University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication


Research Design

Community Organizations

Major Databases from the Telephone Survey

  1. Lists of different types of organizations identified by respondents
    Respondents to the telephone survey were asked if they belonged to any of 4 different types of organizations:
    1. neighborhood/homeowner
    2. sport/recreational
    3. cultural/ethnic/religious
    4. political/educational

    If they belonged, they were asked to name 2 specific organizations for each type.
  2. Extent to which organizational membership is encouraged by geo-ethnic media and vice versa as indicated by responses to the telephone survey
  3. Other resident-organization connections

Interview Databases (Not yet conducted for First 5 study areas)

On-site interviews were conducted with the executive staff of at least 8 non-profit/community organizations in each study area, 2 per each type of organization. Organizations were selected on the basis of telephone respondents�(tm) responses and on the suggestions of other grassroots organizations.

The interviews helped to determine the following:

  1. Organizational profile (type, goals, size, resources, member profiles, issue orientation�"local, regional, national, age, etc.)
  2. Quality of neighborhood storytelling
  3. Primary modes of communication with residents
  4. Extent of contact/coalition formation with other organizations in the area
  5. Major obstacles to attainment of organizational goals
  6. Degree of contact with geo-ethnic media

Best Practices Database

Working from the communication infrastructure perspective proposition that non-profit/community organizations are key storytellers of the neighborhood and informed by the on-site organization interviews, a set of best practices was developed and applied to evaluate areas of strength and weakness.

Community Organization Census Database

For each study area, secondary data sources (e.g., The Rainbow Directory) were searched to locate non-profit/community organizations in each study area and these entries are combined with the organizations identified by telephone respondents.