The development director for the Little Sisters of Poor Chicago met with the DePaul University graduate Research Methods class and expressed concern about the lack of awareness for the organization and its mission. Additionally, the client wanted to increase the number of donors. The goal of this research project was to better understand the habits, beliefs and attitudes about donating to the nonprofit.


As the client was looking for detailed information about perceptions and outlook, it was decided that the most effective and best research method was a focus group. This form allowed the opportunity to interview multiple people and ask probing questions to gain insights. Additionally, it was conducted to provide the client with an understanding on how to preserve and strengthen the relationship with current donors as well as brainstorm initial ideas that might attract more donors.



Overall the participants in the focus group were often in agreement with one another’s views and opinions. They had lengthy conversations and built upon ideas. A few key things were learned from the session, including:

  • Participants had a personal connection to Little Sisters of the Poor or heard about it from a friend and this was the reason for donations.
  •  The group was passionate about the mission of the organization.
  • They prefer direct mail for donations; however, they would like to see more frequent communication about upcoming events.
  • The group agreed there was a lack of communication and awareness about the organization.
  • Participants used the adjectives of loving, caring, passionate, dedicated, humble, hospitable, clean and professional to describe the organization.


View Interview Guide View Focus Group Report