Fundraiser conducting survey

Here’s One Easy Tool That Transforms Your Fundraising

Suppose I told you there’s a fundraising tool you (yes you!) can put to work that will do these things:

  • Gather information on what motivates your best donors to give, so you can speak more personally and relevantly to them.
  • Meaningfully increase your number of monthly donors.
  • Help you find and upgrade mid-value and major donors who’ve been “hiding” among your general donors.
  • Find donors who are ready to put your organization in their Wills — resulting in a revenue windfall that will play out for years to come.

You might think I was selling a certain bridge over the East River in New York.

But what I’m talking about is 100% real. And you can do it now.

It’s not even all that difficult to create.

It’s called the Supporter Connection Survey. It’s a very specific type of survey that can be fielded by direct mail or email (preferable both!) to find out what individual donors think about your organization and the cause you share.

Connecting with individual donors is the key. This is not a research survey to uncover what “the file” knows and believes. You will not get meaningful statistically valid findings about your donor file with a Supporter Connection Survey! In fact, you will almost surely lead yourself astray if you try to use it to get valid research. (Real research is hard. If you need to do some research, get professional help if you want to do it right!)

It’s also not a fundraising “push” survey. You know that kind that basically gets the reader to agree with your values, leading up to a fundraising ask. These work well for some organizations, but they are not at all what we’re talking about here!

Here are the types of questions in a Supporter Connection Survey:

Questions about their connection with you and their motivations for donating. These questions are highly qualitative and aimed at giving you specific insight into that donor — why she cares and what matters most to her. Her answers arm you to speak back to her later with super-focused communication.

  • A question about being a high-level donor — sometimes more than one. This helps uncover donors with a desire and capacity to give at a higher level than they have before. It almost always finds “hidden gold” in your file.
  • A question about being a monthly donor. This one helps you find donors who are ready to make the leap into this high-value group.
  • A question about bequests. This is the “money” question because it surfaces bequest leads, which can result in huge revenue in the coming years.
  • A question about the donor’s “loyalty” – highly tested to find donors who feel most connected with you, regardless of their current giving level. This helps you find people who you might want to concentrate on more than you have.
  • Donor facts that help you build a better relationship, like email and phone number (if they’re willing to share); mailing address, in case you have it wrong; birthdate and other demographics that can help you connect with them more.

In case you’re thinking, “There’s no way we could field such a complex survey” … I have good news for you. You can do a Supporter Connection Survey.

We’ve worked through Supporter Connection Surveys with fundraisers at every level of experience.

We’ve done it with very small organizations, huge global organizations, and everything in between.

We’ve done it with all types of causes.

And we’ve done them in every part of the world. Supporter Connection Surveys are quite common in Australia and New Zealand, but less so elsewhere. They are especially new to North America — so if you’re in the western hemisphere, you can benefit from “first mover” advantage!

If you aren’t doing Supporter Connection Surveys now, chances are you eventually will … ideas this good tend to spread!

So why not start now?

Discover the success your own Supporter Connection Survey will have, take our online course The Most Powerful Communication Tool: The Supporter Connection Survey. It’s available for members of The Fundraisingology Lab and will show you how to raise more funds for your cause from every channel! 

More blog posts about Supporter Connection Surveys:

Have you done a Supporter Connection Survey? Please share your experience by leaving your reply below. We’d love to learn from your experience.

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