Nielsen Canada Makes a Difference with Data for Good

Through Nielsen Cares, our global employee volunteer program, we’ve always encouraged our associates to look for opportunities to share pro bono and in-kind resources—such as Nielsen data—in support of social causes. We call these “Data for Good projects, and they’re aimed at sharing Nielsen’s consumer insights and data with the world, including non-profit organizations and academic researchers, to make a difference.

Nielsen Canada recently delivered the fifth year of a Data for Good project that’s enabled Canadian nonprofit organizations to receive valuable new insights about potential donors and volunteers. Through a custom study that began in 2014, a representative sample of 2,000 Canadian residents responded to survey questions related to behaviors and attitudes about four kinds of charitable support: monetary donations, volunteering, in-kind donations and event attendance. Nielsen Canada delivers the survey findings on a pro bono basis to about 15 organizations each year, and has covered about 25 total organizations since the beginning of the project. As a result, this multi-year effort has collectively saved the organizations over $700,000 in potential research costs.

“Knowing that most of these organizations don’t have funds to conduct such studies and they value our data so much, it makes the pro bono work so much more meaningful,” said Tasneem Ali, Director in Nielsen’s Consumer Insights group. “You don’t have to go outside your organization to look for opportunities to give back to the community. If this is what you’re passionate about, Nielsen allows us to do it right from our desks.”

“[The project] is hard work, but it’s so rewarding once you start receiving feedback from our volunteers and the charitable organizations,” added Mario Caceres, Business Manager in Nielsen’s Consumer Insights group. “With so many options out there, it is hard to decide which non-profit organization to support, but with this project I can make an impact on multiple causes.”

Along with Mario and Tasneem, Andrea McDougall, Jessica Masucci, Bruce Wilson and Tanya Sawh made up the project’s 2018 Lead Team. In total during 2018, 35 other associates volunteered their analysis, skills and time to deliver the insights to the 15 organizations. In 2017, Nielsen Canada received the Market Research and Intelligence Association Murray Philip Altruism Award for their work on this initiative.

Results provided to individual charities have included general donor behavior and attitudes, derived statistical analysis of the most influential factors that drive support, analysis by different generations, communication preferences and causes that Canadians are more likely to support. Some of the key 2018 trends that the most recent study identified include:

  • 89% of Canadians support at least one charitable cause through monetary donations (84%), donations in kind (77%), volunteering (53%), or event participation (46%).
  • Charitable causes related to health (44%), children/youth (40%) and animals (40%) have the highest base of supporters in Canada.

After receiving insights from Nielsen, the vice president of marketing and development of a beneficiary nonprofit reported, “We experienced the most successful year-end direct mail campaign in our history…using the data that you provided to assist us to segment our database.”

In addition to their community impact, the Nielsen volunteers also reported that pro bono work has helped achieve their business goals and objectives. “[Pro bono work] is an opportunity to learn or enhance skills, connect with other teams within Nielsen, get exposure to clients, and make a difference in the community,” said Caceres. “It may feel like added workload to your everyday job, but it is such a rewarding experience that is totally worth it.”

Photo: Nielsen Canada’s Heart & Stroke volunteer team (Jennifer Offenheim, James Munro, and Sabrina Lem)  after its pro bono presentation in December 2018.

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