12 reasons to do a donor insight survey

August 17, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Getting information about donors can be a tricky job, but having the knowledge can be a big help for fundraisers. It’s always good to know what they’re thinking.

Donor insight surveys offer help. During the 2015 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference, Renee Durnin of the Gabriel Group and John Kendrick and Mari Chin of The George Washington University said such surveys can also be helpful for spreading information about the organization. They said that a donor insight survey should be about the organization, not just nonprofits in general, but that it has the following purposes:

  • Uncover subjective data;
  • Why they love the organization;
  • What affects their giving decisions;
  • Who else they support;
  • Their awareness of planned giving options;
  • Consideration of estate planning vehicles;
  • Uncover elusive objective data;
  • Presence of heirs;
  • Unknown existing estate gifts;
  • Provide highly qualified self-identified planned giving leads;
  • Assess the immediacy of interest; and,
  • Focus on the gift planner with actionable data.

As far as where to start, they suggested using big data from national surveys and studies and blending that information with metrics the organization already has to identify the best placed giving prospect audience to receive a survey.