One program close to my heart at KNow is our annual pro bono project. Since we just shared the results of last year’s project with the beneficiary team, it’s on my mind and I want to take the opportunity here to share the benefits of doing this type of work. It’s good for the heart, the mind, and your organization’s creativity and growth!
Our team appreciates the chance to help our clients pursue a greater understanding of their audiences in order to better serve their needs, but we also know that there are many companies and organizations that don’t have the budget for research. These can be nonprofits, start-ups, or brands in a pinch; teams who want to find an economic way to listen.
Here’s how it works:
1. A chance to help. Every year, our team members have the chance to nominate an organization in need. They first connect with the organization to understand what they hope to learn and what they look to do with the insights once they have them and then present that story to our team.
2. The opportunity to engage. Our entire team votes on the company that will become the beneficiary of the project. A private poll is sent out to determine who on the team wants to play a role in the project, and in which capacity(s).
3. Space to play. Then the fun begins! This is a great way to test out new techniques and methodologies! We have used these projects to pilot our digital Booth® Insights technique, try new incentive formats, build our first social media dashboard, perfect our AV tools, and much more.
4. Ways to learn. This type of project is a great space for team engagement and learning as well. We have given team members chances to learn new skills, become podcast producers, flex their quant muscles, and test out their intercept interviewing skills; all within the safe boundaries of a team-led project. We’re there to support each other all along the way – and always have a Plan B, or C, or D up our sleeve!
5. Stories to preserve. The beneficiaries of these studies also appreciate getting the word out about their ideas and their solutions. They generously invited us to use their case stories as examples and samples, conference presentations, demo reels, and white papers. This helps us not only promote the actionable insights we can produce but share the story of the recipient brand.
We encourage agencies to consider this way of giving back, both to organizations in need and to your team. Engagement and learning opportunities go two ways and everyone benefits!
For more inspiration, check out our presentation on how Nonprofits Need Research Too which showcases how market research can benefit non-profit organizations (and any company on a tight budget!).