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6 Types of Nonprofit Surveys to Send to Supporters

As a nonprofit professional, understanding your organization’s supporters is one of the most important parts of your job. You may use data such as event attendance records, website engagement metrics, and donation page conversions to get a sense of how well your nonprofit is connecting with its supporters. But sometimes, the most effective way to learn about your nonprofit’s supporter base is to simply ask!

Using supporter surveys, your organization can gather valuable insight into everything from your fundraising events to your website design. Plus, nonprofit surveys give supporters the chance to make their voices heard and engage with your organization on a deeper level. 

With that in mind, we’re going to review six types of useful nonprofit surveys and the types of questions you should consider asking in each survey: 

  1. Donor satisfaction survey
  2. Volunteer satisfaction survey
  3. Lapsed donor survey
  4. Pre- and post-event feedback survey
  5. Website visitor feedback survey
  6. Peer-to-peer fundraiser survey

Engaging with donors, volunteers, and other supporters should be a two-way street. Nonprofit surveys give supporters the chance to join the conversation and make a larger impact on your mission by helping improve aspects of your nonprofit’s operations. This can foster stronger, lasting relationships with all kinds of supporters. 

1. Donor satisfaction survey

Donors power your organization’s mission with financial support. You can use your donor database and online donation page to review metrics such as your total donation amount and the total number of donors who contribute to different campaigns. In addition, sending out a donor satisfaction survey is an easy way to understand why donors gave and what would encourage them to continue doing so. 

When you understand what motivates donors to give, you can adjust your marketing and outreach strategies to motivate more supporters to become donors.

As you start writing your donor satisfaction survey, consider including the following questions: 

  • How did you hear about [nonprofit name] or [campaign name]?
  • To what degree does our mission align with your personal values? 
  • On a scale of 1-10, how convenient was the donation process? 
  • How could we make the process more convenient? 
  • How likely are you to give again? 
  • Do you feel that you have a good understanding of how your donation will be used? 
  • What is your preferred communication method? 

Keep in mind that you don’t need to ask all of these questions. Just pick out a handful of questions based on what you’re hoping to learn from the survey. Creating a short survey will increase the likelihood that donors will fill it out completely. 

2. Volunteer satisfaction survey

Volunteers provide the on-the-ground, hands-on support your nonprofit needs to manage its projects and programs. Their work allows your staff to devote more time to other aspects of your mission, which means volunteer support is incredibly valuable. In fact, the average value of a volunteer hour in the United States is $29.95!

That’s why it’s critical to ensure that your volunteers have a positive experience while engaging with your organization. Maintaining a high level of volunteer satisfaction gives your nonprofit access to a loyal support base to turn to for help whenever you need it. 

Using a volunteer satisfaction survey, you can find answers to questions like: 

  • How did you hear about volunteering with [nonprofit name]?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your satisfaction with the volunteer opportunity?
  • How likely are you to volunteer again? 
  • How effective was the volunteer training process?
  • Do you feel that your volunteer work had a large impact on our mission or the community at large?
  • How likely are you to recommend our volunteer program to friends or family members? 

After receiving survey responses, incorporate relevant volunteer feedback into your recruitment, onboarding, and management processes. 

3. Lapsed donor survey

Understanding why your donors give is important—as is understanding why they stopped giving.

When you can identify why donors lapse, you can adjust your donor engagement strategies to reduce your donor attrition rate. 

Use your donor management software to identify donors who haven’t given within the past year. Then, create a segment for these individuals and send them your lapsed donor survey. Ask questions such as: 

  • What led you to stop giving to our organization?
  • What could our organization do to increase the chances that you’ll give again in the future? 
  • Would you like to receive future communications from our organization? 

Even receiving just a handful of responses from lapsed donors can provide useful insight into where your organization has room for improvement. And you never know—some lapsed donors may have simply forgotten about your organization. Seeing your survey in their inboxes might spark renewed interest in supporting your cause. 

4. Pre- and post-event feedback survey

Along with using your event management software to review past event data, sending pre- and post-event feedback surveys can help simplify your event planning process and ensure you’re planning the type of events your audience wants to attend. 

Sending surveys before your event begins is a great way to focus your planning process and help you start on the right foot. Send surveys to past event attendees and other supporters like donors and volunteers with these multiple choice questions: 

  • What kind of events would you like to see more of? 
  • Do you prefer in-person, online, or hybrid events? 
  • What is your preferred communication platform to receive event updates? 

After your event concludes, you can use a post-event survey to assess the success of your event and your attendee satisfaction. MemberClicks recommends asking post-event feedback questions like the following:

  • How did you hear about this event?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate the event?
  • What could we do to improve future events?
  • How likely are you to attend future events? 

Figuring out the best ways to promote and host events can be challenging when you don't have a clear picture of what your audience is looking for. By using event surveys to gather audience input, you can plan events that appeal to your audience. 

5. Website visitor feedback survey

When designing your organization’s website, you likely referenced nonprofit website design best practices to create an engaging, user-friendly site. These best practices include optimizing the site for mobile devices, using user-friendly navigation, and standardizing the branding across the site. 

But creating a smoother user journey is all about designing your website in a way that appeals to your unique audience. To understand whether your site appeals to your audience members, you can create a website visitor feedback survey. This can be a quick pop-up message on your site that asks users to answer just a handful of questions such as: 

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our website’s user experience?
  • How did you find our website?
  • How easy was it to find the information you were looking for? 
  • What would you change about our website to make it easier to use? 

Use the feedback from this survey, along with website metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and conversion rates, to make informed updates on key site pages. For example, you might review these metrics for your donation, event registration, and other key landing pages. 

6. Peer-to-peer fundraiser survey

In peer-to-peer fundraisers, participants create personalized fundraising pages and share them with their friends and family members to raise funds on behalf of your organization. 

Volunteer fundraisers put in a lot of hard work throughout these campaigns to raise awareness and support for your cause. That’s why Bloomerang recommends wrapping up your peer-to-peer fundraisers by showing your supporters that you appreciate them. One way to do that is to solicit their feedback via a survey. 

Include a survey within your thank you emails that volunteer fundraisers can fill out to provide their feedback on the experience. Ask questions like: 

  • Did you reach your fundraising goal? 
  • How satisfied were you with the peer-to-peer fundraising experience?
  • How useful was our peer-to-peer fundraising guide and/or training?
  • How likely are you to participate in a peer-to-peer fundraiser again? 

Make it clear to volunteer fundraisers that you’re taking their feedback seriously and working to create a better experience for future peer-to-peer fundraising participants. This increases the likelihood that volunteers will participate again in the future. 

No matter what type of survey you send to supporters, make sure to thank respondents for taking the time to provide their feedback. Send an email after you’ve tallied the survey results recapping the insights you discovered and describing how you’ll incorporate those insights into your organization’s activities. 

With a well-rounded approach to supporter surveys, you’ll gain access to valuable input that allows you to improve your fundraising efforts and other supporter engagement opportunities. 

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Fundraising
Nonprofits
Nonprofit Tips
Ann Fellman

As the Chief Marketing Officer at Bloomerang, Ann is responsible for the company's overall thought leadership, brand, marketing, and community outreach programs that work to strengthen relationships with customers and the broader nonprofit community. Ann brings with her more than 24 years of experience in business-to-business (B2B) marketing in the technology industry, including time spent working at a nonprofit organization.