A team of Clinton School students has spent the academic year working with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, assisting the organization in its fundraising strategy by interviewing current and past donors – including corporations, foundations, and individuals – to discover the reasons behind their motivations to donate to RMHC.
“One of the key points this project will research is donor motivation,” said Janell Mason, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. “Many times we don’t have the opportunity to get to know every donor in a one-on-one setting, so we don’t have the opportunity to learn their ‘why.’”
The interviews will offer comprehensive data on the donor perceptions of RMHC. Additionally, it will help inform potential future capital campaigns and will build on the work of a previous Clinton School Practicum team that worked with RMHC in 2017-18.
“We want to know more about how we have communicated with donors, why they choose to give to Ronald McDonald House, what they know about the organization, and what their likelihood is to give again, with the potential for our program expansion in the future,” Mason said.
The team – Christian Scott (Mountain View, Ark.), Corinne Kwapis (Fairview Heights, Ill.), Alex Tingquist (Little Rock, Ark.), Zach Baumgarten (Monticello, Ark.) – has distributed hundreds of surveys to current and past donors that cover a wide range of giving levels. As the responses come in, the team sees trends in what motivates the organization’s donor base. Specifically, the team has noticed that the organization’s mission of “enhancing the lives of children and their families by supporting programs that directly improve the health of children” is a leading motivator.
“They find it really special,” said Tingquist of the RMHC mission. “And a lot of people that answered that they’re motivated by the mission are the ones that are consistently donating.”
The team’s research and deliverable will build on the efforts of the 2017-18 Clinton School Practicum team that worked with RMHC to explore opportunities and timelines for the nonprofit to expand the organization’s services to area hospitals.
“We thought there would be one answer,” Mason said of the 2017-18 team’s final report. “But they gave us a zero-to-six-month plan, six-to-18 months, and then a long-term plan. It was comprehensive and highly beneficial.”
This year’s group will present its findings to RMHC Arkansas’s board of directors on April 11.
“Ultimately, this team will provide us with a comprehensive snapshot of our donors’ perception and valuable feedback,” Mason said. “Are we providing meaningful information to our donors? We want to be sure we are doing it in a measurable way and that they receive it in the most functional format.”