The Rasmuson Foundation is actively involved in the DEI Movement, specifically, philanthropic practices in Alaska and the Northwest. The Craciun Group was asked to design, conduct and report on Focus Group Research with the current top-tier Ethnic populations in Anchorage. With over 30 years of accumulating statistics on diversity in Alaska, we are the experts in Diversity and Inclusion practices being implemented today by many organizations and institutions. These include ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and self-identification, age, class, economic circumstances, religion, ability, geography and community engagement.
This research was conducted not with leaders of the various groups but rather with individuals currently exhibiting behaviors and practices we would hope more residents would choose in the future. The Craciun Group has worked with other organizations on DEI projects such as the LIVE WORK PLAY program at the Chamber of Commerce, etc.
Seattle City Light (SCL)
The Craciun Group was hired to conduct two customer satisfaction research projects in 2006 – 2008 for SCL. The purpose of the research was to measure consumer awareness, opinions, attitudes, and perceptions regarding SCL. The primary objective for the study was to compare the current state of those factors to a survey conducted in December 2006. Due to the unanticipated windstorms which caused severe power outages our work together expanded to include Focus Groups with many and selected customer groups. Additional areas explored in the survey were the best ways to communicate with customers in general as well as during an outage, specific service gap concerns and customers’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the company’s purchase of carbon offsets.
This was the first effort by SCL to get closer to its customers and to understand their relationship to SCL. We studied normal customer service expectations but then had the opportunity to also understand pre and post windstorm issues from the customer experience. Reports were brought to management and changes that were better for the customer were implemented.
CIRI contracted with The Craciun Group to gain a better understanding of salient topics facing the corporation in the near future. It was important to understand what shareholders thought about lifting restrictions on selling shares, opening enrollment for those born after 1971, continuing the Elder Settlement Trust, and creating burial benefits. Participants were divided between those in favor of open enrollment and those opposed to the practice. They were further divided by those owning more than and less than 100 shares. Four focus groups were conducted in Anchorage and two in Seattle.
As a result of this research, CIRI made adjustments to their policies that benefited their constituents in the most effective ways.
City of Bellevue
The Craciun Group worked closely with the City of Bellevue after winning a three-year contract to study the attitudes and opinions of residents regarding their solid waste management services. We had designed surveys and conducted research for the Utilities Department via the Solid Waste Management Customer Survey to better meet customer needs and wants. We successfully completed three annual surveys and analyzed trends from previously collected data.
Although the overall attitudes toward the services provided by the City of Bellevue were positive, we identified areas that needed improvement. As a result of our research, the City of Bellevue implemented several changes to their solid waste management practices. Another outcome of our involvement was that residents were satisfied with their inclusion in the process.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Research Scientist for Decision Research, Inc., requested The Craciun Group submit a proposal to assist with its NSF-funded study on public climate change risk perceptions and decision making in Alaska. The purpose of the research was to understand Alaskan residents’ awareness, attitudes, opinions, and perceptions regarding global climate change. The report includes the seminal findings from the 1,016 Alaskans who completed a half-hour telephone survey, and it was used to contrast Alaskans' attitudes with those held by residents of the Continental United States. The Craciun Group has conducted three other studies for the NSF in the past seven years and is known as its go-to research company in Alaska.
The NSF successful gained perspectives from residents in Alaska statewide but was also able to capture Alaska Native Elders' cultural and traditional knowledge. The studies we conduct for NSF are viewed as important to expanding the body of knowledge at many new levels in terms of changes observed and experienced regarding the realities of climate change in America.