Donor Surveys Show You Care

Organizations send donor surveys for many different reasons. Often, they are used to fill some holes in your database, for stewardship, or for lead generation. These are all good reasons, but I’ve got an even better one:

Send a donor survey to show you care about your supporters, just as much as they care about your mission.

A good survey says you care about what your donors think and feel, and believe it or not, most donors actually like it when they are asked these questions. The best way to build a relationship with a donor is to find out more about them, and the two-way dialogue created by a donor survey makes for a more involved donor.

Surveys empower donors by letting them have impact on the future of the institution they support, and even though the survey is really a marketing discovery tool, for involved donors it is an opportunity to make their voices heard.

Many donors give because they want to change something they don’t like about the world, or they want your mission to continue, and the survey gives them an additional opportunity to express those feelings in other ways besides a gift. It allows them to provide feedback on the organizations they’ve chosen to support year after year. They get the satisfaction of helping by answering questions, and the institution is able to measure a donor’s satisfaction, commitment, and trust. You’ll be able to tell who is engaged, and who isn’t.

In a sense, a donor survey, more than any other marketing piece, allows you to help create a community. Your donors want you to care about them and not just be seen as a checkbook or an anonymous account in your database. Supporters want to feel part of a community of like-minded people. This includes being able to express their values and feel a sense of connection and purpose.

A donor survey is a great way to get first-hand feedback and learn what supporters honestly care about. These personal questions make donors feel good about you and your cause, because you’re asking for something more valuable than money – their opinion, and help. By taking this step, you’ve shown them that they matter. And when a donor gets involved in actions other than giving money, they tend to give even more.

Giving certainly provides great satisfaction to the donor, but when the organization takes the extra step and reaches out with a personal non-monetary ask, that is when a donor’s commitment to your organization increases, and perhaps, will elevate your relationship to the next level where the idea of creating a legacy with your institution now makes sense.

Simply put, surveys are perceived differently from the other marketing you send out. Donors make their voices heard, while also offering your organization invaluable information about how donors perceive you. They appreciate when you listen, so empower them to help guide the future of an institution they love. It’s a win-win. But of course, only if you ask.

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