How To Interview Your Small Charity Beneficiaries

Interviews are a conversation with a purpose. They are more personalised than surveys and often a better way to explore potentially sensitive subjects than focus groups.

Asking people questions gives them the chance to say what they think and feel without the pressure of writing. With 7.1 million adults in the UK having ‘very poor literacy skills’, being able to speak out can be a game-changer.

  • But how do you get started if your background isn’t in research and evaluation?
  • What recording equipment might you need?
  • And are there free or very low cost digital tools that can help save time as well as money?


In this session you will be introduced to semi-structured interviews as a way of gathering useful information to evaluate your services or discover ideas or needs in your communities.

It will also suggest and demo digital tools that can help you conduct your interviews both in person and virtually.

There will be time to ask questions and follow up help will be on hand to help you get started with the digital tools that interest you.


Part 1 - Semi-structured interviews

Semi-structured interviews are a particularly useful way of gathering research and evaluation data as they can strike a balance between having purely structured interviews with pre-determined questions or unstructured interviews that are entirely tailored to the interviewee.

Semi-structured interviews focus on a specific topic yet leave flexibility to explore areas within it that the interviewee might feel more strongly or be more knowledgeable about.



What you will learn

  • the difference between structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews;
  • the use of semi-structured interviews for research and evaluation;
  • how to plan, conduct and analyse semi-structured interviews and
  • top tips for conducting semi-structured interviews.


Part 2 - Recording your interviews: digital tools and tips for success

Once you have your semi-structured interview planned, how are you going to record it?

Are you holding your interview online? What about sound quality? And what equipment do you have to hand?

Recording your interviews can be a lot easier and more accurate than taking detailed notes. It also keeps your attention on the person you are talking to, helping you notice the small things that words escape.


What you will learn:

  • free and affordable digital tools (online and offline) to record interviews
  • free / affordable tools for transcribing and editing your recordings
  • top tips for recording your interviews


Who attends this session:

Anyone from a small charity or community organisation that needs to interview the people they support or other key stakeholders. You do not need interviewing experience to take part. 


What happens next

Attendees are encouraged to attend follow up skills based training in the Datawise London learner pathway or access one-to-one support.


Current live online training

Look for and book your ticket for live training on Superhighways' Eventbrite page.


Delivering this training to the people you work with

Do small charities or community organisations you support need help with digital data collection?

If so, please get in touch with us to talk though your needs and ideas using the contact form below.


Training enquiry