What every nonprofit should know about its donors

February 11, 2011

Your most profitable donors are deeply connected and loyal to you because you have a strong relationship with each other. And as in any great relationship, you need to do as much (or more) listening than you do talking.

Listening to donors is more than just picking up the phone when they call – you can be proactive about it by sending them an easy donor survey with your next appeal.

Here are a few simple ideas of information you can ask for to help you build deeper donor connections:

  • Transactional information

We also call this type of information “donor preferences”. You should be asking them the basics here: whether they only want to hear from you once a year, their preferred communication methods (mail/phone/email) – you get the idea.

  • Satisfaction

Here, you’re following up on how you’ve been communicating with your donors. Are you donors happy with how you’ve been contacting them? Have you been thanking your donors promptly? Sending donation receipts in time?

This is also your chance to find out whether donors feel you’re giving them good “bang for their buck” – whether their donations are having the impact they were hoping for.

  • Loyalty

This is perhaps the ultimate measure of your performance. Here, you should be asking your donors how likely they are to give to you again, and whether they would consider making a larger contribution (either money or time) the next time you ask.

I know that my reputation is on the line if I recommend something to those closest to me. Your donors know this too – so you know you’re doing a great job if they say they’d recommend your cause to family or friends. It’s a critical measure of your donors’ loyalty to you.

Information like this is worth its weight in gold, and it’s important that you collect this data at least once a year.

By using a simple donor survey to listen to your donors, you’ll find out so much more about them – and yourselves. Your fundraising can only get better as a result!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Good Works Goldfish

The Good Works Goldfish