Donor surveys are a powerful way for donors to share their opinions with your ministry. If donors take the time to fill out a survey, then it’s clear they want to engage with your organization. Two-way interactions—specifically—improve your organization’s chances of donor retention. These interactions communicate to donors that their opinions matter. Before you send out your survey, consider the types of changes you’d like to implement as a result of the feedback. Be ready to implement changes based on that feedback so that donors know you’re listening to them.
Here are three types of donor surveys to develop to learn more about your people:
New Donors Surveys
Giving increased 5 percent in 2017, making it clear that nonprofits were reaching new donors. When one of these new contributors gives to your ministry, follow up with a new donor survey. Engage and retain those new donors by finding out their demographic information, values and beliefs, preferred communication methods, and passions or personal missions. This will prevent you from making assumptions about your donors that will hinder your nonprofit. [Internal link to “5 Assumptions about Your Donors that will Hinder Your Nonprofit”]
Some questions to ask on a new donor survey include:
- Why did you choose our organization?
- How would you describe this organization to others?
- Why does this cause matter to you?
- How would you describe your personal mission?
Surveys for Active Donors
Instead of focusing on getting to know the donor, the active donor survey focuses on the experience of the donor with the organization. Ask donors to rate their communication experience. Break it down into communication methods (e.g., email, phone, text), the content of communications, and the favorite thing they have received from you so far. Ask donors to share their stories and include questions about why they became involved with your organization. Get their permission to share these as testimonials on your website, newsletter, and social media platforms.
Surveys for Lapsed Donors
Every nonprofit has former, or lapsed, donors. These are people who used to donate to your organization and have expressed interest in your cause in the past. A survey can help you learn more so that you can re-engage these donors. Keep in mind that lapsed donors may not consider themselves “lapsed,” [Internal Link: “When Does a Nonprofit Donor Lapse?”] and they may have a variety of reasons for taking a step back from giving to your nonprofit.
For this reason, when contacting former donors, include an appeal to come back to your organization. Make sure you let them know you miss them and value their contributions. Let them know the impact their donations have.
Keep the survey short. Two questions to ask are:
- What would bring you back to our organization?
- What matters to you?
StudioEnterprise with Advanced CRM donor tracking software can help you identify whether you’re dealing with a new, active, or former donor so that you can send the appropriate survey.
If you aren’t using donor surveys, consider adding them as a strategy to increase engagement. Asking for donors’ opinions and feedback lets them know you value what they think. Send unique surveys to donors at different stages of giving with your nonprofit: new, active, and former donors should receive different types of surveys. By employing this strategy, you’re sure to learn more about your donor and improve your relationship with them.
Let DonorDirect show you how the right CRM can help you craft effective surveys so your ministry can be even more effective. Click here for a demo!