Conducting a Census

Sometimes, aggregated survey data isn’t enough. Your organization needs specific insight on particular respondents to understand how to develop the best personal appeal to them.

Campbell Rinker is ready to help with a Census. While most of the survey research we do carries a strict confidentiality guarantee, a census operates differently. Under specific guidelines from the APRA, we invite every member in your targeted audience to participate, for instance, high-end donors, recent graduates, or founder’s circle members. Each of them has an equal opportunity to answer. Beyond this, we coordinate to have our client invite them to answer, without promising any confidentiality. As far as the respondent is concerned, they are sharing their answers with you directly.

This format allows us to collect the data on individual audience members and share it entirely with you, our client.

Response rates for a census are typically higher than those for a survey.

Planned Giving Census

For one hospital client, Campbell Rinker was able to contact upwards of 3,000 major donors to identify their level of support for a planned expansion into new geographic service areas. The data permitted the hospital donor relations officers to build an effective campaign strategy and develop a series of ask platforms that they knew would make the most sense for specific benefactors.

Graduate Census

In other cases, we have used a census to help a university or school measure exactly what their graduates are up to after graduation, or their inclination to support one program over another as a graduate. Another purpose would be to gather data to help score the respondents according to their support attitudes, such as with Campbell Rinker’s R4 Matrix.

For instance, one university needed to collect graduate success information on a high proportion of graduates within a specific program, to help it understand how to improve published ratings in comparison with other institutions. Campbell Rinker routinely secured response rates of 50% using a carefully coordinated series of invitations.

In a different case, a university required detailed, specific information on its graduates to support a planned giving campaign. Campbell Rinker worked closely with the client and their planned giving counsel to develop a multi-channel contact strategy, and eventually delivered detailed records regarding the support inclinations of nearly 34,000 graduates.