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How You Can Engage Your Donors

Now might be the perfect time to think about conducting a donor survey. Feedback from our donors is crucial to understanding not only what their desires are, but it's also a great way to gauge how we are performing as an institution in their eyes.

This kind of feedback can be invaluable to an organization, especially at a time like this when the way in which we work, interact and socialize has been turned upside down. Now is a great time to hear from your donors.

There are several reasons why doing a donor survey can be a great step for your organization at this time. First, surveys are great way to learn more about your donors such as their background and what is important to them. This can help you craft your messaging for future communications. For instance, if supporting scientific research is important to a particular donor, you can tailor your messaging to them by letting them know what projects their donation might help fund.

Second, surveys are a great way to enhance connection with your organization. When a donor feels like their opinion matters and that they are being heard, the chances of them making a gift or a recurring gift is likely to go up. Consider writing to them directly thanking them for their feedback to further enhance this connection that you are building with each individual donor.

Additionally, surveys are a great way to learn about why a donor supports you. We want to understand what motivates a donor to give to our organization so that we can repeat and enhance those behaviors. Asking your donors why they give to your organization might produce some unexpected results and give you new ideas on how to expand your donor base. Find out what you're doing right in their eyes and expand on it!

Finally, a survey is a good way to gauge if a donor is a candidate for additional giving. You can ask your repeat donors if they would like to be contacted to discuss additional ways to give, such as life-income gifts or bequests. Research shows that annual giving increases to an organization once a donor specifies that organization in their will. Some donors might not know what options are available to them despite being willing to give more.

You may be asking yourself, Is a survey right for our organization? While a survey is a great way to connect, learn, and further understand your donors, there is a time investment that you must be willing to put in once the results start coming in. Also, you will need to be willing to make changes within your organization should the survey results indicate your donors want these changes. Creating and sending a survey is only the beginning of the process. What you do with the data you collect is just as important as creating a great survey.

Please reach out to us if you want to discuss creating and sending a survey for your organization!

Matt O'Neill

By Matt O'Neill
Integrated Marketing Specialist - Northeast Region, Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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