Stakeholder Research Re-defined

Deep down most not-for-profit marketers know that to imprint their cause’s branding onto fundraising campaigns, they need to invest time and resources in research to uncover compelling insights about their target audience. What specifically can they tell a donor prospect that will activate their need to self-transcend and to motivate them to give to their cause, rather than to one of the 85,000+ others in Canada?

They know the same research techniques used to understand what motivates grocery shoppers to purchase one brand over another should apply to something as heartfelt as a donation. 

Most non-profits, however, don’t have the luxury of big research budgets. So they turn to their most trusted allies —Volunteers, Major Gift Donors, Board of Directors — for answers.  

Not surprisingly, these loyal individuals are eager to help and stakeholder research has become a staple for not-for-profit marketers. 

In theory, asking those who know you best can help. However, non-profits need to be mindful of falling into a common trap – if you ask an obvious question, you may very well get an obvious answer. 

HALO believes that stakeholder research is more than an exercise in seeking buy-in; it can be an effective tool to ladder up and unlock a brand’s true fundraising potential. 

Stakeholder research has to be approached using disciplined methods and projective techniques and exercises to facilitate meaningful discussion and to engage stakeholders, rather than default to the obvious questions.

See William Osler Health System case study for more.