Grey Matter has released much of our non-proprietary research work for public use.  We are pleased to provide these articles, white papers, and news releases to you; may the insights be meaningful in your work. 


We will continue to release new information, so check back occasionally for updates (or if you would like to receive it directly as it is released, simply e-mail ron @—and remove the spaces around the “@” sign).


The Donor Mindset Study 2018

· What defines America’s favorite charities?

· How much mail and e-mail do donors receive, and how much are they reading?

· How much do donors really care about overhead spending?

· How does an organization’s size impact donor perceptions?

· How do donors perceive child sponsorship?

· Do donors prefer e-mail or direct mail from the organizations they support?

· Americans seriously overestimate their own generosity

· How donors view the charitable tax deduction


White Papers and Reports

· 6 Ways Your Survey Research May Be Misleading You

· Getting Past the Barriers—How to Do Research That Is Faster, Cheaper, and More Flexible

· Evangelical Pastors and Finances

· Click Here to Find a Church (Maybe)

· Myths of the Christian Donor

· How Sliders Bias Survey Data

· Americans’ Perceptions on the Financial Efficiency of Non-profit Organizations—2012

· More Dirty Little Secrets of Online Panel Research

· Heart of the Donor

· Millennials:  The Apathy Generation

· Dirty Little Secrets of Online Panels

· What Difference Does Christianity Make?

· America’s Definition:  What Is an Evangelical?

· When Online Survey Respondents Cheat on Fact-based Questions

· Exploring Loyalty to Grocery Store Brands

· Exploring Loyalty to Drug Store Brands

· Exploring Loyalty to Fast Food Brands

· Exploring Loyalty to Home Improvement Store Brands

· Exploring Loyalty to Christian Book Store Brands

· Defining “Evangelical” in Polling and Research


Exclusive Research Studies

2013 American Public

· What non-profit organizations do Americans think of first?


2012 American Public

· Should Protestant churches reference their denomination in the church name?

· What are seen by young evangelicals as the most effective ways to reduce abortions?

· What would evangelical Millennials do in the case of an unexpected pregnancy?

· How does Bible readership impact the likelihood of sex before marriage?

· Does behavior match beliefs with young evangelicals and sex?

· How sexually active are young evangelical adults?

· What do Americans really think about abortion?

· How do Americans react to the intersection of professional sports and religion?

· How religiously diverse do people think America is?

· Are Americans official members of the place of worship they attend?

· What do Americans think about overhead expenses of charitable organizations?

· How many people use church websites, and for what purposes?

· How are Americans using the Internet for religious purposes?

· What do non-donors think about non-profit organizations and the act of giving?

· What impact does the Christian faith have on American society?

· How widely recognized is Tim Tebow as a religious athlete?

· How would eliminating the charitable deduction impact giving?


2011 American Public

· What types of donors support various causes?

· How did parents influence the charitable behavior of today’s adults?

· Are places of worship competing with non-profits for the donor dollar?


2009 American Public

· How loyal are churchgoers to their denomination?


2008 – American Public

· What do Americans think an “evangelical Christian” is?

· What does it really mean to be “unchurched”?

· How racially, religiously, and politically diverse are the relationships of Americans?

· When people change where they worship, what else changes?

· Where do Americans think kids get the best education?

· How do Americans define sin?

· What should be legal when it comes to religion, morality, and the public arena?


2007 – American Public

· What is legal when it comes to religion, morality, and the public arena?

· How did childhood religious attendance impact today’s adults?


2007 – Protestant Clergy and Laity

· What are churches doing in evangelism and community outreach?

· How loyal is the congregation?


2006 – Protestant Clergy and Laity

· How familiar are pastors and laity with popular culture?

· How involved are churches in politics?

· What priorities are churches involved in?

· How do clergy and laity use Christian media?

· What are the financial priorities of pastors and churchgoers?

· What do pastors say about giving and tithing (and how does that compare to what their congregations say)?

· What do churches put on their websites?


2005 – Protestant Clergy

· What kind of classes and education do churches offer people?

· Why do ministers change jobs?

· How healthy are ministers' families?

· How satisfied are ministers with their personal prayer life?

· How much are ministers furthering their education?

· How is technology used in Protestant churches?


2004 – Protestant Clergy

· What are the greatest threats to the family?

· How much would pastors cooperate with non-Christian faith groups?

· How much do ministers know about other faiths?

· What do pastors think about church/state separation?

· What do ministers think of various versions of the Bible?

· What worship elements are used in church worship today?

· How denominational are Protestant ministers?


2002 – Protestant Clergy

· Just how healthy is the typical pastor?

· How do pastors view the issue of homosexuality?

· What do ministers see as the future of Christianity in America?

· How well do pastors' perspectives match up with their denominations?

· What kind of a report card would pastors give their own church?

· Do ministers support or oppose the Faith-Based & Community Initiatives program?

· What is President Bush's job performance rating among ministers?


2001 – Protestant Clergy

· Ministers have doubts about faith-based public assistance

· Pastors call China the country where persecution of Christians is most severe

· Are ministers pro-life or pro-choice?

· Should "marriage" be "only between one man and one woman"?

· What kind of presidential candidate would pastors vote for (race, gender, religion, etc.)?

· Even politically liberal ministers support student-led prayer in schools

· Do pastors support legalizing marijuana for medical use?

· Pastors speak out on the death penalty and physician-assisted suicide

· Pastors name their personal favorite version of the Bible

· Did pastors support Al Gore or George W. Bush for President?


Articles and Blogs

· Reaching for the Stars While Standing on a Garbage Pile  What do all our fancy new techniques matter if we don’t know how to do basic research?  (GreenBook Blog, July 24, 2017)

· Can Political Polls Really Be Trusted?  Is the problem how the polls are done, or how they are used?  (GreenBook Blog, October 13, 2016)

· Agile Research or Agile Researchers?  “Agile research” is a hot topic.  Should it be?  And is it really new?  (GreenBook Blog, March 8, 2016)

· For Research Suppliers, Actions Speak Louder than Ads  Although suppliers say they want new business, too many don’t make it easy for potential clients  (GreenBook Blog, November 3, 2015)

· Shocking Incompetence by a Major Brand  How can we have confidence in the future of our industry when a major research vendor has so little basic competence?  (GreenBook Blog, August 20, 2015)

· Why I Don’t Miss Angry MR Client  If you consistently can’t find a market research vendor you trust, maybe you need to look at your own practices and demands.  (GreenBook Blog, April 15, 2015)

· Has Research Quality Really Gone Downhill?  Are things really worse than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago?  (GreenBook Blog, February 6, 2015)

· Finding the Right Balance in RFPs The challenge for clients is finding the right balance between providing too much and too little guidance for vendors in RFPs.  (GreenBook Blog, January 2, 2015)

· When You Mess up On a Project (and You Will)  How you handle your mistakes says more about you than whether you make mistakes in the first place.  (GreenBook Blog, September 26, 2014)

· Purist, Meet Real World  Phone research is unquestionably more representative than online research, but does that always mean it’s better?  (GreenBook Blog, August 11, 2014)

· Forward to the Future, Back to the Basics  With all the new insights approaches available, we can’t forget the importance of the basics. (GreenBook Blog, June 11, 2014)

· From the Client Side—Orbitz  Fifth in a series of interviews with client-side researchers (this one continues the discussion on NextGen research techniques).  (March 31, 2014)

· What Do Clients Think of Market Research Supplier Marketing?  In general, it ain’t pretty. (GreenBook Blog, February 4, 2014)

· Context Is the Key to Research  Context can be the difference between research and insights.  (GreenBook Blog, January 28, 2014)

· From the Client Side—Pharmaceutical MR  Fourth in the series, this time focusing on next generation consumer insights techniques  (GreenBook Blog, December 26, 2013)

· From the Client Side—Erickson Living  Third in the series, with a continuing theme of how clients react to vendor marketing and sales efforts (GreenBook Blog, October 28, 2013)

· From the Client Side—Schneider Electric  Second in a series of interviews with client-side researchers (this one continues the discussion on vendor marketing)  (GreenBook Blog, September 24, 2013)

· Building Your Brand through Failure  Successful bids bring work.  But unsuccessful bids should still build your brand  (GreenBook Blog, July 31, 2013)

· From the Client Side–Gorton’s  Learn how Gorton’s (the seafood company) selects research vendors for their work  (GreenBook Blog, July 1, 2013)

· Cheap, Fast, and Good?  A case study of how a full-scale quantitative study was completed from proposal to eight business days  (GreenBook Blog, May 7, 2013)

· Prescriptions for Healing Research Brands  Appealing approaches when marketing to research clients  (GreenBook Blog, April 29, 2013)

· Physician, Heal Thyself (and Thy Marketing)  Why is so much branding and marketing in the research industry so poor?  (GreenBook Blog, March 26, 2013)

· Sliders:  Good for White Castle, Bad for Research  Learn how sliders in on-screen surveys can affect the data you’re getting.  (GreenBook Blog, January 18, 2013)

· Like It or Not?  Why are researchers so concerned about whether consumers like things, when there are so many more important measures?  (GreenBook Blog, December 17, 2012)

· Let’s Stop Demonizing DIY  If Home Depot didn’t put contractors out of business, why are so many researchers worried about do-it-yourself research?  (GreenBook Blog, October 22, 2012)

· Getting into Their Shoes Before Getting into Their Minds  Before fielding a questionnaire, there’s one critical respondent who must take the survey:  you  (GreenBook Blog, September 21, 2012)

· The Black Hole of Research:  Dull but Critical  Are you paying enough attention to the boring part of research—the one that can destroy your project?  (GreenBook Blog, August 7, 2012)

· Specific Time Frames in Questionnaire Design  One nuance missed by many is the appropriate use of time frames when asking people about their activities (GreenBook Blog, May 21, 2012)

· Biasing Your Research by the Act of Doing Research 

If you’re not careful, longitudinal studies can bias your research simply because you’re doing the research (GreenBook Blog, April 23, 2012)

· Biased Research, No Matter What the Methodology 

What methodology you choose for your research can impact the resulting data—no matter how good the survey (GreenBook Blog, March 19, 2012)

· Counteracting the Dirty Little Secrets of Online Panels 

How can you make sure research you do through online panels is valid and trustworthy?  (GreenBook Blog, February 14, 2012)

· More Dirty Little Secrets of Online Panel Research 

Panel research is very common in the industry—but not all panels are created equal  (GreenBook Blog, January 30, 2012)

· Predicting the Unpredictable:  A Call for Reason 

Predictions about massive changes in the market research industry in 2012 are all the rage—but are they reasonable?  (GreenBook Blog, January 9, 2012)

· Brand Happens (With or Without You) 

Whether you’re a client-side researcher or a vendor, your brand is being communicated to clients constantly  (GreenBook Blog, December 18, 2011)

· Information Assassination—How They’ll Simply Get the Research Wrong 

How to help make sure critical research information is transmitted accurately  (GreenBook Blog, November 18, 2011)

· You Can’t Get This Right—What Else Will You Screw Up?

The devil really is in the details  (GreenBook Blog, October 26, 2011)

· Brand Happens (With or Without You) 

Whether you’re a client-side researcher or a vendor, your brand is being communicated to clients constantly  (GreenBook Blog, December 18, 2011)

· Information Assassination—How They’ll Simply Get the Research Wrong 

How to help make sure critical research information is transmitted accurately  (GreenBook Blog, November 18, 2011)

· You Can’t Get This Right—What Else Will You Screw Up? 

The devil really is in the details  (GreenBook Blog, October 26, 2011)

· Generalizing:  The Bane of Insights 

Data complexity can take up so much mental bandwidth that it leads to lack of accuracy and clarity in reporting  (GreenBook Blog, September 22, 2011)

· World’s Worst Questionnaire Design 

Is it really possible that some company is going to base strategic decisions on this disaster?  (GreenBook Blog, August 9, 2011)

· Moderator or Road Warrior? 

How you schedule focus group travel can make a significant difference in your project (and your moderator)  (GreenBook Blog, July 20, 2011)

· Generally Specific 

Why do some research studies ask broad questions with no detail and then try to project the findings to real-life decisions consumers have to make?  (GreenBook Blog, June 15, 2011)

· How Do You Assure Online Panel Quality? 

There are some truly bad panels out there—how do you tell the good from the bad?  (GreenBook Blog, May 31, 2011)

· Why Are We Hiring Cheerleaders When We Need Quarterbacks? 

There’s a lot of talk about making surveys more engaging for respondents—how about simply respecting their time?  (GreenBook Blog, May 5, 2011)

· Are You Labeling or Defining? 

When you see research about “the affluent” or “donors” or “Catholics” or any other group, do you know how that group is defined?  (GreenBook Blog, March 28, 2011)

· Where Does the Buck Stop Again? 

Who is responsible for timing the length of a questionnaire?  (GreenBook Blog, March 3, 2011)

· Can We Stop Arguing over What’s the “Best” Methodology? 

Why do researchers need to insist that their pet methodology is the only one that should be used?  (GreenBook Blog, February 21, 2011)

· It’s the Little Things That Mean a Lot 

Something as simple as sending (or not sending) holiday cards says a lot more about your brand than you might think (GreenBook Blog, December 23, 2010)

· We Want to Give You Personal Service, (INSERT NAME) 

How the “personalized” marketing messages you send out can come back to bite you (GreenBook Blog, October 15, 2010)

· Garbage In, Garbage Out 

Irresponsible and sloppy reporting in USA Today harms the research industry (GreenBook Blog, September 7, 2010)

· Scaling the Ladder of Success 

How context plays a major role in customer satisfaction scales (GreenBook Blog, August 10, 2010)

· More Show & Less Tell, Please 

Let’s stop pretending there’s one “right” methodology for all research needs (GreenBook Blog, August 1, 2010)

· Hearing the Voice of the Customer (A CEO Love Story) 

How one leader used research the right way for his non-profit organization (GreenBook Blog, July 21, 2010)

· When It Comes to Quality, We Are the French 

We complain about bad research, but bad vendors continue to thrive (GreenBook Blog, July 12, 2010)

· What Do Consumers Think?  Don’t Even Bother Asking 

Most consumers have no idea what effect advertising has on them, so why do we insist on asking respondents to tell us things like that?  (Brandweek, May 3, 2010)

· Choosing a Focus Group Facility: How to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises 

All focus group facilities are not created equal – here’s what to look for in selecting a facility that will fit your project.  (Alert! June 2007)

· What Business Can Learn from Political Polling 

We’re about to be inundated by political polls for the 2008 election. Here’s what business research can learn from political polling.  (Quirk's Marketing Research Review, April 2007)

· The Use of Technology in Church Ministry 

Technology is a major issue for every church, because it is a major issue in society.  (Clergy Journal, January 2007)

· Selecting Markets for Focus Groups 

There’s a lot to think about when selecting which markets you’ll use for focus groups – don’t just default to “Los Angeles, Chicago, New York.”  (Alert! July 2006)

· Stop Worrying about What Is Better
Researchers need to stop worrying about whether one methodology is inherently better than another, and start worrying about which methodology is right for each individual project.  (
Quirk's Marketing Research Review, May 2005)

· Respondent Abuse - A Plague to the Profession
Research projects that are unreasonable for participants (lengthy or complex questionnaires, confusing instructions, etc.) will lead to unreliable results.  (
Alert! May 2004)

· Sifting Out the Oddballs: The Key to a Successful Qualitative Study
It is crucial to recruit only the core target for qualitative research. How to avoid some common mistakes in designing qualitative project specs.  (
Alert! May 2004)

· Focus Group Facility Perks

Some focus group facilities go over and above to make the life of a client or a moderator better—see how they do it.  (Quirks Marketing Research Review, March 2004)

· Virgins or Veterans?

How comfortable are you relying on facility databases for your qualitative recruiting?  How comfortable should you be?  (Quirks Marketing Research Review, November 2002)

· Designing Questionnaires:  See through Their Eyes
You can't tell if your questionnaire is clearly written until you answer it yourself.  (
Quirk's Marketing Research Review, October 2002)

· Asking Reasonable Questions

An immutable law of market research is that just because you need certain information does not mean respondents will be willing or able to provide it to you.  (Alert! March 2002)

· Selecting a Sample Size
How do you select the right sample size for a study?  (The NonProfit Times, September 15, 2001)

· Ministers and Christian Media
How often do Protestant church pastors watch religious television, surf the Internet, or listen to religious radio?  (NRB Magazine, February/March 2001)

· How to Tell When a Survey Sample Is Not Valid
When you put a survey on your website, or a local newscast asks viewers to call in for their poll, is that valid research?  Don't bet on it.  (The NonProfit Times, January 15, 2001)

· Mail vs. Telephone Surveys
Which survey methodology is better:  mail or telephone?  It depends…  (The NonProfit Times, March 15, 2000)

· You Can Ask -- But Will They Answer?
Just because you can ask a question doesn't mean people can answer it accurately.  Learn what's reasonable to ask in a research study.  (
The NonProfit Times, January 15, 2000)

· Do It Right or Not at All
Every organization has those "quickie" research projects for which significant resources aren't available.  Here are some keys to making them more accurate and useful.  (The NonProfit Times, May 1999)

· Vendor Response:  An Experiment
Fifty focus group facilities were contacted with a simple request for information.  Find out what happened -- it might surprise you.  (
Quirk's Marketing Research Review, December 1998)

· Research Success, Not Just Failure
Why do we so often use marketing research just to correct problems?  Why not use it to help determine what went right, to replicate that success elsewhere?  (The NonProfit Times, November 1998)

· R.S.V.P. to Potential Donors
How easy is it for a potential donor to learn about your organization once they contact you?  You might be surprised…  (NRB Magazine, July - August 1998)

· Outsource It or Keep It In-house?
Is it better to depend on research vendors or bring the work in-house?  Read what some experts had to say.  (
Quirk's Marketing Research Review, May 1998)

· Keys to Usable Research
Ever have a disappointing experience with marketing research?  This may be why…  (
The NonProfit Times, May 1998)

· Qualitative versus Quantitative—Choosing the Right Approach
Before you think "focus groups" or "telephone survey," know how qualitative and quantitative research can be used.  (The NonProfit Times, March 15, 1998)

· Nine Global Trends in the Future of Religion
This sweeping forecast evaluates where religion stands in the world today...and where it's going.  (
The Futurist, January 1998)

· Interpreting Research Data Depends on Context

So 60% of your customers are satisfied—what does that mean?  Is that good or bad?  It depends on the context.  (Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, January 1998)

· How Are Your Statistical Ethics?
When you're using, quoting, or commissioning research, do you know how to make sure you're doing it ethically?  (
Christian Management Report, November 1997)

· How to Tell Good Research from Bad
We all see research data quoted frequently in articles, speeches, etc.  Before you rely on that data, how do you tell whether it's accurate?  (
The NonProfit Times, November 1997)

· Research for Broadcast Ministries
Marketing research can help radio and television broadcast ministries -- here's how.  (
NRB Magazine, July - August 1997)

· Focus Group Facilities and Non-profit Organizations
How non-profit organizations can work efficiently and cost-effectively with focus group facilities and moderators.  (
The NonProfit Times, May 1997)

· Making a Good First Impression with a Potential Client
What clients should expect from marketing research companies (and what you can expect from Grey Matter Research).  (
Quirk's Marketing Research Review, November 1995)

· Image Research and Non-profits: A Case Study
A case study of what a local non-profit organization learned from a study of their image.  (
The NonProfit Times, February 1993)

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when

substituted for insight and understanding.”

Marshall McLuhan

“I heartily recommend Ron for anyone needing to better understand

his or her audiences, customers, and business environment.”

Rob Phillips, Director of Communications





Grey Matter logo