Historically there has been a heavy reliance on legacy income – forming almost a third of the voluntary income requirements. It was decided that fundraising activities, including legacy marketing should be reviewed. The hospice also had a successful lottery, eleven shops and fourteen branches of the Friends of Rowcroft. A key strategy for the Hospice was to move away from a potential reliance on legacies
The management team wanted to understand the current levels of awareness of, and the barriers and motivations to, supporting Rowcroft Hospice. They also wanted to examine the attitudinal and behavioural traits of existing donors and prospective donors.
A key aspect was to gain insight into how Rowcroft Hospice could effectively build on relationships with existing donors – helping increase entrenchment and loyalty. It was also important to understand the most effective ways to ‘market’ the Hospice to prospective donors to encouragement initial ‘engagement’ and donor-ship.
We devised a research “road map” to recommend the most appropriate methodologies to reach four identified audiences – existing donors, the wider community, volunteers and lottery members. We combined a postal (donors – 9,000 mailing) and face to face (wider community – 500 interviews) survey with post survey qualitative focus groups to probe fully on the key issues identified in the surveys.
The postal surveys offered several advantages, not least the ease and cost effectiveness of administration when combined with the newsletter being produced by the Hospice. However, there were other distinct advantages unique to this particular project. Although typically viewed as an ‘impersonal’ method of research, postal surveys can often be less intimidating than face-to-face, or telephone interviews, when dealing with sensitive issues – allowing the respondent to complete the survey in a personally controlled manner. Because we were investigating many issues of a more qualitative and probing nature, a postal survey allowed both the space and time for considered depth responses.
Following the completion of the research Rowcroft was able to develop it marketing strategy and tactical activity to help increase its brand awareness and develop its links with its donor base and volunteers.