Research & Evaluation
At OneTable, we take research seriously. In order to understand our impact on OneTable participants, we engage in ongoing rigorous internal monitoring and evaluation, led by our in-house Associate Director of Research and Evaluation Ariel Siegel, in addition to contracting external evaluation services, including strategic market research consultant Jamie Betesh Carter of Jamie Betesh Consulting.
The “Beyond Scale” report reflects the top line findings of the April 2017 national OneTable survey conducted by Rosov Consulting. For Rosov Consulting’s full report, check out “Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
To view OneTable’s most current Logic Model, click here.
OneTable brings Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) to people in their 20s and 30s by empowering those who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable.
We create resources to “go online to go offline,” and help people connect with each other for meaningful IRL (“in real life”) experiences. We start with the basic gathering of a dinner party, and support our hosts (those users who are creating dinner experiences) as they elevate these gatherings with meaning and intention. For all of our participants — including guests, who are primarily subscribers and consumers of the dinner experience — we see these dinners as a gateway for deeper community ties, increased sense of belonging, reduced loneliness, increased curiosity around Jewish practice and culture, deepened connection to Jewish identity, wisdom, and practice, and much more.
OneTable is a national nonprofit funded to support this powerful experience. We exist in a unique space — we are a nonprofit informed by Jewish wisdom that operates like a tech startup. We are iterative and nimble, and constantly updating our product and program to reflect the needs and improve the experience for our users. At our core, we are a design thinking organization focuses on driven by the question:
How might we inspire and empower young adults to internalize and integrate Shabbat ritual now, so that they cultivate a personal practice that evolves and grows throughout every life stage?
How might they continue to reap the benefits that Shabbat dinner brings?
What We Hope To Accomplish
OneTable sees an enormous opportunity to learn more about the behaviors and attitudes of our user population, to apply to our own work, to the nonprofit world, and to the wider range of businesses serving millennial (and soon to be Gen Z) clients.
We have a database of over 120,000 users in the United States, about 10% of our calculated addressable market. We gather data naturally as part of our program — when hosts apply and post dinners, when guests register on the platform, and through short surveys, questionnaires, and conversations with our constituents. We’ve done two traditional evaluations with longform surveys fielded to our entire ever-growing database. As a result, we have a lot of data points about our population (more robust around hosts than guests), and thousands of anecdotes about how Shabbat fits into and shapes the lives of those who give it a try through OneTable.
While this host data is robust, it only represents a small portion of our population. Hosts comprise 8% of our user population. 45% of these hosts started off as guests, which means that about 4% of our total user population has made this transition from subscriber to creator.
We believe that OneTable’s 120,000+ (and growing) participant pool is diverse by Jewish population standards. That said, we have sparse information on the demographics, motivations, and identities of our guest population. With additional information gleaned from participants who reflect our wider population, we can better identify different groups with different needs and interests, and better understand how they might benefit from our program intervention.
- How might we learn more about our guest population and the impact OneTable is having on their lives?
- How might we predict behaviors and outcomes for our guest population?
- What motivates guests to become hosts? What barriers prevent users from coming in the door and into the funnel?
- Because of OneTable, do users feel more comfortable at Shabbat dinners? Are they more mindful of how they spend their time on weekends? Do they feel more connected to their local community? Are they interested in further exploring their Jewish identities?
- How does OneTable’s program affect their overall sense of belonging, community, and well-being? Universally, outside the particular of being Jewish.
- What are our users doing outside of OneTable? Related to Shabbat dinners and Jewish community, but also secular behaviors.
- Overall, are we helping our users build a habit?
- What might we learn about our program and population that can improve our own work and provide greater insights to the field at large?
Research Objectives: Why We’re Doing This
- To learn more about our population with whom we have lower brand and product engagement, OneTable is commissioning a multiphase research project to learn more about our guests, and how they represent the broader millennial and Gen Z population. We hope to learn more about their qualities, interests, motivations, and behaviors, then use this knowledge to assess our impact and adjust our program and product offerings accordingly.
- Learn more about OneTable’s users and their behaviors and attitudes and the underlying values and attitudes that drive their Shabbat habits and their other behaviors outside of OneTable.
- Develop programmatic strategies around different user subsets to design more customized interventions.
- Develop a mechanism for predicting what subsets new members of our community might fall into.
- Develop a unified language to describe subsets of our population for the broader field.
- Share the findings of this research with the field at large. We see this research as having the potential to yield a tool that other organizations can use to deepen their understanding of millennials.
We stand to learn a lot during this process. This research endeavor can help not only OneTable as an organization and service provider, but can also position us as thought leaders and experts in engagement by creating a sophisticated tool that can allow us to predict outputs and outcomes as new users enter our program. We see this as the first phase in a new research agenda for our organization, where we will continue to study the long-term impacts of OneTable on those who have come through our doors.
The conclusion of this project will ideally result in the following:
- Current data on how OneTable is impacting all of our users, especially our guests.
- More information on our current users but especially our guests (possibly based on a representative sample), including data points on demographics, Jewish behaviors, secular behaviors, attitudes, and more.
- A detailed quantitative segmentation and profiles of OneTable’s user population.
- Detailed descriptions of each different subsets and the characteristics that set them apart from each other.
- A mechanism for sorting new hosts and guests into these subsets.