Drakes Bay Fundraising
A Next Generation Fundraising Company

Archive for the ‘Focus Groups’ Category

Recession Bites Assets

Posted by Christopher Dann
Thursday July 7, 2011
Categories: Focus Groups, Research

Blog #10

Recession Bites Assets

If Gretchen Morgenson’s Reckless Endangerment hasn’t closed your eyes and ears to anything the Federal Reserve may say from now on, there are data from their report, Aftermath of the Storm: Family Finances from 2007 to 2009¹, worth the while of fundraisers and nonprofit financial management executives.

The Fed’s surveys of household finances are usually conducted every three years. But the Great Recession prompted them to re-interview 2007 survey respondents.

The report documents that overall median household net worth fell 23.4% from 2007 to 2009.

Here are data selected particularly with nonprofit organization interest in mind:

Demographic ‘09 Median % Change from ‘07
Select Age Ranges
35 – 44 $69,400 – 28.5%
45 – 54 $150,000 – 25.9%
55 – 64 $222,300 – 13.7%
65 – 74 $205,500 – 11.7%
75 or older $191,000 – 16.6%
College degree $294,600 – 17.2%
Homeowner $244,800 – 21.3%


Thanks, again, to New Strategist (www.newstrategist.com) to bringing this to our attention.



Why don’t donors do what they say?

Posted by Christopher Dann
Tuesday March 22, 2011
Categories: Focus Groups, Fundraising

A recent article in Philanthropy News Digest expressed consternation that a poll showed greater donor inclination to support education than is represented by actual giving data, while the converse was shown for religious giving.  It was speculated that perhaps the reasons are that places of worship have greater opportunity to speak to donors and education has recently been especially tarred by press coverage of poor performance.

What causes this shortfall between a donor’s good intentions and their actions? Well, there are more organizations worthy of their donation than they can afford to support. And while a donor may admire a nonprofit, its message may fail to resonate enough to prompt financial support.

There’s also a donor eligibility problem that happens whenever people don’t think that an organization needs their support. Public television has a donor eligibility problem every time an “underwriter” runs the same advertising that broadcasts on commercial television.

In the end, all giving is voluntary and perhaps voting tells us more about fickle donors than anything. Since pollsters got recent elections so wrong, they learned to ask voters what they had done instead of what they intended to do.

In our focus groups, we don’t just ask what’s important to donors. We also ask what’s important to their financial support, how they would best describe their giving, and for their impressions of an institution’s financial health.

The time it takes to monitor focus groups like these is the second-best investment of time a fundraiser ever makes. You know what the first is.


Next Generation Fundraising and Drakes Bay Fundraising merged in the fall of 2013, bringing the longstanding professional acquaintances of their four principals – Tim Oleary, Carol Leister, Cindy Germain, and Christopher Dann – into a single company and combining the special resources and experiences of each to provide clients greater breadth and depth of service.

For more information about Next Generation Fundraising, click here.