WINSPIRE NEWS

Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising and charity auctions.

Why Surveying Donors Can Boost Fundraising Revenue at Your Next Charity Auction

Posted by Ian Lauth

Donor Surveys to Boost Fundraising Revenue at your Next Charity Auction

Nonprofits are always looking for ways to improve their fundraising auctions so they can raise more money, and one of the best places to start looking for ideas is to survey your existing donor base. 

Surveys are a free and simple way to get feedback from your donors and learn more about their values and preferences. The information you receive can be used to develop everything from what type of event to host to the items you include in your live and silent auctions.

How do I create a survey?

Before you survey donors, consider the best way to reach your specific audience. Surveys can be done in many ways, such as over the phone, through snail mail, in person or via email. They can be comprehensive and cover many topics or be as simple as a single question.

One of the most popular ways to survey your database of contacts is an online questionnaire sent via email. Questionnaires allow you to reach as many donors as possible efficiently and quickly. There are many free online sources that provide clear, easy-to use templates for you to work with.

Donor-Surveys_Survey-MonkeySurveymonkey.com is one such resource that we use at Winspire to survey our Nonprofit customers as well as every winning bidder when they return from their Experience.

What should I ask?

Start by asking yourself what you would like to know about your donors. Questions like “Why do you contribute to this organization?” are fairly standard survey questions, but you can dig deeper. Try to frame your questions in a way that will give you concrete feedback that you can use to improve your next event.

For example, to improve your fundraising auctions, you could use a survey prior to the procurement process to discover what type of charity auction items would perform best at the event.  Auction items should always be acquired and presented with your audience in mind, so why not just skip the guessing game and ask them directly what they want to bid on?

You can choose whether or not to make a survey anonymous, which depends on what you’re hoping to do with the information you gather. You can gather information from specific donors if you are trying to identify their preferences and cater future offerings to their interests. Anonymous surveys, on the other hand, are better if you are collecting general demographic information or looking for truly honest feedback. 

Following are some topics and specific questions you can ask on your surveys:

Demographic info

  • Age
  • Family information (married, kids, etc.)
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Number of charity events attended per year (overall – not just yours)

Event Feedback

  • Overall event
  • Frequency of events
  • Auction items offered
  • Checkout process
  • Presentation of items
  • Auctioneer
  • Décor
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Invitations/Pre-event promotion

Auction Item Offerings

  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Favorite travel destinations
  • Favorite auction item categories
  • Past items bid on
  • Feedback on past auction items
  • Input for future items
  • Spending budget for charity events

Nonprofit Cause/Mission

  • Purpose for donating
  • Quality of communication with supporters
  • Methods for donating
  • Etc…

This list is not comprehensive. You can certainly expand and create more questions tailored to your organization – in fact, you should!

You can use your survey to ask just about anything. Try to think of questions that will give you the information you need to develop your relationship with donors, improve the experience at your charity events and ultimately increase how much money you are able to raise.

Donors will appreciate you taking the time to learn more about them because you’ll be able to develop fundraising events that they enjoy attending.

New Free eBook Secure Better Auction Items

Secure Better Auction Items!

A successful charity auction relies on your ability to get exciting and appealing items for your donors to bid on.

Download this Free eBook with tips for making auction item procurement more efficient, more effective and easier for your entire team.

Download eBook →

 
Fundraising, Nonprofit Communication, Nonprofit Survey
Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.

Related Posts

Fundraising in the COVID-19 Climate - Q&A with Nonprofits

Because we know how challenging this time may be, we wanted to provide some guidance and clarity during this challenging time. Our Director of Product Development, Jason Champion, Director of Sales, Kevin Spykerman, and Director of Marketing, Lou Prisco, sat down with Bobby D. Elhert, Benefit Auctioneer and Fundraising Professional from Inspire Hearts Fundraising, to answer live questions sent in during our live webinar Q + A.

Best Practices: Postponing your Fundraising Event

With the postponement of a gala event, much work needs to be accomplished in a short period of time and approached with flexibility and care. Our good friends at JDRF shared with us some tips for postponing an event that includes a checklist of activities and strategies to be considered and executed.

Happy Holidays from Winspire!

Season's Greetings! Our team here at Winspire wanted to wish you and your organization a Happy Holiday 🎉