Case study: Aberlour
Aberlour is one of Scotland’s largest children’s charities, helping to improve the lives some of our most vulnerable children and young people.
Not all children are born with an equal chance; Aberlour’s mission is to reach Scotland’s vulnerable children as early as possible to stop damage being done, before families reach crisis point, before it’s too late.
That’s why Aberlour commits to being brave in tacking the causes and effects of poverty, disadvantage and discrimination, significantly improving the long-term outcomes for children and young people.
Scotinform was commissioned by Aberlour to conduct research with its supporters to provide insight into who is currently donating to the charity, awareness of the services it offers and what key messages and communication channels should be adopted by the organisation. The research outcomes aimed to assist Aberlour with its marketing and communications strategy and, in particular, a campaign scheduled for winter 2020.
The research was conducted in three stages to achieve the study’s aims and objectives:
Stage 1: Using Mosaic Scotland (for which we have licence) we analysed the postcodes of Aberlour’s supporters drawing comparisons, where appropriate, with the national population. Scotinform provided Aberlour with an overview of the characteristics of each Mosaic group identified, a heat map for Scotland and an overview of its propensity to donate to charity. We also made recommendations how Aberlour might grow or consolidate support.
Stage 2: An online survey was prepared by Scotinform and distributed by Aberlour to its supporters. It was designed to capture awareness of the roles undertaken by Aberlour, its work during the Covid-19 pandemic, motivations to support charities, donating to charities other than Aberlour and preferred communication channels. The survey was prepared for paper and online distribution. The final question in the survey captured the details of those who said they would be willing to take part in qualitative research.
Stage 3: Scotinform recruited and facilitated two online groups with Aberlour supporters providing greater opportunity to explore motivations to donate to the charity and capture feedback on proposed images and messages for a winter campaign.
The study provided Aberlour with data and insights enabling the team to focus its marketing and communication to appeal to current and potential donors ensuring better understanding of its role and the families and young people it supports.
“Aberlour has a very long history of supporting children and young people; a loyal group of donors understand our cause and support it. But Aberlour’s work is also important to new and different donors as we develop our services, our influencing work in the public affairs sphere and our move into the digital world. Scotinform helped us to gain detailed and meaningful insight into our donors, their perceptions and behaviours; how they responded to our communications, what they were most interested in supporting, how they wanted Aberlour to develop its future fundraising. This information has been vital in shaping our donor offers, engagement activity and communications.”
Pippa Johnston, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Aberlour
Research design is key at a study’s outset and we will adopt an approach best suited to our client’s needs.
This approach provides the opportunity for each stage to feed into the next, thereby ensuring that the research evolved and was relevant to research participants at all stages.