If you are conducting a feasibility study at a college or university, you can gain additional insights by asking what we feel are the 9 best questions for focus groups. Your focus groups should include 8-12 people per session (any more and it becomes unwieldy) and the sessions should be held in two or three primary alumni cities or regions. Participants are presented with open-ended questions chosen from the personal interviewee questionnaire but in a discussion format. Toward the end, participants are presented with an additional, short, personal questionnaire asking for scaled responses, potential gift ranges, and other comments. This provides them an opportunity to give detailed responses to additional questions you may have, but in a confidential manner to allow them to be more forthcoming with feedback. Here are the 9 best questions for focus groups:
The 9 Best Questions for Focus Groups:
- 1. Think of your experiences with name of institution. What comes to mind when you think of name of institution?
- 2. What do you consider to be name of institution’s overall strengths?
- 3. What do you consider to be name of institution’s overall limitations?
- 4. What do you consider to be name of institution academic strengths?
- 5. What do you consider to be name of institution academic limitations?
- 6. Think about the communication between name of institution and yourself. Do you feel the communications you receive are effective and why or why not?
This question is designed as an ice-breaker; to make everyone think back about the good times they had and make them feel more at ease.
Present participants with investment opportunities (proposed campaign projects list):
- 7. Among these opportunities, which do you find the most compelling and why?
- 8. Among these opportunities, which do you find the least compelling and why?
- 9. In your opinion, are there projects more compelling for funding than those listed on the campaign investment opportunities sheet? If so, what would they be?
Focus Group Individual Questions
- These questions should be answerable using scaled responses. It should also include a question asking if they would support the proposed campaign financially by making a gift. If the answer is yes, the next question should be “without making a commitment today…”, can you provide potential gift ranges, from low to high, of where their gift would fall if payable over a 5 year period. It can also include a couple of additional open-ended discussion questions from the personal interview questionnaire about university leadership and the faculty but do not use questions already discussed during the group session.
- Each person should receive an individual questionnaire; however, include only one dollar amount or gift range in your final numbers if there is a couple.
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