Understand the attitudes and perceptions of the public.
Know how to engage your audience.
OpinionWorks is a team of talented researchers and writers promoting the public good, focused on environmental stewardship, healthy behaviors, access to education, culture and the arts, human services, economic development, and customer satisfaction.
We believe that understanding people's priorities will result in better public policy, stronger non-profits, more effective communications, and more satisfied customers.
Measuring Constituent Engagement
OpinionWorks specializes in measuring constituent engagement for non-profit organizations such as Lutheran World Relief and Physicians for Peace. This work includes measuring donor and volunteer engagement, pinpointing a distinctive brand identity, and identifying the organization's unique opportunities for a higher public profile.
Measuring Citizen Stewardship
OpinionWorks is privileged to have been selected by the Chesapeake Bay Trust to develop and conduct an innovative Chesapeake Behavior Index, an EPA-funded initiative to measure progress towards a new goal of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
The updated Watershed Agreement, signed by the six Bay states, District of Columbia, and Federal Government in 2014, for the first time includes a goal for Citizen Stewardship. The signatories to the Agreement understand that the health of our waters requires much more than regulatory action, legislation, or large capital projects. For a healthy Bay, we need the individual participation of the 17 million residents who live within the drainage area of the Chesapeake.
Each resident is a steward of his on her own actions – at home, in our own yards, at work and school, as we move around our neighborhoods and towns, and beyond. Small actions by each of us will add up to much healthier waters, leading to safer places for our kids and pets to swim; local fish, crabs, oysters, and clams that are much safer to eat; and a Bay that returns to a healthier condition that some can remember from decades ago.
Once developed, this Index will be a public instrument that will keep everyone informed of progress towards the Citizen Stewardship Goal:
Increase the number and the diversity of local citizen stewards and local governments that actively support and carry out the conservation and restoration activities that achieve healthy local streams, rivers and a vibrant Chesapeake Bay.
Clean Air Partners
2021 Public Awareness & Program Research
This research among residents of the Baltimore-Washington region identifies a public that is deeply concerned about air pollution and feels personally impacted by it. The public has taken many actions to help lessen the problem, and there is great willingness to do more. The full report is here.
With funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the West/Rhode Riverkeeper engaged OpinionWorks to conduct a readership study of tributary report cards. Through six focus groups held throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the needs and preferences of the public audience were examined, and the findings were distilled into best practices... (more)
Addressing the Risk
Our study of Anacostia River anglers shows the startling extent of fish consumption and sharing from those polluted waters. Through focus groups and riverbank interviews, we identified anglers' level of awareness of the health risks and the best techniques to communicate with this multi-lingual audience to lessen consumption. This report identifies a complex, interlocking set of factors that must be addressed...(more)
Innovative survey tool to measure behavior change. Working with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, OpinionWorks developed the first survey tool of its kind in the Chesapeake Bay region, and among the first nationally, that allows advocates to measure clean water behaviors...(more)