How many focus groups are needed to obtain useful results?
At least two focus groups should be conducted with each set of constituents that have a different relationship to the organization. For example, two groups of lapsed donors and two groups of current donors. Almost all focus group projects have at least two or more of these “sub-groups” that are targeted.
We will assist you in determining the target audiences that are essential in properly addressing your research questions.
How many surveys are needed to obtain valid results?
There is no simple answer. The number of surveys depends upon several factors, including:
- The precision required in the results: How precise do the survey results need to be? For example, if a survey indicates that 68% of your constituents like a new service you are providing, is it acceptable for that figure to be precise to within plus or minus 10%? [This means that between 58% and 78% of listeners actually like the new service.] Is a 7% margin of error acceptable, or is greater precision such as plus or minus 3% required? How the results will be applied generally determines the level of precision required, and the total number of surveys that need to be completed.
- The number of different groups included in the study: Many survey results need to be examined in detail by calculating the results for several different groups. These might include separate results for men and women, older and younger age groups, or current and lapsed contributors. While the results for the entire survey may be accurate to within plus or minus 5%, the accuracy for each of these “sub-groups” might only be plus or minus 10% or less. For many projects, this is not acceptable, and additional surveys must be completed to increase the precision of the results for all sub-groups.
The more precision that is required and the more different groups to be included in the study, the more surveys that will be necessary to successfully complete a project.
We will explain the options and assist in choosing the methodology and sample size that best satisfies your objectives. Call us at: (719) 541-5374, or e-mail us on our ‘Contact’ page.
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