The Champions Community Foundation is an organization focused on keeping young adults with physical disabilities involved and active in their community after high school. After graduating high school, it becomes increasingly difficult for people with physical disabilities to be independent. They can become isolated at home, which often leads to loneliness and depression. The Champions Community Foundation empowers these young adults to live in a supportive community, engage with athletic and social opportunities, and equip themselves with knowledge and support from others.
The Champions Community Foundation turned to MMR Research Associates to measure the level of need for an online community for young adults with physical disabilities. The purpose was to build a community for individuals to connect with each other beyond the current Champions Place footprint. From here, MMR’s Strategic Advisor, Bill Denk, enlisted the help of Dan McDonald, User Research Lead of The ExperienceBuilt Group at MMR.
Bill and Dan worked together on this pro bono project to leverage MMR’s market research expertise and The ExperienceBuilt Group’s experience research expertise , providing well-rounded results for the client.
Bill took on a project management role, while Dan was the analyst. They worked together to set objectives and discuss data and findings, bouncing ideas off one another.
The Champions Community Foundation is based in Atlanta, and most of their community resides there. However, with virtual options, their audience could grow in other states and other countries, as long as their audience is receptive. The first step was for the team to engage residents for their opinions.
Through a series of interviews and surveys, the research team inquired not only about the interest in an online community but also what platforms and channels they use and what they want to see on those platforms. Bill and Dan used their conversations with residents to combine all results into a comprehensive report, ultimately determining that there was a need for a virtual community.
Next Steps for the Foundation
Champions Community Foundation will now determine what the virtual transition will look like. The main challenge is: Who will be in charge of getting the program up and running?
For example, suppose the Foundation chooses to create a Discord channel as their online community. In that case, they will also need to figure out what type of content they need to create to boost engagement, whether residents will want to create content rather than just interact, and how they will adapt if they are facing challenges.
Once the Foundation creates its prototype, Bill and Dan will be brought back to do more research and gain feedback on the progress of the community.
A Positive Experience for MMR and EBG
The team was passionate about this project from the beginning, which led to a positive experience for all involved. The excitement from the Foundation’s team came through as well. The collaboration created an atmosphere where everyone was committed to delivering a valuable online offering.
“We appreciated that everyone involved with the project was excited about it. It was meaningful to bridge a gap between the Foundation and the community,” said Dan McDonald.