More than any other factor, a donor’s relationship with the organization determines their likelihood of donating. Print and emailed surveys can go a long way toward achieving this goal. What are the keys to sending effective donor surveys?

  1. Clarify your goals and objectives. What specific information do you want to gather? Are you looking to understand donor motivations, preferred communication channels, or demographic information? Clearly defining your objectives will guide the design of the survey.
  2. Keep it concise. Respect your donors’ time and ensure the survey is brief and focused. Long, complex surveys may discourage participation. Stick to the most essential questions that align with your objectives.
  3. Mix question types. Use a mix of question types to gather different kinds of information. Include multiple-choice questions, rating scales, and open-ended questions. This variety helps to provide a well-rounded understanding of donor opinions and preferences.
  4. Segment and personalize. Include the donor’s name, reference previous interactions, and acknowledge their contributions. If your donor base is diverse, segment the survey based on different donor personas or giving levels. This helps each donor to feel valued and allows you to gather more targeted insights.
  5. Offer non-monetary incentives. Encourage survey participation by offering non-monetary incentives that align with your mission and appeal to donors’ interests. For example, provide exclusive content, previews of new projects, or links to activity behind the scenes.
  6. Test before sending. Before launching the survey widely, conduct a pilot test with a small group of donors or staff members. This allows you to identify any issues or areas for improvement before rolling it out to a larger audience.
  7. Respect privacy. Assure donors that their responses will be kept confidential. Communicate how the data will be used and reassure donors that their feedback will be used only to improve the organization’s impact.
  8. Follow up and say “thank you.” After the survey, express gratitude for their participation. Share key findings or insights from the survey, demonstrating that their input has been valuable. This helps foster a sense of involvement and strengthens the donor-organization relationship.

Ready to send a survey to learn more about your donors? Let’s get started!