Market Research and Environmental Scans

Knowing your market and your niche in that market is critical to the success of any organization—including nonprofits. JVA’s market research and environmental scans can clarify where your organization or program fits into the broader landscape and provide you with concrete recommendations—based on your guiding questions—about its priorities.

Market research can provide insight into the unique services or products your organization or program has to offer. It allows you to proactively tailor aspects to meet the needs of your community, rather than being forced to react and make fixes when things don’t work out as hoped.

JVA’s process

Here’s how JVA does it:

We start by helping your organization to formulate the question(s) you want answered. For example: How are demographics changing in the area you serve? What are promising practices you can learn from other, similar organizations? What services are available to your clientele? Which of your clients’ needs are not being met by other organizations?

Next, we identify the scope of the research. For example, do we need to study a specific city or county? Are there lessons to be learned from entities outside your geographic area or subject matter focus?

JVA’s systematic process employs mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) to gather data that will enhance your understanding of the environment in which your organization or program operates.

Types of research

JVA conducts both primary and secondary research. Our primary research—gathered directly from individuals—uses tools such as surveys, focus groups and community engagement. Use of primary research helps us ensure the information we collect is current, that we have our finger on the pulse of the community. Our secondary research involves analysis of published data such as market, policy and demographic trends.

What you will learn

Market research can provide a deeper understanding of potential partners and competitors—and how to distinguish them from each other. It can shed light on important factors for success, potential markets or audiences to be served, trends that may have an impact, and gaps in the environment that your organization can fill. It can also help you better pinpoint potential donors.

JVA’s efforts will move your organization beyond having hunches about the context in which it operates to having hard data to share with its board of directors, stakeholders and others—data that can inform its decisions and strategies.

Tying it all together

Because market research can be instrumental in planning an organization or program’s future priorities, it can be particularly relevant to social enterprise, business planning and strategic planning projects. And although market research does not, in itself, deal with messaging and branding questions, the information garnered through market research can be of value when creating or updating a marketing and communications strategy.

Have you had an aha moment? Contact us and let’s start mapping out a market research framework to help keep your organization on a sustainable path forward!

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