For Healthy Christian Schools (719) 278-9600

Custom Research

As of 2016, nearly 90,000 respondents from about 600 Christian school survey campaigns have taken one of GraceWorks Ministries' surveys. GraceWorks conducts conference or district-wide denominational research, community marketing research, pre-campaign support studies, Christian school accreditation studies and research for financing or bond issuance. To set up a consultation with GraceWorks President Dan Krause for your next research project, simply call (719) 278-9600, ext. 400, or fill out the form to your left. Here are ten reasons to choose GraceWorks for your next custom research project: 1. Normed data. GraceWorks has normed satisfaction data for over 100 key Christian school program variables, including programmatic elements such as engaging teaching, use of technology, and Christian character development. We know what good satisfaction scores are for a wide variety of demographic groups: from Millennials, students, third grade parents, households making more than $200,000 a year, to parents with only a high school diploma and other subgroups. Both perspective and actual data from past research inform our custom research projects. This is a tremendous advantage over any other research provider. 2. Practitioner’s perspective. Research informs every aspect of GraceWorks’ consulting value with Christian schools, in marketing, fund development (including pre-campaign support studies), organizational development, and school start-ups. When you choose a research organization, you choose their biases as well. In the case of GraceWorks, you are choosing a practical bias towards creating a healthy, thriving, and vibrant Christian schools. It is NOT “research for research sake” at GraceWorks, but research you can use. 3. Exclusively Christian Schools. GraceWorks partners exclusively with Christian schools. The ethos and values of non-sectarian private, charter, and public schools are much, much, different. In addition, from our past research, we know that key variables (relative proportion of Promoters vs. Passives, Christian values vs. academics and growth dynamics) are different between these types of schools. GraceWorks’ consultants have worked with over 700 Christian schools in a hands-on way and we know how to interpret the data from a Christian worldview. 4. Growth-oriented. The principle researcher for all GraceWorks’ custom research is Dan Krause, President of GraceWorks. Krause is the lead author of Marketing Christian Schools: The Definitive Guide (2006), and the head of GraceWorks’ Marketing Division. Dan consults with two dozen marketing clients at any given time. Krause has a Church Growth / Leadership degree from Fuller Seminary, and 1 year in the most research-oriented Ph.D. program in the state of Colorado (UCCS). Importantly, Krause has interpreted over 80% of all surveys administered by GraceWorks. His research experience is validated by “on the ground” experience. In 2012, for example, Krause traveled to 29 Christian schools. He has conducted focus groups and one-on-one school leadership interviews all over the country. 5. Biblical Worldview. All GraceWorks’ team members are active, church-going Christians with decades of church involvement. All GraceWorks’ research is grounded and informed by a Kingdom of God perspective. As appropriate, key Biblical insights are included in the discussion. 6. Deep understanding of quality. A significant problem with home-grown research, or research-by- generalists is understanding what constitutes a good score. Even asking the right questions, rightly, can be a problem if the data is interpreted inaccurately. Accreditation studies are notorious in this regard. (Do your parents really know the 10 different nuances of your board’s effectiveness? GraceWorks’ surveys routinely discover these metrics). Through sheer volume, GraceWorks has learned that quality gap tolerances for Christian schools are very narrow indeed. Repeatedly, GraceWorks has seen “good scores” on home grown or even professional studies that, in reality, weren’t good at all. An awful example of that was a marketing study done to support a bond-financed renovation project for a long-time, large denominational high school in Denver. The study confidently predicted “if you build it, they will come.” The reality was quite different, and three years later the entire facility was sold to the public schools for just the cost of the newly issued bonds. Obviously, the data was misinterpreted and the school leaders operated with a skewed compass. The result was that over 80 years of capital donations, volunteer work, staff sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears were simply given to the Denver public school system. 7. Innovative research and survey design. Through extensive experience, GraceWorks has come up with creative solutions to a variety of research problems. In one study in Central California, the denomination simply could not come up with the number of children in their own feeder churches and could not determine whether this number of children was increasing or decreasing. Using the survey itself, GraceWorks came up with a definitive answer to that question. In fact, through extensive focus groups and one-on-one interviews before survey development, the resulting survey predicted a 65% overall satisfaction score for schools of this denomination (a good net score), using standard methods of regression. This particular study yielded deep insights into the motivations of key constituent groups, such as donors, Pastors, and teachers, as well as prospective, current, and past parents and students. 8. Standard and Creative Scoring Techniques. GraceWorks accepts one or two large research projects each year, in part to improve our own survey scoring methodology. For example, a large denominational study in northern California resulted in our “Leverage” score metric. This new metric provides a straight forward way to understand the impact of “effectiveness perceptions” of various program elements on overall program satisfaction. While GraceWorks’ custom research includes standard factor analysis, regression, effect size and percentile ranking — all the relevant data - we also include creative insights and actionable narrative summaries. 9. Practical Recommendations. With custom research, we typically provide between four and six DOZEN specific, concrete recommendations on what to do. Importantly, we won’t pull any punches. Quite simply, we integrate our practitioners’ understanding with a straight-forward reading of what the research says. . To discuss your next denominational or adjucatory study, set up a research consultation with Dan Krause, GraceWorks President, by calling (719) 278-9600, or simply request it by emailing us.
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