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Nonprofit Surveys: How to Improve a Nonprofit by Collecting Donor Feedback

You know when you go through the checkout line at a grocery store…

Or when you swing through a quick fast food joint to grab something to eat real quick… 

They hand you the receipt, and there’s an invitation to participate in a survey. 

“Take our survey and get a free jr. cheeseburger on us!” 

Or something like that. 

The whole reason those companies are doing those surveys is to improve their business. They want to make sure they’re serving their customers the best way they can. 

Well, here’s some news for ya! Using surveys to get feedback doesn’t have to be just for the “for-profit” world. Nonprofit surveys are an excellent way to get feedback from your donors on how you can improve your organization! 

Let’s dig into it more: 

A laptop screen has data and feedback from nonprofit surveys.

What Are Nonprofit Surveys? 

Just like with businesses, nonprofit surveys are a collection of questions asking participants to rate their experience. 

These questionnaires use specific questions to gauge their thoughts on what went well and what could use some improvement. 

And you can make nonprofit surveys for just about anything in your organization! 

Want to know how your donation process is holding up in the eyes of your donors? Curious to know what people thought of your latest virtual fundraising event? How about your volunteers – want to know what they think of working with your organization? 

You can get all that information for each of those things by using nonprofit surveys! 

How Do Nonprofit Surveys Improve Your Organization? 

Wouldn’t it be easier, though, to just go about normal business with your nonprofit without surveying supporters? 

Great question! Here’s the thing about not using nonprofit surveys. When you don’t collect feedback from your donors, you can’t ever truly know how to improve your organization when it comes to your supporters. 

Their feedback is so critical in learning what’s going well for them and what’s not going well. 

Without it, you can make your best guesses on what to focus on improving. But with it, you know firsthand which areas of your organization need your attention. 

Not only that, but it’s another great way to collect donor data to include in your donor database! Learn more about what your ideal donors care about. Learn more about what motivates them to take action – especially with your nonprofit! 

That way, you can double down on those strategies and increase donor support from others, too.  

Creating Nonprofit Surveys: 

Creating the nonprofit survey is (obviously) the first step in getting that golden feedback from your supporters! 

Here’s what you need to think about: 

  • What survey platform for nonprofits is best to use? 
  • What survey questions for nonprofits are best to have in the questionnaire?
  • How, where, when, and to whom should you send the nonprofit surveys? 

But don’t worry! We’ve got answers to all of those: 

Survey Questions for Nonprofits: 

The biggest thing to focus on with nonprofit surveys is the questions. These questions are crucial to getting the nonprofit feedback you crave! 

While including some “yes or no” questions is A-OK, you don’t want to only give them yes or no questions. Then, you’re limiting the amount of authentic feedback that you receive from them. 

So have a few open-ended questions to get as much of a response as possible. 

Here are some of our favorites:

Why Did You Choose Our Nonprofit? 

There are so many nonprofits they could have chosen to donate to or support! Yet, they chose yours (YAY)! So, let’s figure out why? 

Was it a certain statistic or social proof you provided on your website? Was it your reputation or word-of-mouth referral sources? Is it because of the category of work your nonprofit is a part of? 

Get clear on that so you can add it to your donor database, too! 

Where Did You First Find Our Nonprofit? 

This is an awesome question to ask to see what’s working in terms of your nonprofit digital marketing strategy. 

People find nonprofits in all kinds of ways. Not to mention, with so many different ways to build your nonprofit digital marketing strategy, you want to know what actually works! That way you can put more effort there and less effort into places you know don’t work for your organization. 

How Was the Donation Process? 

If they donated, ask them how they found the donation process! You want your online donation pages to be easy to use so there’s no reason for them not to donate. 

If there’s any sort of issue that people are running into, these nonprofit surveys may tell you! 

We recommend leaving this question open-ended so you can get a feel for their true thoughts on it. 

How Likely Are You to Donate to Our Nonprofit Again? 

This is a great question, especially if you have a nonprofit monthly program or a recurring donation program! 

You’ll also know who you can rely on if you reach back out to them. 

And if they answer no, then you may want to use a follow-up nonprofit survey question asking them why not. That will help you understand where your organization “falls short” in their eyes, and you can work on improving that! (If enough people say the same thing!) 

Where and When to Use Nonprofit Surveys?

The key to getting great results from your nonprofit surveys is to time them correctly and send them appropriately. 

You don’t want to send a nonprofit survey to someone’s mailbox if they donated online. Why? Because odds are, you won’t get any feedback from it! 

And you don’t want to send nonprofit surveys to people who don’t know your nonprofit organization. Otherwise, it’ll go directly in the trash! 

Send out nonprofit surveys immediately after a supporter:

You might even also send out a separate nonprofit survey for people who: 

  • Click on your online donation page from an email but don’t attend
  • Click on your fundraising event page from an email but don’t register to attend
  • Or otherwise interact with your nonprofit website but don’t end up supporting

The best way to send out these nonprofit surveys? Through your email marketing software!  But you can also use “Thank You” pages through your online donation platforms to share a link to the survey. 

Sending out your nonprofit surveys immediately after someone engages with your nonprofit is crucial, though! Because it’s fresh in their minds. And if they’ve just supported your organization, they’re more likely to go the extra mile and give some feedback on the experience. 

3 of the Top Survey Platforms for Nonprofits

Now that we know how to create surveys for your nonprofit, we need a tool to host it and put everything together! 

And you know Nonprofit-Apps has got your back on that front. Here are some of the best survey platforms for nonprofits: 

*PLEASE NOTE: These tools are not a complete list of every survey platform for nonprofits available. Nor are they in any specific order. 

These survey platforms for nonprofits were pulled after doing research on what’s available to you as of now! 

Nonprofit-Apps does not receive any compensation from these tools.* 

1. Survey Monkey

First up, we have Survey Monkey! This platform is one of the most well-known and widely-used survey platforms for nonprofits. 

It’s an easy-to-use tool with an intuitive user interface. If you need small surveys without too many questions, then the free version may be good for your organization. 

With it, you can create 10 nonprofit survey questions. And you can receive up to 100 responses per survey. 

A few drawbacks of Survey Monkey, though, are the limited customization and branding you can do with this platform. Plus, with the free version, you won’t be able to download your reports or data. You can still view the results of the surveys for your nonprofit! You just won’t be able to download them. 

2. Google Forms

Google Forms is coming in as a free resource for nonprofits! Now, this is another tool that’s great for smaller surveys that don’t need too many bells and whistles. 

Since it’s a free tool, you are limited with what you can do on the form. You won’t be able to design and customize it entirely for your nonprofit brand. But you can upload your logo, and they’ll create a match color palette for the survey. 

You also aren’t able to use things like logic jumps. A logic jump in a survey is when someone answers a question, and based on that answer, the form shows them a specific question. 

For instance, if you have a question that says “Did you attend the virtual fundraising event?” If the participant says no, then the form knows not to show them any more questions about that fundraising event. 

While Google Forms does not provide logic jumping, it’s still a free survey platform for nonprofits that can get the job done! 

Plus you can export your data to Excel spreadsheets. And they’re super easy to share whether it’s through a link, an embedded HTML code, through email, or on social media. 

3. Typeform

Typeform is to survey platforms for nonprofits as Flodesk is to email marketing software for nonprofits

This survey tool is the queen of branding the surveys for your nonprofit! So if you’re looking to have a questionnaire that looks completely on brand – this is the one for you. 

Plus, it’s a serious survey tool. With the free basic plan, you can get up to 100 responses per month and 10 questions per survey (similar to Survey Monkey). 

And with an upgraded plan, those numbers increase. Plus, you can use awesome features like logic jumps and piping. Not to mention, you can integrate your Typeforms right into email marketing platforms like MailChimp or Flodesk! 

Oh, and your survey feedback can automatically be sent straight to your nonprofit CRM software like HubSpot!

Get better information on how to improve your nonprofit organization straight from your supporters’ minds! 

These nonprofit surveys are such an awesome feature to add to your workflow. And these platforms will help you make surveys that wow the socks right off your donors. 

Nonprofit professionals analyze feedback from donors after using nonprofit surveys.

Want more related to this? Check out these posts! 

A Super Quick Guide to Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

Here’s the 5 Best CRM Software for Nonprofits to Streamline Your Organization

4 Best Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits to Bring In More Donations

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