences”, “creativity”, and “inspiration”. 

How does this help?  Try crafting different two different donor or member offers - one about the need for support to keep your organisation alive and one about the pleasure the donor or member will experience. We can test these for you, to see which one appeals the most.