Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Take Some Nonprofit Research With a Grain of Salt

We often pass along nonprofit research results to campaigns and causes, but here's a timely caution that all research is not equal. Some "studies" can mislead, and you should always look behind the curtain before you let any "findings" influence marketing strategy. In a recent opinion piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, cited five basic questions to ask before you swallow a nonprofit research report hook, line and sinker. Watch out for faulty methodology (self-selecting participants instead of a representative sample); unwarranted conclusions (those oversimplified headline grabbers); collective opinion (informed expertise is not unbiased data); unreported prior research (new findings without context); and unidentified sponsors (yes, research can be biased by its funding). For the full article, got to http://philanthropy.com/article/5-Simple-Questions-to-Ask/137743/

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