Donor Surveys: The Powerful Tool You’re Probably Not Using

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It’s the holiday season. You’re trying new campaigns, new e-mail techniques, new web copy. Then there’s the follow-up work associated with year-end fundraising; you’ll want to know how new donors found you, what prompts your new (and current!) donors to give, and  how to keep them coming back in the future.

So how can you find that information? There are several ways, but many nonprofits overlook the simplest strategy of getting insight from donors… just ask them.

Surveying your donors might sound intimidating, but it can be easy and can have a huge impact on your relationship with them. Asking your donors some simple questions can help you boost your bottom line, too. When donors know that their opinions and values are important to the nonprofit they support, they’re more likely to maintain their relationship with that organization.

There are lots of options available for surveying your donors. Services like Wufoo like SurveyMonkey are feasible options if you need to survey many people at the same time. One-on-one conversations are even better. Follow-up conversations with major donors are good practices anyway; it’s easy to work in a few questions about how your donors feel about your organization, what they like, and what they think needs improvement.

That last part is important! Don’t just ask your donors for positive reinforcement; ask for (and be receptive to!) constructive criticism and ideas about how to make your organization better. Make sure you follow through on their advice, too. Just recently, I talked with a nonprofit who lost a major donor because the donors’ concerns about the nonprofit were never even addressed. Don’t let yourself end up in that situation!

Want to look into some ways to survey your donors? Here are some ideas!

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