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The following is a comprehensive research project into key problems faced by the American Red Cross, including secondary, qualitative, and quantitative research and recommendation from analyses and findings.


American Red Cross Final Project Marketing Research, Spring 2012 Superior Research Chad Meier, Marcus Kelly, and Zach Rhodes


Table of Contents Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... 4 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 6 Study 1: Qualitative Research ...................................................................................................... 6 Methodology............................................................................................................................... 6 Results......................................................................................................................................... 7 Study 2: Secondary Research:...................................................................................................... 8 Study 3: Quantitative Research .................................................................................................... 13 Recommendations ....................................................................................................................... 24 Limitations ................................................................................................................................... 25 References..................................................................................................................................... 27 Appendix 1 - In-Depth Interview Guide ....................................................................................... 29 Appendix 2 – Survey ..................................................................................................................... 31 Appendix 3 – Survey Code Sheet.................................................................................................. 33


Executive Summary The American Red Cross has always been there to serve and assist in times of need throughout their history. Though almost everyone has heard of them, very few know all of the services they actually offer. We chose to do our marketing research project for the American Red Cross and used the following as our main research question: How can we increase awareness of Red Cross’ services in the area that it serves? To help answer this question, we integrated the question into our objectives for the in-depth interviews, surveys, and did secondary research to get a better understanding. When preparing for our in-depth interviews, we had six main objectives we wanted to focus on. The first being, to understand what exactly people in the Cedar Valley know about the Red Cross because we wanted to get a general idea of what is most known and for what reasons. Our second objective is to uncover individuals’ opinions regarding the Red Cross in an effort to better promotions. Third, we wanted to see how likely people are to volunteer their time to the Red Cross given their current understanding of the Red Cross. For our fourth objective, we sought how likely people are to donate to the Red Cross and reasons for their behavior. Fifth, we wanted to see if increased awareness of the Red Cross’ services would increase the willingness to volunteer and donate, and if social media such as Facebook would be a beneficial tool in raising awareness. Our final Objective which is undoubtedly our most important, was to find out if increased awareness will increase targets willingness to give time or money to the Red Cross. To achieve our qualitative objectives, we conducted six in-depth interviews with individuals grouped in two segments. The first segment was students that attend one of the many Cedar Valley colleges. The other consisted of anyone who was 22+ years old, not attending college, and must live in the Cedar Valley. In the end, we found some interesting trends and insights. First off, Red Cross has a very positive reputations,


not a single person had a negative comment on the organization. We also found that if a prospective volunteer sees that they possess the necessary skills in order to fulfill the volunteer role then there will be more responses. Also, Facebook users seem to especially pay attention to special events/promotions. Lastly we found that the more people are aware of the services Red Cross offers, the more willing people are to volunteer and make monetary donations. In conducting our secondary research we aimed our objectives at three points. First, to better understand the motivations for donating money to charitable organizations and how to improve the soliciting of businesses and individuals. Our second objective was to better understand the motivations for volunteering and how to improve the recruiting of quality volunteers. Lastly, our third was to understand the relationship between nonprofits and social media and how to maximize Facebook as a marketing tool for a nonprofit. To achieve our secondary research objectives, we split it up so each one of us were assigned to research one. We found that direct-mail solicitations are becoming less important as time goes on, and effective solicitation of younger generations will be technology based. Also, people are more willing to volunteer if they can sign-up with a friend because peer influence is a big factor. Lastly, when nonprofits want to optimize awareness on social networking sites, they should build and develop relations that because will translate into more volunteers and donations. This report includes data from our qualitative analysis, secondary research, and quantitative research which has helped to answer our main research question. The results, despite some limitations, has helped us in coming up with recommendations to assist the American Red Cross.


Introduction The Red Cross has an evident challenge with people being unfamiliar with the services that they offer. As a non-for-profit organization, marketing is not a dynamic component and is often times left out of the organization’s strategy completely. However, since the majority of individuals in the Cedar Valley are unaware of the services that the Red Cross provides, we feel that by increasing awareness of the Red Cross it will create a greater appreciation for the organization which will then trigger a surge in monetary donations as well as volunteer hours. This leads us to our main research question: How can we increase awareness of Red Cross’ services in the area that it serves?

Study 1: Qualitative Research Methodology

To achieve our qualitative object objectives, we conducted six in-depth interviews with individuals grouped in two segments. The first segment was students that attend one of the many Cedar Valley colleges. College students are some of the most targeted and exposed when it comes to promotional campaigns and that makes their insight on the best methods very useful. We limited this segment to two interviews to make it accurately represent the ratio of college students to the population in the area. The second segment consisted of anyone who was 22+ years old, not attending college, and lives in the Cedar Valley. We interviewed four persons for this segment, again to represent the ratio of non-college persons to the population. This segment is very important because they represent the majority, have a much higher income, and have a greater amount of experience. Due to our interest in social media, we selected persons that, at the least, had Facebook.


Results

As a whole, the interviewed were aware of four of the five main services the Hawkeye Chapter of the American Red Cross offers for the community. No one was aware that the Red Cross relays emergency messages between military overseas and their families. Individually, however, only one person could name three of the services. All persons were aware of the Red Cross’ disaster services, with several mentioning the Iowa floods of 2008 and remembering the Red Cross’ involvement during that time. Overall, the consensus was overwhelmingly supportive of the Red Cross’ mission and role in society. None of the interviewed had negative opinions or feelings towards the nonprofit. Two themes emerged consistently during these interviews in attempting to figure out what is the likeliness of them volunteering. If their talents align with the duties assigned to a particular volunteer role or if it gave them personal enjoyment and fulfillment, they would be more likely to volunteer. It was similar trend for the willingness to volunteer also. As for donating to the Red Cross, the first criterion we found was if the person was involved with the organization in some way personally or had been in some way associated with the cause, they’re more likely to give monetary support. The other criterion was the urgency of the cause. If the specific need appeared pressing to them, then they in turn gave monetary support. When it comes to increasing awareness of the services Red Cross offers through social media, we found that every respondent that used Facebook regularly answered positively when asked if they ever viewed business or nonprofit pages. As long as the businesses or organizations viewed were ones that had personal relevance, they would monitor their posts.


Lastly, to increase awareness/willingness to volunteer or donate, we found that by educating or informing the public about what Red Cross does will increase the likeliness for individuals to volunteer or increase their monetary contributions. Sharing information is crucial.

Study 2: Secondary Research: Our first objective is to better understand the motivations for donating money to charitable organizations and how to improve the soliciting of businesses and individuals. As stated in our qualitative research, we wanted to investigate the science of donations more thoroughly before we made any sort of recommendation associated with this objective. In our qualitative research, the focus was primarily on our respondents’ motivations for donating to charitable organizations. The two themes that were prevalent in our in-depth interviews were personal relevance to the organization and urgency of the cause. Secondary research shows that motivations for donating tend to vary among certain persons. For example, big donors are shown to be more influenced by the tax advantages of giving. As income rises, the tax advantages of charitable giving become greater and therefore motivations become less altruistic (Vesterlund 2006, 4). Despite these differences among specific persons, a consumer survey on peer-to-peer fundraising supported our personal relevance finding, with the top reason - 69% of respondents - reported for getting involved with donations to a charity being that respondents “Felt a personal connection to the cause� (Braiterman and Hessekiel 2011, 2-3). We aim to sort out motivations for donating for our target market in our quantitative research. With this variability in mind and specificity to the target market, we will turn our attention from why people donate to research on increasing donations. A study on charitable giving habits found that 77% of Matures rely on direct-mail as their means of giving, whereas 54% of Boomers,


43% of Generation X and 26% of Generation Y report giving through this channel. The study also found that Boomers and Generation X make up 60% of the donor population and are taking on a larger role in supporting charity, and suggests that peers will play a bigger role in influencing donations. The study concluded that “The marketing model needs to shift to attract the next generation of donors while supporting continued direct mail success” (Druart 2010). Two out of three people give less money to charity than they intended to due to the perceived pain of parting with one’s money. Pre-commitment is found to reduce this pain and increase donations. Researchers cite examples like deducting donations from donors’ paychecks and asking donors to pledge donations to be given at a later time or setting them up on a monthly electronic giving program. (Meyvis, Bennett, and Oppenheimer 2011, 35-36) Our next objective is to better understand the motivations for volunteering and how to improve the recruiting of quality volunteers. “People volunteer for a number of different reasons, ranging from a desire to learn new skills, have fun or make a difference” (Mckee, 2012). Some are completely devoted to the cause, while others simply wish to do their bit where and when they can. One of the more obvious reasons people volunteer is for personal fulfillment but there are many other reasons for volunteering that we also uncovered. Giving something back was a big motive for volunteering. People who volunteer in their community typically have a personal attachment to the area and want to make it a better place for themselves and for others. “Also, many people who volunteer often feel very fortunate to live the way they do and want to give something back to society, as a way of balancing the scales so to speak” (Mckee 2012).


Another reason that we uncovered was personal benefits that volunteering has on their character. Many volunteers often say that the experience has made them a better person. In most cases, volunteers also become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and many feel that they were ignorant or narrow minded before. Also, a huge part of volunteering is becoming more compassionate over time. People who have volunteered in the past often become emotionally involved and are more likely to volunteer again in the future, either on the same project or a new one. “A sense of accomplishment, recognition and feedback are also more reasons people choose to donate their time” (Mckee 2012). Many people volunteer simply for the pride that comes from completing something. Also recognition of an individual’s efforts is another thing that keeps volunteers coming back again and again. If individuals’ feel like their time and energy is going unnoticed then they will feel unappreciated and won’t volunteer ever again. Giving volunteers feedback, recognition, and even awards can be a great way to keep them volunteering time and time again. Volunteering is also a great way to gain experience in a broad range of fields. Therefore, “volunteering is an effective way to put in a little of your time and gain some valuable skills, whether professional or practical” (Mckee 2012). Additionally, people also find lifelong friendships through volunteer work so friendship and belonging can be included into the list. Finally, people volunteer to have fun. Volunteer work can be hard, strenuous, dirty and frustrating but it also can be great fun and extremely rewarding. These findings are consistent with our qualitative research. Our final objective is to get a deeper understanding of the relationship between nonprofits and social media and how to maximize Facebook as a marketing tool for a nonprofit. Social media is


a fairly new technology and the best ways to utilize these services are still being researched and written as we speak. In conducting our qualitative research, we found from our interviewees that social media is one of the most cost effective ways to gain awareness for nonprofit organizations. The interviews showed individuals do pay attention to, like, and reference relevant information they’ve acquired from social media sites. Relationships are the foundation of social networking sites. Solely having a profile will not in itself increase awareness or trigger an influx of participation. Instead careful planning and research will greatly benefit nonprofits as they attempt to develop social networking relationships with their stakeholders (Waters, Burnett, and Lucas 2009). Providing relevant information begins relationships with individuals and that is the first and most important step in gaining awareness. Social networking sites were defined as those sites driven by user-participation and user generated content, and provides a variety of ways for users to become involved in organizations (Tredinnick 2006). The problem is, what is the optimal way to get individuals to interact? Asking for e-mail addresses and ways to donate online can increase interactivity but organizations should provide a calendar of events or listing volunteer opportunities to involve people offline as well (Jo and Kim 2003, 202). The research discussed in (Waters et al. 2009) often mentioned that nonprofits wanted to be open and transparent on their social media pages, which they all succeeded in. We also found that most nonprofits, “failed to take advantage of the interactive nature of social networking. They rarely provide information in forms other than external links to news stories, photographs, and discussion board posts, and they only attempted to get interested parties involved by providing them with a contact e-mail address to obtain more information (Jo and Kim 2003, 204).


Facebook has developed many applications to assist organizations with their fundraising and relationship cultivation efforts. The most popular of them all is called Causes, which allows individuals to donate to a registered organization and recruit others to support the cause (Facebook Fundraising 2007). We also found that most nonprofits lack the resources or time to provide constant attention to a social media page. College interns and volunteers are often in charge of managing nonprofits Facebook presence because they have knowledge on appropriate uses of the site and are often already personally invested into social networking (Waters et al. 2009).


Study 3: Quantitative Research Demographics of Surveyed Of the 99 surveys we received, 55 were male and 41 were female. Both genders were strongly represented and it will be able to be determined if there are differences among these groups. In regard to age and income, there were several representatives from each respective bracket, as seen in the charts below. The college-aged demographic was represented in a proportion that is close to the population. There are enough respondents from a majority of the categories to find differences here as well.

Age

Individual Income # of Respondents

35

# of Respondents

30 25 20 15 10

40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

5 0 18-22 23-31 32-39 40-47 48-63 64+

81 of the respondents lived in Blackhawk, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Fayette, or Grundy counties, while only 6 did not. We were successful in seeking out those that had residence in the Cedar Valley area.


We also got a great representation of both high school diploma and 4-year degree holders:

Highest Level of Education Completed # of Respondents

50 40 30

20 10

0 Less than High School

High School / GED 2-Year College Deg. 4-Year College Deg. Masters Degree Equiv.

Results The first portion of our findings is for the respondents as a whole. Differences among groups are investigated later in the report. Knowledge of the Red Cross The first part of our survey consisted of questions designed to test the respondent on how much they knew about the Red Cross. 41% of respondents believed the Red Cross receives government funding. 32% of respondents believed that there is not a chapter of the Red Cross in the Cedar Valley. Only 30% of respondents could name at least one service that the Red Cross offers. The table below shows the number of respondents that named that respective service. Note only one respondent of 99 could name Military Services, Lifeguard Training, or Babysitter Certification. All of this points to the fact that the community really has little knowledge of the Red Cross and its services. The responses are shown below.


Blood Services

Disaster Services

First Aid / CPR

Birth Control

15

10

9

2

Military Services

Lifeguard Training

Food Drives

Babysitting Cert.

1

1

1

1

Volunteerism The average respondent volunteered 0.52 hours/week with a standard deviation of 1.35 hours. We asked those that volunteered if they agreed with specific motivations for volunteering on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being disagree and 7 being agree (same scale used for all scaled questions). We hypothesized that volunteers top motivation is gaining personal fulfillment. A one-sample t-test confirmed our hypothesis. The data is shown below. Note that all motivations are statistically significant. These results validate our qualitative research findings. Motivation for Volunteering Because I gain personal fulfillment. Because I like to help people. Because I’m good at the task I’m assigned. Because I have to.

Mean of Scores

Standard Deviation

t

P-value

5.918

1.3438

9.993

0.000

5.867

1.4281

9.153

0.000

4.878

1.3289

4.623

0.000

2.786

1.8512

-4.592

0.000

We hypothesized that respondents would be willing to volunteer for the Red Cross. We asked three questions designed to uncover their true disposition towards this prospect. The question we feel is most relevant was whether they would agree with the statement, “I will volunteer for the Red Cross in the next year.” We ran a one-sample t-test and found our hypothesis to be correct. Respondents are willing to volunteer for the Red Cross ( =4.376,


=1.4913, t=2.485, P=0.015); however, note that 4 being “no opinion” and 7 “agree”, the mean 4.376 is not a strong yes. Monetary Donations 61% of respondents give $0 / year to charitable organizations, 30% give $1-100 / year,

Donation Amount to Charities per Year

Donation Amount to Red Cross (All-Time)

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

# of Respondents

# of Respondents

and the remaining 9% give anywhere from $101-1000 / year to charity. See charts below.

76% of respondents have never donated money to the Red Cross, 18% have donated $1100, and the remaining 6% have donated anywhere from $101-5000 to the Red Cross. See table below. Interesting to note that roughly a quarter of people in the Cedar Valley have given money to the Red Cross before, and 63% of those that donate to charitable organizations have given to the Red Cross. The top method of giving was in-person at 58% of those who gave, followed by direct mail and online both at 19% of those who gave, and less than 5% for all other methods. The full results are displayed in the chart below.


Donation Method # of Respondents

20

15 10 5

0 In-Person

Direct Mail

Online (Laptop Mobile Phone Text Messaging or Desktop) (Web-based)

Over Phone

We asked those that donated if they agreed with specific motivations for donating money to charitable organizations, using the same 1 to 7 scale. We hypothesized that the top motivation is due to a personal tie to the organization. A one-sample t-test confirmed this was a significant reason, but the top reason for donating was the urgency of the cause. The data is shown below. These results validate our qualitative research findings. Motivation for Donating Money Due to the urgency of the cause. Due to a personal tie with the organization. Because it makes me look better. Due to tax benefits.

Mean of Scores

Standard Deviation

t

P-value

5.513

1.4072

6.714

0.000

5.077

1.7379

3.870

0.000

3.538

1.7636

-1.634

0.110

3.382

1.7376

-2.194

0.035

We hypothesized that respondents would be willing to donate money to the Red Cross. We asked three questions designed to uncover their true disposition towards this prospect. The question we feel is most relevant was whether they would agree with the statement, “I will donate money to the Red Cross in the next year.� We used the same 1 to 7 scale. We ran a onesample t-test and found our hypothesis to be incorrect. Respondents, as a whole, are not willing


to donate money to the Red Cross ( =3.448, =1.8064, t=-3.007, P=0.003). Note that the results may be partially colored by the fact that many respondents initially felt they were being asked for money prior to taking the survey; however, we feel this is fairly representative of the attitude towards giving money to the Red Cross. Social Media 73% of our respondents have Facebook. We knew the proportion would be high, but 73% is impressive. Equally as impressive, 53% of respondents that use Facebook use it at least once a day, and the remaining 47% use it once a week or less. The top three uses of Facebook were: staying in touch – 94% of users, looking at pictures - 52% of users, and scheduling events – 35% of users. We were most interested in how many Facebook users find deals / promotions / special events through Facebook, which turned out to be 18% of users. We feel that this percentage will increase as social media is used more and more among businesses and nonprofits. See the chart below for all responses.

How Respondents Use Facebook # of Respondents

70 60 50 40

30 20 10 0 Staying in Touch

Looking at Pictures

Scheduling Events

Making New Friends

Finding Deals / Promotions / Special Events

Playing Games

Marketplace

One of our most important questions regarding social media was whether a Facebook user agreed with the statement, “If I received an event invite for the Red Cross via Facebook, I


would consider going.â&#x20AC;? We used the same 1 to 7 scale. We ran a one-sample t-test and found our hypothesis to be correct. Facebook users would consider going to a Red Cross event if they were invited through Facebook ( =5.188, =1.3479, t=-7.324, P<0.000). High Awareness vs. Low Awareness One of the most important group comparison analyses we conducted was the differences among those that were more aware and informed of the Red Cross and its services against those that were less aware and informed of the Red Cross and its services. One method we chose to find seek out any potential differences was comparing the means of the group that knew of at least one Red Cross service (Aware Group) to the means of the group that knew of no services (Unaware Group).

We tested three hypotheses. First, that the Aware Group would be more appreciative of what the Red Cross does. Second, that the Aware Group would be more willing to volunteer for the Red Cross in the next year. Third, that the Aware Group would be more willing to donate money to the Red Cross in the next year. We ran an independent samples t-test with

= 0.05 for

all three hypotheses and all but willingness to donate were confirmed. The Aware Group was more appreciative of the Red Cross, and more willing to volunteer, but was not statistically significant in terms of donating; however, there is clearly a trend. See the chart and table below.

t

Aprc. of Red Cross

Will Volunteer

Will Donate

2.462

4.180

1.662


p

0.016

0.000

0.106

This finding is crucial because it answers one of our major research questions – “Does increased awareness about the Red Cross and its services constitute an increased willingness to volunteer and donate money?” The independent sample t-test proves that increased awareness does increase the willingness to volunteer and with a larger sample it would most likely be proved for donating money as well. Therefore educating the inhabitants of the Cedar Valley will increase their willingness to volunteer and donate money to the Red Cross. Interestingly enough, the Aware Group’s average volunteer hours for all charities per week is 0.679 compared to only 0.467 with the Unaware Group. There isn’t a significant difference, but note the trend. Experience vs. No Experience The second set of groups we tested against each other: Experienced Group – a group that had at least one experience with the Red Cross; versus the Inexperienced Group – a group that had no experiences with the Red Cross. 9 respondents had an experience: 6 donated blood, 1 had volunteered as a bell ringer, 1 had a relative that worked for as a nurse for the Red Cross, and 1 had gone through CPR training for their job. Ideally, we would have more respondents for the Experienced Group, but this is enough to see trends. We tested four hypotheses. First, that the Experienced Group would be more appreciative of the Red Cross. Second, that the Experienced Group would be more willing to volunteer for the Red Cross if asked. Third, that the Experienced Group would be more willing to volunteer for the Red Cross in the next year. Fourth, that the Experienced Group would be more willing to


donate money to the Red Cross in the next year. We ran an independent samples t-test with

=

0.05 for all three hypotheses and all but willingness to donate were confirmed. The Experienced Group was more willing to volunteer if asked, but was not statistically significant in terms of

Agree No Opinion

5.00

Disagree

Differences Between Expereienced Group and Inexperienced Group 7.00

2.00

6.39

6.03

6.00

5.78 5.11 4.61

4.00

4.30

4.63 3.34

Experienced Inexperienced

3.00

1.00 I appreciate what the Will volunteer for theWill volunteer for the Will donate to the Red Cross does Red Cross if asked Red Cross in the next Red Cross in next year year

Aprc. Will volunteer in Will donate money Will volunteer if asked of Red Cross next year in next year t 1.273 3.229 1.925 1.951 0.061 p 0.230 0.007 0.081 volunteering in the next year, donating, nor appreciation; however, there is clearly a trend. See the chart and table below.

This is also a very important finding. The independent sample t-test proves that increased awareness does increase the willingness to volunteer and with a larger sample it would most likely be proved for donating money as well. Thus targeting those that have had an experience with the Red Cross would be prudent for both fund-raising and recruiting volunteers. Note that those with a Red Cross experience are much more willing to volunteer if asked than those without an experience.


Now considering behavioral data, we ran a cross tabulation analysis for the Experienced Group and Inexperienced Group, to see where each stacked up in their total monetary donation amount to the Red Cross. Since only 9 respondents with an experience with the Red Cross, it is difficult to say whether this trend would keep up, but it is interesting to note that only 22% of the Experienced Group had donated no money to the Red Cross, compared to 81% of the Inexperienced Group. See table below for the Cross Tabulation table. # of Respondents

$0

$1-100

$101-500

$501-1000

$1001-5000

Had Experience

2

5

1

1

0

No Experience

73

13

2

1

1

Age Another comparison we made was in the differences among each age bracket. We made four hypotheses. First, that there would be a difference between age and the likeliness to volunteer for the Red Cross in the next year. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) proved this hypothesis to be correct. Age 18-22 23-31 32-39 40-47 48-63 64+

Mean 3.98 4.85 4.83 4.45 3.25 5.50

S.D. 1.48 1.17 1.16 1.95 1.67 2.12

F

2.521

Sig.

0.35

Only two respondents were in the 64+ range, so it is difficult to say whether that high willingness would hold up, but it is possible since many retired persons in that age range have more free time and likely are looking to give back to the community. The 23-31 and 32-39 age


ranges, which both had plenty of respondents, are the most willing to volunteer for the Red Cross.


Recommendations Through our research, we have come up with a list of recommendations that will assist the Red Cross in gaining awareness of their services they provide and in turn increasing the amount of volunteers and monetary donations. First off, the Red Cross should to spend more time on educating the public about what it is they really do. Only 30% of respondents could name a single service the Red Cross provided. There needs to be clearer communication and an emphasis on educating the public on what services the Red Cross provides. Red Cross has a very positive perception in the community, but a lack of true understanding of the Red Cross and its services is a serious threat. Second, we believe the Red Cross should really focus on recruiting volunteers as a way of attracting lifelong donors. As a whole, people are not willing to donate money to the Red Cross, but they are willing to volunteer for the Red Cross. As we saw, from those that had an experience with the Red Cross or knew of at least one service were more likely to donate money to the Red Cross than those that did not have an experience or knew of no services. Once a person has volunteered, even just once, they then know of at least one service the Red Cross provides and have had an experience and that makes them significantly more willing to donate money in the future. In terms of recruiting volunteers, we recommend the Red Cross make heavy-use of volunteer testimonials that link the personal gratification they receive from volunteering to the good they are doing for others. People seek fulfillment in their lives and they will be able to relate to such testimonials. These testimonials could be implemented in all mediums, i.e. chapter website, Facebook, etc.


The Red Cross really should take advantage of free social media sites. Facebook’s only cost is time and people do pay attention to a business’ page, even if they are not ‘liking’ it. In our research, 18% of account holders used Facebook to find deals, promotions and special events among businesses. With Facebook’s continuing growth, the number of persons using Facebook in that way can only increase. Using social media for all of the events and fundraisers they host would be a very smart marketing tactic. Our survey analysis showed people would be receptive to this. In the use of Facebook, enhancing information dissemination by collecting e-mails for the spread of information and opportunities directly towards individuals could be considered. Also the Red Cross must post audio, videos, pictures, and news links, along with interacting with their discussion walls to help ensure Facebook users that the Red Cross is just as involved as they are. The Red Cross should not forget that long-term survival means focusing on the up-andcoming generations and designing marketing strategies specifically for them. Peer-influence and technology-based giving are two major ways to cater to the younger generations. Therefore peer-topeer fundraising events, empowering the community to raise funds on the Red Cross’ behalf, could be a huge source of funding and would additionally raise awareness of the Red Cross. Also, an online monthly debiting program would both incorporate technology and reduce the pain of parting with one’s money. Especially note that one of the most receptive age ranges for both volunteering and donating money is 23-31, one of the younger generations. That age range in the Cedar Valley could have a huge impact for the Red Cross, and there is a tremendous opportunity there.

Limitations In conducting this research, everything did not go as smooth as expected. There were a few factors that hindered the process throughout this semester and in turn most likely affected our results.


The first being the lack of time all of us had. It was difficult organizing times to meet, perform our assignments, and finding people who had enough time to participate in the activities we asked. Everyone on our team has jobs, other group projects, and family activities that we had to work around and that resulted in our meetings being either early in the morning or late at night. Another limitation we dealt with was lack of budget. When giving people an incentive such as candy or a small gift, they feel they must return the favor. In our case, this would have translated to more in-depth answers in our surveys and interviews. When we handed out the surveys, some individuals acted like it was a hassle or even thought that we were trying to get them to donate money on the spot. When it came to the people who completed our survey, our age demographics were highly skewed. We only had two persons that were 64+ years of age compared to 32 persons that were between 18-22 years of age. We found this altered our findings when we were examining the willingness and amount people are willing to donate. There would have been a lot more useful information derived if the variation of ages was not so skewed.


References Braiterman, Amy and David Hessekiel (2011), “Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey,” Blackbaud, 2-3. Retrieved April 1, 2012 from https://www.blackbaud.com/files/ resources/downloads/WhitePaper_RunWalkRidePeerToPeerParticipantSurvey2011.pdf Druart, Tad (2010), “Next Generation of American Donors: Changing the Art and Science of Fundraising?” Convio. Retrieved April 1, 2012 from http://www.convio.com/ourresearch/newsletter/next-generation-of-american.html Facebook fundraising apps – a brief review. (2007, August 24). Giving in a digital world. Retrieved online May 13, 2008, from http://givinginadigitalworld.wordpress.com/2007 /08/24/facebook-fundraising-apps-a-brief-review. Jo, S., & Kim, Y. (2003). “The effect of web characteristics on relationship building.” Journal of Public Relations Research, 199-223 Mckee, Thomas W. (2012), “Why People Volunteer,” Volunteer Power. Retrieved April 3, 2012 from http://www.volunteerpower.com/articles/Why.asp Meyvis, Tom, Aronte Bennett, and Daniel M. Oppenheimer (2011), “Precommitment to Charity,” The Science of Giving: Experimental Approaches to the Study of Charity, ed. Daniel M. Oppenheimer and Christopher Y. Olivola, New York, NY: Psychology Press, 35-47. Tredinnick, Luke (2006), “Web 2.0 and business: A pointer to the intranets of the future” Business Information Review, 23(4), 228-234


Vesterlund, Lise (2006), “Why do People Give?” The Nonprofit Sector, 2nd Edition, ed. Richard Steinberg and Walter W. Powell, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 4. Retrieved April 1, 2012 from http://www.pitt.edu/~vester/whydopeoplegive.pdf Waters, Richard D., Emily Burnett, Anna Lamm, Jessica Lucas (2009), “Engaging stakeholders through social networking: How nonprofit organizations are using Facebook,” Public Relations Review, Volume 35, Issue 2, June 2009, 102-106


Appendix 1 - In-Depth Interview Guide 1.

Find out what people know about the Red Cross.

a.

What comes to mind when you hear “the American Red Cross”?

b.

Do you know all of what the Red Cross does?

c.

How do you know what you know about the Red Cross?

2.

Find out any opinions or experiences with the Red Cross.

a.

What do you think about the Red Cross? Why or why not?

3.

Find out how likely people are to volunteer their time to the Red Cross.

a.

Do you ever volunteer? Why or why not?

b.

Would you ever volunteer for the Red Cross? Why or why not?

4.

Find out how likely people are to donate their money to the Red Cross.

a.

Do you ever donate to charitable organizations? Why or why not?

b.

Would you ever donate money to the Red Cross? Why or why not?

5.

Find out how to increase awareness of Red Cross’ services.

a.

On Facebook, do you ever view businesses or nonprofits pages? Do you ever “like” them? Why?

b.

Do you ever pay attention to business promotions/special events? Why?


6.

Find out if increased awareness increased willingness to give time or money.

a.

If I told you that the Red Cross is not government-funded, their workforce is 96%

volunteers, and its humanitarian services include: preventing, preparing for, and responding to all disasters, both locally and nationally; teaching life-saving techniques such as CPR & First Aid; training lifeguards in water safety and babysitters in emergency preparedness in child-care; relaying emergency messages between military overseas and their families; in addition to being a blood-collection agency; does that make you more interested in volunteering for the Red Cross? Why or why not? b.

How about donating your money? How come?


Appendix 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Survey


Appendix 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Survey Code Sheet


American Red Cross Marketing Research Project  

An in-depth research project on some of the key challenges the American Red Cross is facing, including secondary, qualitative, and quantitat...

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