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Know Thy Audience

Take a look at this interactive graph of how people spend their time over the course of a day (NY Times, July 31, 2009). You can sort the data by age group, gender, race, education, employment and family size. This annual survey helps economists figure out the value of time of the unemployed.

What intrigues me, though, is when, over the course of a day, people say they engage in certain activities. Of particular interest for cultural nonprofits are the socializing, volunteering, other leisure, computing and phone call activities. The first thing I thought about was whether access to cultural organizations aligns with the availability of survey respondents.

Could your organization conduct a similar study in your community, or at the least among your current stakeholders to get a better handle on this alignment? Would this exercise result in your organization doing a better job of offering programming and information when people say they might be most able or receptive to participation?

How many of your organizations have done this type of research? Has such new-found knowledge caused your organization to rethink its access to the public? What have been the results?

Photo: Human Graphing - 20 by nep


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