244380 Improving community-based organization operations by addressing community concerns

Monday, October 31, 2011

Laurel D. Stevenson, PhD, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Omar L. Rodriguez , The Cornerstone Foundation, San Ignacio, Belize
Kieran C. Dolin , Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Purpose: Community-based organizations (CBOs) must rely on an effective strategy to elicit help from donors in order to deliver public health services. The purpose of this study was to examine community members' beliefs about donating to a local Belizean CBO with the goal of identifying ways in which CBOs could improve their operations to gain more community support. Methods: This mixed-methods, theory-based study was conducted in Belize between 2009-2010. The Reasoned Action Approach guided a survey administered to 315 individuals to identify factors associated with donating services, supplies, or money to support children affected by HIV/AIDS. Beliefs about donating were correlated with intention to donate. In-depth interviews with eight donors explored issue about desirable organization characteristics and choosing a charity to act on one's behalf. Interviews were coded for emerging themes. Results: Three beliefs about making donating easier were significantly correlated with intention: having a convenient time and place to drop off donations; getting information from the organization; and knowing donations are going to the right people/place. Analysis of interview themes revealed that donors are concerned with accountability, trust, and confidentiality of an organization. Implications: Results suggest that individuals believe an organization must take particular steps in order gain community donations. Capitalizing on these beliefs and concerns, CBOs may consider having multiple donation drop-off centers and a variety of marketing strategies. CBOs must make certain their image is credible; therefore systems to ensure accountability, trust, and confidentiality are critical. Participant suggestions to improving CBO operations will be further discussed.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss ways in which CBOs can improve operations by addressing these specific community concerns.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.