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Get to Know Your Donors: The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Surveying

How well do you know your donors? Perhaps you're pretty familiar with those that support your cause. Your organization is well established. You've been hosting fundraising events, meeting with major donors and recruiting board members for decades. Maybe you've just joined, or the organization itself is new. There's a lot to learn. Whether you're a long-time staff member or recent recruit, your donor database is changing (and hopefully growing) every day. If you're not carefully tracking your donors, you might be surprised at the characteristics of your "average donor". The more you know about your audience, the more you can plan programs, giving campaigns and fundraising events with personal impact. Today we are going to look at one great way to get to know your supporters: conducting online surveys. We'll cover: Choose an Online Survey Tool Create Your Survey Great Questions for Donor Feedback Great Questions for Planning Events Great Questions for Post-event Feedback Surveys in Action: Help Improve Winspire News! Want to improve your marketing and social media efforts, improve volunteer opportunities, choose a new theme for the next giving campaign or all of the above? Read on for a beginner's guide to nonprofit surveying. Choose an Online Survey Tool According to the May/June issue of Nonprofit Hub Magazine, one of the most common reasons nonprofits do not survey donors is the time commitment of tracking and interpreting data. So you might be surprised at the wealth of user-friendly, convenient and affordable online survey tools at your disposal.

  • 16 min read
  • Sep 15, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Fundraising Incentives: 8 Top Strategies to Sweeten Giving

Fundraising is a foundation of the nonprofit world. All the stress and hard work that goes into a fundraising campaign or event is worth it...if you receive a high enough return on your investment. Using incentives ensures your fundraising efforts operate to their fullest extent. Today we’ll look at 8 practical strategies to "sweeten the giving pot" for your two most important segments of supporters: donors and your fundraising team (including development staff, volunteers, board members and more). Let's get started with incentives for those that fuel your mission: your donors.

  • 17 min read
  • Sep 6, 2016 9:46:34 AM

13 Ways Board Members Can Become Fundraising Event Superheroes

The board is critical to a nonprofit's success and longevity. Board members voluntarily give their time, resources, professional insight and more to support a cause they believe in. They also serve as the public face of an organization, advocating for your work and impact. Not only do board members participate in day-to-day operations, they're needed to pull off special fundraising events throughout the year. Are you making the most of their time and efforts?

  • 15 min read
  • Jul 26, 2016 7:30:00 AM

3 Easy Ways to Retain Event Sponsors (You'll thank yourself later!)

If you've ever been part of a charity fundraising event, you know they can be costly. Sponsorships are a great way to offset expenses, give local businesses and individuals the chance to promote their brand, and build relationships. Recently we've looked at best practices to create a sponsorship strategy, write proposal letters and follow up with potential sponsors (see below). After all the hard work you've done to obtain sponsorships, today we'll conclude our sponsorship miniseries by discussing how to retain sponsors. How successful is your organization at netting satisfied returning sponsors? Check out 3 simple post-event opportunities that leave a great impression with sponsors - come next year, you'll be glad you did! Charity Event Sponsorship Series This mini-series is meant to guide you through the process of acquiring and retaining sponsorships to support your charity auction fundraising event. Part 1: The 2-Step Process to Securing Enthusiastic Event Sponsorships Part 2: 10 Easy Steps to Effective Sponsorship Request Letters Part 3: Do's & Don'ts of Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow Up Part 4: 3 Easy Ways to Retain Event Sponsors 1. Send an event summary and thank you letters When the event is said and done, sponsors want to know how it went and, more importantly, how their company’s brand was positively impacted.

  • 6 min read
  • Jun 16, 2016 8:10:48 AM

Do's & Don'ts of Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow Up

On Tuesday we shared 10 components of an effective charity event sponsorship request letter, plus rolled out the Winspire Sponsorship Kit templates that simplify the process from start to finish. So, let’s say you’ve written and signed your letters, printed out the forms and shipped out all your sponsorship proposals. Now what? Initial requests are only half the story. Now is your chance to maximize the impact of those letters by following up well with prospective sponsors. Securing corporate sponsorships is a big task, and event volunteers and committee members need to have an organized follow up strategy prepared as soon as letters are sent. To assist, read on for the fundamental do's and don'ts of pursuing charity event sponsorships. Learn how to best position your proposals for success—and even turn a "no" into an enthusiastic “yes"!

  • 10 min read
  • Jun 9, 2016 10:08:08 AM

10 Easy Steps to Effective Sponsorship Request Letters + FREE Templates

Fundraising events raise a lot of money in a short amount of time, but they can also be quite expensive to host.

  • 9 min read
  • Jun 7, 2016 9:28:55 AM

Donor Segmentation: The Email Tactic that Gets 65% More Responses

In recent weeks we've discussed a few key principles of effective event emails, including how to compose compelling "save the date" invitations and general tips for strategizing an email campaign. Today let's look at a fundamental best practice that gets more conversions—that is, more clicks and responses to your emails. This can look like more tickets sold, more social media shares, more registrations, and ultimately more revenue. So, what's the key to increasing donor participation? Two steps: segmenting your donor base and targeting messaging to each different segment. It's that simple! A recent survey by email service provider MailChimp shows just how effective this strategy is. They tracked 11,000 segmented email campaigns and found that list segmentation increased email click-through rates by 65% and open rates by 14% compared to their non-segmented emails, while trimming unsubscribes by 9%. Other research suggests 24% of companies that segment lists see increased revenue as a result. Sound good? Read on to learn how your organization can take advantage of this simple but impactful tactic. Segmentation Overview Your donor base is made up of unique individuals. Yes, they all have a common connection—an interest in your cause—but no two supporters are alike. There are obvious differences, like age and gender, but also ones below the surface, like personal background and motivations.

  • 12 min read
  • Apr 26, 2016 10:26:38 AM

From Fundraising to "Friend-raising": 5 Post-Auction Must-Do's to Grow Lasting Relationships

You spend months procuring amazing auction items, coaching volunteers, promoting the event and planning logistics. On the night of the auction, everyone has a great time and you exceed your fundraising goals. It's almost time to celebrate! The last piece of the puzzle? Donor outreach and follow-up. While nonprofits understand the need to thank everyone involved after a big event, not all take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with supporters in other strategic ways. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your post-event donor outreach and cultivate rich relationships with your supporters for years to come. 1. Learn more about attendees and get feedback. Sometimes the only piece of information you have about guests, especially new ones, is that they’re willing and able to give to your cause. So finding out more about them is key to connecting in an authentic, meaningful way.

  • 7 min read
  • Mar 1, 2016 9:43:33 AM

Write Amazing Headlines for Your Nonprofit Blog [INFOGRAPHIC]

There’s an old adage in web marketing that “content is king”, meaning that if you have great content (e.g. blog posts, videos, resources, etc.) on your nonprofit blog or website, you’ll attract more visitors, build a stronger following (i.e. more donors) and ultimately increase your ability to make an impact.  There is one major caveat, though: If your non-profit communication content is buried beneath bland headlines, your target audience may never discover the greatness of your blog posts and articles!

  • 2 min read
  • Jan 6, 2016 9:27:49 AM

16 Fundraising Best Practices for Preventing Donor Fatigue

Donor fatigue describes the unfortunate situation where key contributors either reduce or stop donating to a nonprofit they had been consistently supporting in the past. Early signs of donor fatigue include: Reduced frequency of donations Smaller donation amounts Unresponsiveness to calls or letters

  • 15 min read
  • Oct 13, 2015 10:43:00 AM

How Well Do You Really Know Your Donors?

How much do you really know about your donor base? Sure, you might know some general facts such as their age and gender, but do you know what their interests are? What they do for a living? What motivates them to support your organization? What they like and don’t like about your fundraising events? Establishing a positive relationship and learning more about your donors is an important step toward hosting successful fundraising events. When you have an idea of what makes your donors tick, you’ll be able to tailor your events to match their interests and preferences. So how do you learn about your donors? The best way to acquire as much information as possible is to use several different methods. Here are 4 things to consider: 1. Web search A basic web search is a great way to start researching donors – especially when you know little to nothing about them. Try a Google search and look at their social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn. While looking online doesn't really qualify as "in-depth research", you still might be able to learn some basic information like where donors work, organizations they are associated with, hobbies and recent vacations they took. Remember... pictures are worth a thousand words!  2. Surveys Surveys allow you to collect information about a large group of people. In your surveys, find out what your donors’ interests and hobbies are. You should also ask supporters what they would like incorporated into future events. That way, you’ll be able to pinpoint what donors liked or didn’t like about past fundraising efforts. A great source you can use to create free online surveys is www.surveymonkey.com. 

  • 5 min read
  • Feb 5, 2015 11:01:00 AM

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