Qualitative Researchers Use Their Skills for Good Causes

by DJI

Charitable Thoughts

If you have a charitable organization you are involved in, consider asking your qualitative research provider to contribute his or her professional skills to the cause. There are many ways moderators can and do help.

  • Doing pro-bono or discounted work.  Sometimes the recipient organization can do the recruiting and provide a venue, or moderators might ask software platform providers for discounts, which allows for proper, professional research for non-profits that otherwise could not afford it.  Many report that these projects are among the most personally rewarding of their careers.
  • Applying moderating techniques to other processes.  Some moderators have found that keeping administrative meetings on time and on topic are rare skills.  Another benefit moderators offer is making sure all attendees feel they’ve had their say, or leading deeper discussions to weigh cost/benefits — moderators can help any organization operate more smoothly and strategically.  Good listening and synthesizing skills can be used in many ways.
  • Giving professional advice.  Some charities or non-profits just don’t have the budget even for discounted research, and some moderators can’t afford the time to do the work for free.  Many non-profits operate in remote places where their only choice is to do the research themselves.  In these cases, moderators can advise non-profits about the principles of conducting research, how to design and execute a project effectively, how to avoid bias and use probing techniques, and, importantly, how to apply or roll out the results of their research.
  • Assembling an “informal” research team.  Moderators who are involved with non-profits have helped their members engage with the public or their target audiences by training the team to listen professionally, probe for feedback, and report back to the group to analyze the findings.

Thanks to Iris Yim, Betsy Bernstein, Bonnie Eisenfeld, Pamela J Blake, Jeff Walkowski, Hart Weichselbaum, Jay Roth, Layla Shea, and Martha Guidry for their input.