When I talk about audience development strategies with prospective clients, I am amazed at how few conduct any kind of research on their existing audience, not to mention research on the broader community in which they operate. Sure, they send out surveys asking if patrons enjoyed the show and I guess you could call any donor event a “focus group” of one kind or another, but that’s not helping you collect the kind of information you need to make a plan. And plans based on good research, quantitative and qualitative, are the only kind that actually work.
The Wallace Foundation is well-known for providing audience development grants–one of our clients was fortunate enough to be a recipient in the last wave–but you can benefit from the knowledge they’re sharing even more than you can from the money they’re spending.
If you’d like help parsing the report, or implementing some of these suggestions into your organization, just let us know.