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Why Your Nonprofit Should Do Public Opinion Research
In this episode of Nonprofit Hub Radio, host Delaney Mullennix interviews Adam Probolsky, founder of Probolsky Research, about using public opinion research to benefit nonprofits. Adam explains this involves surveying and analyzing data from a target population to gain insights. He advocates that nonprofits should leverage research for several key reasons.
First, public opinion research helps nonprofits better understand their audiences for more effective messaging and outreach. By gathering data directly from stakeholders, nonprofits can craft communications tailored to what resonates most. Second, the research informs nonprofit fundraising approaches and donor targeting. Survey data provides insights into donors’ values and motivations.
Additionally, this research aids nonprofits in developing programs, services, and policies aligned with their community’s needs and priorities. Rather than guessing, nonprofits can make data-driven decisions. Adam provides examples of public opinion research improving museum programming and helping a nonprofit expand into new services.
While research requires an investment, Adam argues the data and insights gained are invaluable for nonprofit strategy across messaging, fundraising, and programming. He encourages nonprofits to approach this research as an essential tool, not an optional extra.
In summary, this episode makes a case for nonprofits to leverage public opinion research surveys to gain stakeholder insights that strengthen organizational strategy and community impact.
Adam is President of Probolsky Research. Adam has acted as pollster and strategic
advisor on hundreds of successful crisis communications and public affairs projects,
local, county and statewide initiatives and candidate campaigns as well as citizen
outreach and education efforts. Additionally, Adam has been a key advisor to the firm’s
clients on matters of public policy, legislation and business strategy.
Adam was both a planning and finance commissioner for the City of Irvine where he
oversaw and approved billions of dollars in private development and public
infrastructure projects. As a past chairman of the Irvine Valley College Foundation, he
has overseen the fundraising and the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in
scholarships to students and funding for college police. He was also a member of the
Orange County Waste & Recycling Commission where he oversaw landfills, recycling
programs, waste hauling companies and power generating facilities. As a member of
the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Environmental Mitigation and Oversight
Committee, he oversaw the expenditure of over $175 million dollars in public
Adam is a former journalist and he previously served as a board member and
development committee chairman for Jewish Family Service of Orange County, a non-
profit organization that serves families in need, and volunteered for nearly eight years
with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as a spokesperson.
Adam formerly served as a member of the Policy Committee on Energy and the
Environment of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Probolsky’s research and commentary has been published in numerous media
outlets including The New York Times, Riverside Press Enterprise, The Chicago Sun
Times, the Orange County Register and Politico and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Adam earned his master’s degree in data analytics and visualization from the Maryland
Institute College of Art in Baltimore Maryland, a historic urban college founded in 1826.
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