CDE project 19 sec­tion 7: research sources and methodology

Written by
The Commission on the Donor Experience
April 24, 2017

Research sources and methodology

The inspiration for this work came from a series of focus groups commissioned by CAF in spring 2016 to look at overall attitudes to charity in the wake of fundraising and other charity controversies highlighted in the media. Light & Shade research conducted six focus groups in London, Nottingham and Manchester, covering social groups ABC1 and C1C2D and age ranges 18–30, 31–55 and 55–plus as a representative sample of the public. This was intended to examine the impact of negative media coverage on attitudes, people’s engagement with charities and ways in which CAF and charities generally can respond.

We commissioned bespoke research for this project using one wave of CAF’s UK Giving survey: a YouGov online survey of 1,000 UK adults in August. We were grateful for input on our questionnaire from Ceri Edwards and Dan Fluskey of the IOF.

We followed up the findings of these research stages with an examination of existing quantitative research, looking at CAF’s extensive past research projects, including CAF’s UK Giving series and other studies. We also included findings from nfpSynergy, the US Camber Collective Money for Good project and NPC’s Money for Good UK report.

We also examined some of the literature around impact measurement, including the Inspiring Impact principles of impact reporting, and the NPC/cross sector Principles of Good Impact reporting. We also looked at some of the academic literature around giving, in particular experimental research on messaging and behaviour.

Sources are identified in the footnotes.

We are grateful for the thoughts, criticisms, data and input from a number of people across the sector: Ceri Edwards and Dan Fluskey of the IOF; Richard Turner, Jen Corley and Jan Garril; Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy, for survey data; Tri Lumley of NPC for thoughts on impact measurement and ideas for further reading; Caroline Fiennes of Giving Evidence for her thoughtful and challenging feedback; and Hanna Zagefka of Royal Holloway, University of London, for her suggestions. We are also grateful to Adam Pickering and Rhodri Davies of CAF’s Giving Thought programme for their insight and help.

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About the author: The Commission on the Donor Experience

The CDE has one simple ideal – to place donors at the heart of fundraising. The aim of the CDE is to support the transformation of fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. It is based on evidence drawn from first hand insight of best practice. By identifying best practice and capturing examples, we will enable these to be shared and brought into common use.

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