Do you write case studies for your nonprofit organization? Then you need a solid list of case study interview questions.
Case studies allow you to celebrate successes, demonstrate impact and showcase your organization’s strengths. They are common in business (here’s a case study about my work with a web content strategy client) but just as helpful for nonprofits.
Case studies differ from profiles (see my questions for writing profiles) because they follow a specific journey – from the first contact with your organization through to a positive outcome.
Who might you showcase through a case study? Here are a few ideas:
- Program participants
- Corporate sponsors
- Long-term volunteers
- Major donors
- Partner organizations
- Funding recipients
You select people or organizations to feature in a case study who have benefitted from their experience with your nonprofit; it’s an opportunity to inspire others with their story.
Writing a case study? Select from this list of interview questions
In my experience, an important step in writing a compelling case study is the interview. Phone (or Skype) interviews allow you to have a real conversation and dig deeper into the details, but you can also coordinate getting answers to your questions in writing, via email.
To help you conduct these interviews, I’m sharing my case study interview questions. You will need to customize and add to these questions based on the person and program you are featuring. But use them as a head start!
Understand their problem or objective
- What was the challenge you were trying to address?
- What was your situation and in what ways were you looking to change or improve it?
Find out why they chose your solution
- How did you hear about our organization/offering?
- What factors did you evaluate when choosing the program or service?
- Did you explore other options before choosing this one?
Follow their journey
- Can you describe the steps you took/tactics you implemented?
- Who was involved in the process?
- What steps were investigated but didn’t work out/weren’t pursued?
Uncover the nuances of implementation
- Did everything go smoothly?
- Did the process meet or exceed your expectations?
- What were the lessons learned? What would you do differently next time?
Reveal the positive outcome
- How did you benefit from the process?
- What were the results?
- Do you have any specific numbers to share? Qualitative results?
Shed light on their next steps and opportunities ahead
- What are your plans for the future?
- What did this experience make possible?
- Would you go through this process again? Why or why not?
- Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not?
Some of the answers you get from your interview will serve as useful background information that provides you with context for your story. Some of the answers will help you to uncover additional questions you need to ask. And the best part: many of the answers will be content that you can use directly in your case study (verbatim, as quotes).
Do you write case studies? What questions would you add to my suggestions? Please share in the comments.
Don’t want to write your nonprofit’s case studies yourself? I can write them for you; case studies are one of the options within my storybank starter package.