By Richard Thornton

As we strive to grow our OpinionHUB marketplace and increase our panel intake through partnerships, another key area for us is the not-for-profit arena. This sector can significantly benefit from building and owning a panel, not only from a monetization point of view but also to help steer fundraising campaigns, gain supporter opinion, and garner engagement.

Loyalty and engagement are buzzwords in retail but with factors such as a rise in the number of charities requiring support, along with the pressures on incomes affecting charity donations, the third sector not only has to stay one step ahead to gain supporters, but retain them. Many charities have started using social media channels to help engage their supporters but some are choosing to take the market research panel route which holds multiple benefits.

Creating loyalty

Firstly, begin asking the opinion of supporters when it comes to a fundraising campaign. Find out what resonates with them with regard to the charity’s work and mission, or what drives their support to the campaign? Doing this is a must in order to retain supporters and potentially increase the level of donations over time. One of our surveys showed that 62 per cent of consumers will feel more loyal to a brand that has sought their opinion; this also applies to charitable organisations making it an important factor that mustn’t be overlooked.

Gaining reliable insights

Gaining supporter opinion about fundraising activities is an obvious benefit to a charity with its own research panel. Additionally, due to questionable and often contradictory statistics which can surface, an organisation with its own panel can be sure of the quality and relevancy of the data. Research findings can also be compared to the actual donations income data. This negates inaccurate results that are often caused by the common ‘social desirability bias’ (in which people who are asked about their charitable giving over-exaggerate in order to appear more generous). In lieu of reliable statistics in the third sector, a well-reported issue which can affect how a charity approaches its fundraising strategy, a charity with its own panel will be able to use its own data to monitor trends and opinions.

Increasing revenue

The key objective of any charity, to find new and innovative ways of generating further revenue, is no mean feat. Charity owned panels can also be made available for others to do research on them via market research platforms and marketplaces (like OpinionHUB). This generates extra income for the panel owners (charities) as researchers pay them to send surveys to the panelists. Furthermore, panelists taking part in online surveys will also receive a payment, so they can then choose to donate this to the charity as an additional way of supporting. For the charity owning the panel, they could be in for a double-win!

To charities that have not yet taken the step, building and establishing a panel may seem like a costly or time-consuming process. However, the range of solutions available now to support them in doing this means it’s easy and quick to both build and maintain; allowing charities to reap the rewards for years to come.

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