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CASE STUDIES Survey Analysis for a Nonprofit Management Consultancy

  • Management consulting firm required actionable intelligence on the state of nonprofit management
  • BSA applied statistical techniques (including Cluster Analysis) to uncover new insights on an existing annual survey

The Situation

A management consulting firm who specializes in nonprofit management, was in the business of strategic planning, leadership, and board development for NGOs. After years of coordinating with executives, this consulting firm discovered that many organizations had the same (or highly similar) issues in fundraising, and developed a proprietary system to address the specific needs of their market.

Essentially, the consultancy maximizes development efforts for small to mid-size nonprofits, by optimizing their development and fundraising activities. The consultancy uses a mix of assessments, consulting engagements, and educational materials to help NGOs better fulfill their mission.

The Problem

Every year, this consulting firm runs a survey of nonprofit directors, asking them questions about management and development. The results of the questionnaire is then used for an annually-published white paper, as well as for helping to craft future programs in their consulting business.

Although the consultancy already used basic tables to describe the results, the principles sought deeper insights - the type only gotten from statistical analysis. They partnered with Business Science Associates in the hope that our organization would provide them with the actionable intelligence, to take their survey analysis to the next level.

The Solution

Business Science Associates used advanced statistical processes - including hierarchical clustering analysis. The results were prepared into an informative slide deck, with visualizations, and were presented in formats which could be easily incorporated into the organization's annual white paper.

The Outcome

Using advanced statistical and analytical techniques, BSA was able to help the client make the following surprising discoveries:

  • Based on behavior (how respondents answer questions on the survey), we found 2 new distinct groupings of executives, based on their perceptions of available resources.
  • Resources budgeted for fundraising appears to increase steadily until a non-profit reaches a specific stage - and then it plateaus.
  • When asked about the perceived sufficiency of resources in fundraising, there was a discrepancy between the views of management and staff. This likely points to a lack of communication around the budgeting and sales process.