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Effective uses of donor surveys and software for nonprofits

Many charities looking for ways to encourage donors to give more often don’t stop to consider why these individuals make contributions in the first place. Membership management software is a great way to keep track of how many people decide to partner with an organization, but it’s also important to understand the reasons why.

Perhaps it’s due to a compelling story or a cause about which a particular donor feels passionate. But without taking the time to gather this valuable information, fundraising will continue to be a challenge for many nonprofits and other charitable organizations. It is for this reason that Nonprofit Quarterly highlights the value of a donor survey to poll those making financial contributions to uncover what spurs them to give to a particular charity.

With so many nonprofits and other philanthropic organizations out there, uncovering this information can greatly contribute to not only consistent giving, but increased donations as well.

How to create a survey
Before a nonprofit or charity goes about the process of surveying donors, LAPA Fundraising suggests having a clear goal in mind. Knowing what kind of information you’re looking to uncover will contribute greatly to the development of questions that help gather the desired information.

The website states to make sure that what is being asked is relevant to data that is being sought out. If the purpose of your poll is to ask donors why they gave money supporting a certain cause, asking how much they give annually to other charities doesn’t make much sense. It could also be turn off as charitable giving primarily comes from a place of benevolence, not obligation.

Another strategy for creating a donor survey is to keep it relatively brief. LAPA suggests being considerate of your donors time. If a poll is too broad, it increases the likelihood that donors will interpret the questions being asked in a way that differs from its intended purpose. When developing your survey, be mindful to keep it as focused as possible, while making sure to hit on all of your organization’s key points.

Lastly, it’s important to not use donor surveys too frequently. LAPA states that surveys are a valuable way to keep donors engaged and involved with a charitable organization, It’s important to space out communications of this kind. It also helps to know your donors so that you can accurately gauge whether the surveys aren’t considered a nuisance to them.

How to make effective use of software for nonprofits
When it comes to polling donors, after the process is completed, the next step is figuring out what to do with the data. Many charities may elect to use some form of nonprofit software package as a way to house and sort such valuable information, but may not understand some of the other inherent benefits as well.

Social Solutions lists some helpful tips when it comes to choosing the right software package for an organization. When making a decision to implement this kind of solution, it’s important to clearly define the metrics considered to be critical for the success of the organization. This could be found in the amount of financial donations received or the number of people that have made a decision to engage in a long-term relationship with the organization. Whatever this information is, it’s important that the software package decided upon makes tracking this information easier.

It’s also important to remember not to adopt technology for the sake of it, as this may not deliver the desired return on investment.

By clearly outlining why the software is needed and what it will be used for, it is much easier to strengthen the organization which in turn lends itself to more donor contributions and increases a charities ability to help others.