Focus Groups 101
- DANA Members: $0
- Not-Yet-DANA Members: $25
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Would you like qualitative information from clients and participants that is richer and more revealing than survey responses? Do you know how to prepare for a focus group, estimate its cost and time, and analyze and report its results?
Two social scientists who conduct focus group interviews regularly will share tips on most aspects of focus group interviews that are used in nonprofit program evaluation. (They will differentiate their focus groups from those used in marketing and product-testing.) Webinar attendees will learn why nonprofit staff conduct focus group interviews, who and how to recruit, the optimal number of respondents, considerations about the timing and format, and best practices with regard to obtaining consent, incentivizing, and interview question design. The facilitators will also share “trade secrets” aimed at helping you learn the most from your participants’ feedback and how to transcribe, analyze, and present the data in the most accurate and compelling way.
Content is tailored to those with little to no experience in conducting focus group interviews; however, all are welcome.
Thanks to a grant from the Longwood Foundation, the session is free to DANA members.
By participating in this event, the facilitators hope you will learn:
- the advantages and disadvantages of this data collection method
- what to consider when planning focus group interviews (i.e., who to invite, when and where to hold, costs, and what to include in a consent form)
- how best to word questions for greatest balance
- best practices in moderating focus groups
- tips for what to do after the focus group
- how to analyze and report focus group data for the most compelling story
About the Facilitators:
Kelly Feighan and Megan Richardson are sociologists at the Research and Evaluation Group at the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), which serves clients in all sectors and aims to build healthier communities. The facilitators strive to bring participants together in a friendly, nonjudgmental online environment for candid discussions about best practices.
Kelly Feighan, PhD, has been measuring program outcomes since the Ice Age, thanks to an early United Way handbook about logic modeling that remains one of the “greats” today. She has provided technical assistance to nonprofits in the area of outcome measurement, evaluated 100+ social service programs, and supported agencies with a wide range of research and evaluative services (i.e., needs assessments, survey design, analysis, and reporting). Kelly earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a PhD in the same field from Temple University. She and Megan worked at Research for Better Schools before merging the organization with PHMC’s R&E Group in 2016. Her professional goal in life is to “help people use evaluation for good rather than evil.”
Megan Richardson, MA, is a Senior Project Manager at PHMC who leads evaluations of a wide range of education- and health-related initiatives, such as professional development programs for K-12 and preservice teachers, interventions in postsecondary STEM education that are designed to strengthen students’ skills, and programs designed to help teach the public healthier habits to reduce the effects of disease. She has conducted focus group interviews for many years and always brings two audio-recorders to every session! Ms. Richardson holds a master’s degree in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania.