COVID-19 Donor Surveys Now

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Have you heard experts telling you that you should “Lead With Empathy” during COVID-19? I agree, but how do you do it? What’s the method that works best with donors and/or foundation funders?

I suggest you ask them by sending a short survey! Donor surveys are powerful right now because, due to CV19, many people are home and engaged online.

Ask For Their Input

Donors commonly say they did not give again because they disliked the way they were asked or treated. Don’t let this happen to you. A donor survey can reveal their preferred means of communication (e.g., phone, text, e-mail, snail mail), as well as preferred times (evening, weekends) and their issues that may need to be addressed. Then, integrate this information into your donor database and respect your donors’ expressed wishes. This will limit the risk of irritating them.

Do you know your donor’s age? If you intend on cultivating and engaging them for legacy giving, you must know their age. A donor survey can help you secure their DOB plus other vital information.

Ask Just A Few Questions

Here’s an example of a donor survey.

Crafted as a personal note to the donor, add your own opening sentence at the start of the survey that thanks the donors for their support, then explains  why you’re sending the survey and why the donor should return it. Say what’s in it for them!

1. How are you doing and how are you managing through COVID-19? We’re thinking of you and would like to be of support.

Would you like a phone call or a visit with us? (check all that apply)

    Yes, please call me at ______________________________________________

    Yes, I would enjoy an online video visit, please contact me.

2. I would like to do more to support [Organization Name]’s mission. (check all that apply)

   Find out about leaving a gift to [Organization] in my estate plans.
   Join [Organization]’s monthly donor program.
   Host a home or workplace gathering to support our mission.

Please share with us anything you would like us to be aware of regarding your impressions of [Organization Name] and how to improve our impact. We welcome your input. __________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________.

3. Is our information correct? Please complete so that we can confirm.

Name

Address

Best Phone #

Preferred E-mail Address

Full Date of Birth

4. Do you make your charitable gifts through a donor advised fund?

                  Yes

                  No

5. Would you consider adding this sentence to your estate plans?

“I give, devise, and bequeath to the {insert legal name of your nonprofit, an [insert name of the state in which you’re incorporated] nonprofit corporation, the sum of _________ Dollars ($____________) OR an amount equal to _____________ percent (_______%) of the value of my estate at the time of my death.”

                  Yes

                  No

Some donor surveys are much longer, with up to 30 questions. Surveys with 15 questions or less have a higher completion rate that those that are longer. No matter the length, make sure the survey is professionally copyedited before sending it.

We welcome your comments about this post on the LAPA blog.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Create An Impact Report That Shows Donors Your Value

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A growing number of nonprofits are creating impact reports to show donors how their contributions have made a difference. When done well, impact reports can be powerful tools for showing results through hard numbers. But they truly excel when they amplify the metrics with real-life stories and voices that put a face on the organization’s work. The Massachusetts nonprofit Root Cause married numbers and stories beautifully with its recently released Impact Report: 2021. This piece is especially effective because it provides a clear snapshot of what the organization does, uses simple graphics to display information,

Read More »

Three Steps to Manage Uncomfortableness in Fundraising

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA We try our utmost to avoid it, but feeling uncomfortable is key to fundraising mastery. In fact, the more advanced fundraising you seek, the more uncomfortable feelings rise. Yet it is an enormous (and lucrative) gift to yourself, and especially to your nonprofit, to work through these initial feelings. Aversion for being uncomfortable is understandable. Uncomfortable situations trigger feelings of being out of control. Anxiety and fear storm through us and our bodies get tense. Being uncomfortable goes against our innate desire to feel calm and at peace. Many fundraisers call me when they are

Read More »

Do You Report Back After Donors Are Surveyed?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA. Your survey to donors is only half the picture. You have to report back your findings. In this blog post, we are modeling for you how to report back, so that you in turn can do the same with your donors. You see, hundreds of LAPA’s 70,000+ blog readers and webinar attendees recently took an Audience Survey on their experiences of using our thought-leadership content—our weekly blog post, our webinars, our white papers, and sample cases for support, and Laurence’s books. Here’s what they said. You can use our format to report back to your

Read More »

Behold, the Carbon Neutral Direct Mail Campaign!

By Roger M. Craver, JD. Last week, we celebrated Earth Day, which makes it an appropriate time for fundraisers to think about what we’re really doing — professionally, personally, and collectively — to save our planet. I’m not asking you to think about raising money for climate change or conservation. Instead, it’s time to consider how our practices are affecting our planet — and how we can take collective actions at our organizations to make a difference. In gathering my ball of string for this Earth Day post, I came across a LinkedIn post from Steve Falk, President and CEO of Canada’s Prime Data.

Read More »