Challenge/Issue: A national association was starting a new grant and funding program, but they had received very little response from its group of targeted members throughout the country. Though money was still available, grant and funding decisions were being delayed. The association needed to know why their members hadn’t responded, who needed the most help, and how they could make adjustments in their program to be able to best serve their members.
Approach: A census-style telephone survey was performed to all members eligible for the new program. This short survey, including a variety of open-ended questions, was developed and fielded within days. Interviewers made extensive efforts, including setting appointments for calls, to contact as many members as possible. The information gathered from the members was passed along in real-time to the decision makers at the association.
Results: The association’s initial fears of low awareness were unfounded, but we discovered that there was some confusion as to the restrictions and eligibility requirements for the program. Due to our findings, the deadline was extended, and time was set aside for the association to contact the specific members with the greatest need. Ultimately, more applications arrived, and more members were served.