How often have you found yourself battling ideas, trying to come up with a way to better deliver the services you offer, how to gain new support, build on relationships – the list could go on as to what people/organizations battle with, but, there could be an ‘easy’ solution – Focus Groups. 

If you have an annual appeal coming up, no doubt you’ve reviewed the debriefing notes from your last appeal and know how it went, what worked and what didn’t. 

It’s the ‘what didn’t’ that needs looking at, it’s where using focus groups can help. 

It’s important to have a representative group comprising both supporters and open/receptive non-supporters, so as to hear both attitudes to why people do and don’t support, why some saw your campaign as appealing and thus supporting as will as why people weren’t attracted by your campaign. 

There’s lots of potential to be gained from getting a group together, keep it relatively informal – maybe a wine to welcome participants before getting started, this time will also give everyone a bit of free networking time to get to know each other and act as an icebreaker. 

Agenda for a focus group could be: 

Participants arrive – 15 min networking

Introduction – 5-10 minute introduction as to why the get together and your hopes from it

Round table – 3 min intro from each participant

Ask the question/s – Why you support and why you don’t 5 min+ from each participant as to why they support and why they haven’t supported.

Recap – Using what you’ve gleaned give brief overview of what you’ll take on board for future campaigns.

Invite to remain – Ask everyone to stay behind for some socialising. Use this time to thank each person individually for their input AND time, also an ideal time to expand on any answers to questions you may not have had time to fully cover earlier.

Has your organisation done anything like this – what impact, effect has it had on future campaigns?



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