Why Unicef wanted to understand family life

Published 27 Apr 2021 2 minute read

Select Parent
Select Child

All organisations are under pressure to increase and diversify their income generation streams. Charities need to keep existing donors engaged, attract new ones and compete in a crowded and fiercely competitive marketplace.

To succeed, they need constant rethinking and reinvention. Unicef are no different. So they brought in Further to help them generate insights to support the development of a mass market, sustainable fundraising product.

Having identified that ‘families’ may have a natural affinity with Unicef and be a fertile territory, Unicef commissioned Further to explore the nature of family life.

The approach

The research team at Further involved 33 British families (including mothers and children) in an online community. This deeply immersive method enabled the team to get close to the everyday lives of the chosen families. It also allowed the client to be actively involved in the process from beginning to end.

Phase 1 - Listen and Understand

We launched an online research community and deployed a range of thought-
provoking activities for 20 minutes each day for 10 days. We used gamified
discussions, diaries, surveys and projective techniques to explore:

  • The meaning of ‘family’
  • Family stories and ‘magical moments’
  • Family challenges and stress points
  • People’s ‘villages’: the sources of help families draw on

We created a rich picture of modern family life.

Phase 2 - Ideate

Having analysed, on an ongoing basis, discussions during the first few days, the research team and Unicef co-created six potential fundraisers based on insights from the community. We also asked the families to come up with their own fundraising ideas. The approach enabled Unicef to integrate insights generation and rapid prototyping in a single process.

Phase 3 - Evaluate

We moved into a phase of evaluation, using our concept testing toolkit – which includes heat mapping, sentiment analysis and open-ended qualitative feedback – to gauge reactions and understand what makes fundraising activities attractive, or not, to modern British families.

The Results

Further’s multi-phase project design yielded a rich understanding of British families.

By conducting the research online, we were able to work closely with mums and children up and down the UK in a quick and cost-effective manner. We identified that, cutting across all families (whether they are traditional, extended, blended, step, same-sex, adoptive, foster or diaspora families), there are a number of common aspirations, experiences, challenges and pressure points.

To succeed, any genuine ‘value-exchange’ fundraiser for Unicef needs to be
grounded in an understanding of these realities.

By challenging traditional fundraising models, Unicef will engage many more people in richer and more rewarding ways. Their efforts will result in the giving of more time, skills and resources, as well as money, all of which are vital to the survival of charities in today’s competitive world.

he research team at Further involved 33 British families (including mothers and children) in an online community. This deeply immersive

Client collaboration

It’s rare that a client wants to be actively involved at every step of a research project, but Unicef were different. When we proposed that they be part of
the moderation, they embraced it. The client’s involvement resulted in a leaner and more tightly-focussed process. It also led to absolute trust in the findings and more powerful internal advocacy for the research.

 Working with Further was a refreshing and eye-opening experience. Through close collaboration, clear dialogue and a deep understanding of our end goal, I was able to work with them to create the perfect series of exercises that would deliver the insight we required to ideate successful new products and initiatives.

Further worked at pace and allowed me to get incredibly close to
the process. I could see how people were interacting in real-time,
responding to my prompts. I was able to delve deeper and get a profound understanding of the pressures and challenges our audience faced. We learned a significant amount about them, insights which spoke to powerful emotions which we could help with.

I can see myself working with Further on future products based
on their professionalism, as an organisation, but also the quality
of their output which was excellent.

Anand Modha, New Ventures Manager (Innovation)

Yours to keep


Discover our platform and services


The insight platform for online qual, research communities, digital diaries, ethnography and more.

Services & Support

A range of expert research services and resources to help you deliver your projects with ease, speed and reach.


Human insight with impact; leveraging our academic and industry experts to uncover insight, create impact and make confident decisions.

Palmolive Colgate

The engagement with the online community in China has been phenomenal. Our online activities and a product trial have been executed flawlessly.

We helped Colgate Palmolive better understand people’s experience of using skincare products in Asian markets


Working with Further was a refreshing and eye-opening experience…...the qualityof their output which was excellent.

We helped Unicef generate insights to support the development of a mass market, sustainable fundraising product.

Zwift image

Strategically, Further’s insights provided clear and directional answers that will guide us through our next phase of growth

We helped Zwift understand users and non-users needs and wants so they could prioritise their innovation pipeline


We frequently work with Further to explore our target audiences’ mindset on a wide range of complex (and often controversial) social and political issues.”

We help opinion research consultancy Goodwin Simon understand the attitudes and pinions of the US public faster and better than they previously did.

Linkedin image

With Further’s support, we developed a deep understanding of employees’ needs in order to create more effective and compelling L&D solutions

We helped LinkedIn engage with their employees to discover, create, evolve and iterate new Learning and Development solutions.


We were amazed at the level of insight we achieved in just a week. Further opened our eyes to new ways of researching and understanding our staff

We helped Conde Nast International define a new global mission and vision statement


Further really understood the brief and were extremely proactive. We are now very confident that we’re taking the right products and proposition to market.

We helped this insuretech startup tailor their customer value proposition for the UK market ahead of a planned launch


Further's expert team pushed us to clarify our assumptions and to think harder about how to communicate the value of our products and services.

We helped Keyhouse enter a new market and understand what target users of their case management software needed and how to position their offer

What next?

Browse our site, download our resources, request a demo of our platform or speak to one of our experts

Browse our work
Contact Us