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GiveCentral's 2016 Insights on Nonprofit Giving report uncovers Americans’ charitable giving habits.
Market research survey for non profit associations, feedback mechanism for donor managers

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association~the 7 Golden Rules.

Before you start a major marketing campaign for your non-profit association or plan to introduce a new product or service, you need to be sure that your donors want what you are offering. Imagine working hard on a new service for months only to find out that your audience just isn’t ready for it!

Research surveys can help you find the interests of your community, provide a thorough understanding of your existing business and also help explore new opportunities in the marketplace.

Conducting a survey however, can be more difficult than it seems. At least for quality results.

Here are some tips from us at GiveCentral to help you get started.

Set up a survey to probe your non-profit association’s community with these 7 golden rules.

1.     Before getting started ask yourself

The survey must be specific to a target because its nature and the conclusions to be drawn will depend greatly on the target. You can survey your volunteers or employees to make improvements within the organization.

You can also know the satisfaction of your donors and the prospects of their growth.

  • What question are you trying to answer?

Write the problem to which this survey responds. Poll Rule: A survey always answers a question.

2.       How to structure it?

Some tips to increase your response rate:

  • Choose your non-profit survey title and subtitle
  • Consider adding a description where you set the context, explain the issues involved in the survey and why it is important that they complete the survey
  • Give an end date to the survey, and put it forward so as to avoid procrastination. It’s now or never!
  • Start with broad questions and get into the details as you go.

3.      What kind of questions to ask?

Questions should be short. Between 5 and 15 words. The respondent does not want to spend too much time taking questions. Answering your survey should be easy and quick.

Questions must be clear. Use simple and appropriate vocabulary. Even if the questionnaire is aimed at professionals, avoid the use of jargons.

Questions must be relevant. Stick to a subject. The respondent must understand why you are asking a particular question.

Also be careful not to ask personal questions. Even if your survey is anonymous, you would lose in response rate.

4.     What kind of survey response options to use?

There are two formats you can choose from- structured (where the respondent is allowed to select a response from pre-existing choices) or unstructured (open-ended) response formats.

While the structured formats are used for greater efficiency and ease, the unstructured survey response formats are a more popular choice for qualitative research.

Some advantages and disadvantages of the most frequently used survey formats for market research are:

Single choice closed question

+ Fast and simple

– Limit

Closed multiple choice question

+ More open but still easy to strip

– Some proposals are sometimes chosen without real conviction

Ranking

+ Allows accurate comparisons and results

– Difficult to put in place

Open question

+ Leave a Reply

– Long to answer: may scare the respondent (be sure to leave the answer optional)

– Little response rate

– Long to strip

5.      Who will be your target audience?

Sample and population

  • The population is the number of people who make up the group you want to interview.

For example, if you want to better understand the behaviour of your donors, your population is the number of donors your non-profit association has: 150 for example.

  • The sample is the number of people in this population who responded to your survey.

You send your survey by email to your 150 donors. Only 50 respond: this is the size of your sample.

How large should my sample be compared to my population?

The table below shows you the size of the sample you need to get meaningful results.

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association- the 7 golden rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size/

Thus, it can be seen that the larger the size of the population, the less the proportion of respondents to be interviewed.

When is a sample representative of my population?

A margin of error of 5% and a confidence level of 95% according to the sample size shown above guarantees good reliability and very significant results.

6.     How to administer the non-profit survey?

There are multiple ways to administer a survey depending on the size of the population and the number of questions you may wish to ask. Each method has its pros and cons.

Face to face:

+ Helps if the questionnaire is complex / long

+ High response rate

– Costly and long

– Long analysis

By email:

Send a questionnaire + a cover letter + return envelope or propose a return by hand

+ Accessible to all: can reach all our members without exception

– Low response rate

– Expensive

– Long analysis

Online survey:

Put your non-profit online survey on the website, and send an invitation to reply by email. You can use solutions like Google Form, Survey Monkey and GiveCentral’s donor management system.

+ Automatic scoring

+ Anonymity of responses if desired

+ Allows some tools to have a graphical view of the results

– Need to have internet to answer: discriminating (less and less however)

The people who respond to the surveys must be randomly selected if our population is to be represented. Be careful, therefore, that administering your online survey does not distort the results. There is a risk of missing out on the representation of elderly people without internet access, those who rarely consult their emails or rarely visit your website.

7.     What to do with the results?

The analysis of the results is an essential step.

The results must make it possible to answer your initial questions and put in place concrete actions.

Be sure to remain objective in your analysis, because some answers can be misinterpreted. To remedy this, you can work with several hypothesis.

It is important to communicate the results of your non-profit survey to the community.

People who have taken time to answer your questionnaire will be delighted to have this information. Your non-profit association can use various communication tools such as, the website, monthly newsletter or email.

business man select happy on satisfaction evaluation? And good mood smiley

Managing Donor Experience: The 5 big challenges.

Managing donor experience is a relatively recent concept which has become key to our relational and marketing plans’ success.With all of the new technological advances competing for our donor’s attention,here are the 5 major challenges for small and large organizations this year.

# 1 The Rise of Mobile

Smartphones are taking over. Globally, 1.4 billion smartphones were sold in 2015, according to Gartner. Smartphones have revolutionized consumers’ habits and behaviour. This is undoubtedly one of the most striking phenomena of the decade.

The rate of the mobile usage keeps increasing from year to year. 2017 is no exception to the rule. Organizations that seek to optimize the user experience need to integrate this technology in their marketing and relational plans. Organizations should focus the coming year on improving the mobile donor experience. How?By proposing a mobile application, adapting the website to the mobile phone (responsive design), and using text messaging as a marketing channel.

# 2 Multichannel Intensification

The channels of communication have grown considerably in recent years, especially with the emergence of digital channels: email, sms, mobile application, chat, online questionnaires. Donors often use multiple channels to interact with the organization, and pass from one channel to another (from the mobile to the website, from the website to the physical point of transaction).This trend is expected to continue in 2017.

Organizations have to offer their donors a multichannel donor experience, that is to say:

  • Provide an optimal donor experience regardless of the channel used by the donor.
  • Provide fluidity in the passage from one channel to another, and thus the connection of the different channels. For example, the possibility of finding an offline charity event on the mobile application.

# 3 Combining the digital and physical: the rise of Phygital marketing

Organizations must not only offer more channels of interaction, but must also ensure that the various channels are properly integrated.There must be bridges between the different channels so that donors can switch from one to the other with ease.

There are two main families of channels: digital channels (online) and physical channels (offline). For some years now we have been seeing a blend of these two types.Some use the term “phygital” to describe this phenomenon.

# 4 Authenticity in donor relations

Donors appreciate organizations that listen to them. This includes the integration of social networks into the relationship strategy. Many organizations are hiring people to respond to demands on social networks (community managers).

# 5 Self-reliance

The human side of donor relations counts a lot, but donors also cherish their autonomy. They are increasingly enjoying the services that enable them to solve a simple problem on their own without the help of the organization. Why? Because the donor is looking to save time and minimize their efforts. The development of self-service tools is another 2017 trend of donor experience.

In the search for maximizing the donor experience, you have to keep in mind this seemingly contradictory aspect with the previous point. The principle is: let the donor do what they can do themselves, and concentrate the donor relations on the more complex actions or problems.

An example? Have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on your website that answers the basic questions, or show them how to use the app via tutorials. This helps to manage your donor service, and improves your efficiency.

As an organization, it is essential that you are aware of these developments to differentiate yourself from the crowd and maintain a good level of donor satisfaction. These trends are not new but their importance will certainly increase in the months to come.

importance of online giving

WHY IS ACCEPTING ONLINE DONATIONS ESSENTIAL TODAY?

If you want to grow and reach as many people as possible, your presence on the internet is essential. The more you want to grow your organization, the greater your web presence should be Making a simple website, or having accounts on social networks are not enough.

The advancement of crowdfunding and ease of making online donations should allow you to put yourself forward, and raise funds. 

Here are some of the top reasons why you should collect online:

  • The Internet affects all generations

Don’t assume that your organization won’t have online giving adopters just because you have more elderly donors currently. People ages 65+ are the fastest adopters of the internet – many of them use Facebook, Facetime, and Skype to communicate with their grandchildren and family.

Several years ago, few people trusted entering their credit card numbers on the Internet. Today, thanks to all the security offered by banks, card companies, and providers by the means of online payments, you can enter your bank details without fear. 

  • It’s easier for donors

Online giving is certainly a time-saver for your organization, but it’s also easier for the donors. Many people are turning to the internet to manage their finances, and so make it easy for them – let them give to your nonprofit in the same way! Additionally, allowing them to give when convenient for them makes is easier. They don’t have to wait until your office is open – then can give whenever and wherever.

  • This allows you to collect more

Enabling payment online allows donors a wide choice of payment methods, and thus encourages them. The more choices they have, the more the giving becomes simple for your donors, and the more likely he is they are to give!

  • Online collection can be communicated

Once your organization has traction with online giving, it’s important to broadcast and communicate that online – through social media, email and your website. Platforms like GiveCentral.org can help your staff communicate your successes faster, giving them more time to promote your mission!

People Discussion Meeting Give Help Donate Charity Concept

5 things to know before starting a fundraising campaign.

Want to launch your online fundraising campaign? A little strategy is in order! From the beginning of a Fundraising campaign, it is important for non-profit organizations to be aware of certain elements:

  • Philanthropists want to see results from their gift. If they agree to help fund a project, it’s because they believe in the organization and its mission. Make it clear in your marketing and messaging why is your organization raising funds.
  • It is tricky to solicit donations for the sole purpose of balancing a budget. It is easier to convince donors to participate in the development of your organization, or in a specific mission that the institution intends to carry out. To get more donors to become involved, the funds sought must be used to move the nonprofit organization.
  • Soliciting prospective donors in a non-targeted manner (for example starting with the letter A of a directory) whether it is specialized or not, is not considered the most effective strategy while starting a fundraising campaign. It is better to turn to potential donors (companies or individuals) who are already connected in one way or another to the fundraising institution or its members.
  • As often in marketing disciplines, loyalty to a donor is easier than recruiting a new donor. For this, the process of traceability, thanking your donors,  follow-ups and information regarding the use of donations are essential.
  • According to several recent studies, there is generally a very large disproportion in the amount of donations obtained.The Pareto principle applies here in full: the fact that 90% of donations come from 10% of donors is a common pattern. This can even go further (95-5 etc.). In conclusion, it is not necessarily useful to look for a large quantity donors, it is necessary to be able to detect and convince the quality ones.
Motivational concept image of a hand holding marker and write We Want To Hear From You isolated on white

GiveCentral Launches Predictions for Nonprofit Giving Survey

As a leading online giving provider, GiveCentral is committed to advancing industry research to help identify and understand emerging trends and challenges in the nonprofit community.  As such, bi-annually, we conduct a national nonprofit giving survey for professionals to gain insights on the state of giving.

We’ve launched the much-anticipated 2017 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving survey and would like to hear your opinions and insights.  As leaders in the nonprofit fundraising industry, we know you have your fingers on the pulse of giving trends. From giving preferences and levels to the increasing role technology plays in donations, your thoughts and feedback matter.  Would you help us by taking a quick survey?  

Click here to take the survey

With your help, the third edition of the GiveCentral Predictions for Nonprofit Giving Survey Report will once again reveal valuable insights on the state of giving while offering practical advice and best practice suggestions to ensure your ongoing fundraising success.  

Thank you for playing a role in this important initiative.  All survey participants will receive a copy of the final report.  Your time and participation are much appreciated.

Here’s to a successful 2017!

charitable giving by religion

The #GivingTuesday Countdown

#GivingTuesday

– the global philanthropic movement celebrating and encouraging a national day of charitable giving – is one week away.  How are you celebrating it this year?  

Ideally, your planning is in the final “finishing touches” stage with your communications ready to roll and your online/mobile giving site ready to accept donations.  For some, however, we know that despite the best intentions your #GivingTuesday plans may still be in the works.  

With that in mind, we developed this quick-and-easy last minute #GivingTuesday Checklist to help you capitalize on this big day of giving and pull together a successful #GivingTuesday campaign:

  • Determine Your Campaign Theme and Goal

The first step is to figure out what you are raising money for and how much you aim to raise.  To make things easy, if you already have a holiday or end-of-year campaign in place, simply tie #GivingTuesday to that campaign.  It’s a great way to bolster the campaign and increase support.

If not, create a specific campaign goal that will resonate with your supporters.  Donors want to know what their donations support so be specific – i.e. raising $50,000 for a scholarship fund or $10,000 for sprucing up a local family shelter.  You may even want to consider taking a menu approach:  allowing donors to direct funds to multiple ongoing projects you  support.  

  • Craft Your Communications.

Compelling communications are the backbone of your #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign.  Donors are more likely to give if they know how their dollars help.  Be sure to craft stories that demonstrate the impact donations have on your campaign.  Use strong visuals to help bring your story to life and be sure to make it easy to give by including a link to your online giving page in every communication.  Your communications need to inspire and breakthrough the clutter of the day.  

Time won’t allow for a full donation page overhaul, but at the very least make sure your donation page references your #GivingTuesday effort and the donation options mirror your campaign.  And, be sure to add the highly recognizable #GivingTuesday logo to your page.   

  • Get Social

#GivingTuesday expertly leverages social media to encourage giving.  Be sure you create social content that is not only compelling but easily sharable.  Invite your supporters to share your story – and link!  

You can still make the most of #GivingTuesday but you have to act fast!  Happy fundraising.    

GIving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday: Celebrating the Spirit of Holiday Giving

The holiday season is a whirl of activity. For many, it “officially” kicks off with the shopping, deal-focused frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.

Five years ago, two enterprising organizations – New York City’s 92nd Street Y community and cultural center and the United Nations Foundation – joined forces to create an event to kick off the charitable holiday giving season and Giving Tuesday was born. Since then, Giving Tuesday has been celebrating philanthropy and charitable giving. Last year, this widely supported and nationally recognized day of giving raised an estimated $117 million, according to Reuters.

Giving Tuesday 2016 will take place on Tuesday, November 29th. Now’s the time to plan how your nonprofit can be part of the action on this national day of giving. While many of you may already be in the thick of appeals or about to launch other holiday giving campaigns, Giving Tuesday is a great day to bolster (or even kick-off) your campaign and help increase support. Leverage the built-in awareness of this popular day to your advantage!

At GiveCentral we support and share the sentiment behind Giving Tuesday so we’ve developed a handy guide to help your organization capitalize on the excitement and rally your donors.

1. Create Your Campaign

For every fundraising campaign, It’s crucial to know your audience and their key values to tailor your pitch. Create a theme for your campaign (what are you raising money for) that will resonate with donors. Most importantly, ensure you have personal anecdotes and stories to bring your campaign to life. Be specific about how donated funds will be used and build a case as to why it’s important. Tap into select donors to help tell your story and reinforce why the campaign is important. Donors are more likely to give if they can relate to where their dollars are going and “buy in” to the need. Once themes and storyline proof points are set, use the buzz around Giving Tuesday to not only celebrate philanthropy but also encourage support of your cause. The goal of your messaging should always be to effectively get your donor base to believe in your mission.

2. Layer Your Communications

With the campaign creative and messaging set, it’s time to spread the word! Whether it’s a note in your newsletter, email, flyer, text message or social posts and videos, be sure to maximize all of your communication platforms to share details about your campaign. Educate your audience on what Giving Tuesday is and how they can get involved to make Giving Tuesday a successful kick-off for your organization’s charitable holiday giving campaign.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t forget to say thank you! A personalized thank you for a donation is an effective way to turn a one-time donor into a lifelong supporter. GiveCentral makes it easy for organizations by sending automatically customized thank you notes after each donation.

3. Engage Your Resources

It takes a village! Don’t go at your campaign alone. Create a committee of individuals who are energized and excited to make your fundraising campaign a success for your organization. Leverage these individuals to be key communicators of your campaign through word of mouth, social media and more!

Be sure to tap into Giving Tuesday’s extensive resource center. They offer a plethora of free resources – tool kits, logos, ideas and more – to make your campaign sizzle.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Take advantage of the smartphone phenomenon and directly connect to your donors through GiveCentral’s Text-To-Connect platform. Texts are sent to your custom cell phone number to collect information and donations to take your Giving Tuesday campaign to the next level.

4. Get Social

#GivingTuesday expertly leverages social media as a catalyst to build momentum for the movement and drive charitable giving across the world. Be part of the conversation and share your story. Create tailored Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram images to remind your followers of #GivingTuesday and your mission while gaining new followers.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Create a personalized hashtag for your Giving Tuesday campaign for donors to easily tag, track and share!

With these tips, your organization will be well on its way to helping members celebrate Giving Tuesday and get into the holiday giving spirit!  Click here for a downloadable GivingTuesday planning guide featuring these helpful tips.  

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That’s A Wrap from your Fundraising Partner

October got off to a busy start with two important industry conferences.  GiveCentral was proud to participate in both the International Catholic Stewardship Conference (ICSC) and the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC).  We greatly enjoyed connecting with so many of you and appreciate you taking the time to learn how GiveCentral can be a cost-effective fundraising partner.  

Each year these conferences offer a plethora of valuable information for attendees as well as exhibitors.  We hope you found the meetings informative and were able to capture some helpful takeaways!

Congrats Are in Order

We’d like to congratulate our iPad giveaway promotion winners who visited our booth during the conferences.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to have demonstrated the state-of-the-art GiveCentral online giving system and look forward to partnering with you to help you raise more:

  • Mariann Gilbride, Associate Director of Development Major and Planned Gifts, Diocese of Trenton (ICSC winner)
  • Valerie Sperka, Director of Development, Catholic Charities Indianapolis (NCDC winner)

Didn’t get a chance to stop by or are curious to learn more…give us a call at  (312) 929-2306.  We’d love to show you how effective GiveCentral can be as your fundraising partners, and showcase all we can do to help you optimize giving.

Storytelling for nonprofits

What’s Your Narrative? Stories worth telling.

By Patrick Coleman

What’s Your Narrative? Powerful Storytelling for Non Profits.

Humans are literally built to learn through stories.  Storytelling is a fundamental way to communicate, one that pre-dates the earliest pre-historic cave paintings. Since the beginning of humankind stories have been used to share knowledge and have been central to handing down history and traditions.  StorytellingI venture to guess, just about now, you are thinking about the stories of your ancestors you’ve been told along the way.

More than a buzzword for marketers and communicators, storytelling has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing tools for organizations today (both for-profit and non-profit alike). Check out this infographic from OneSpot on the science of storytelling.   

According to OneSpot, Americans consume an average of 100,500 digital words daily and 92% of these consumers want stories.  Storytelling engages the head and the heart and makes the connection personal.

Storytelling for non profits.

Ensuring your organization has an interesting narrative is essential. Well-crafted stories engage donors, raise awareness, demonstrate a need and illustrate the impact you have on your community.  Compelling stories connect people to your organization and your mission.  Remember these topline content guidelines when crafting your stories:

Elicit Emotions.  

Use emotion to connect on a human level.  Facts and figures are important, but stories are memorable. Your stories need to move the reader — make them feel something and ideally propel them to take action.

Appeal to the Senses.  

Use language that paints a picture and enables the reader to experience the story.  If you were writing about food you’d use descriptors that would make the readers’ mouth water.  Apply that same tactic to your writing.  

Focus on Why not What.  

Tell supporters why you do the work you do.  Dimensionalize “the what” by showcasing the outcomes – or the “why” of your work.

How is your organization using storytelling to enhance your fundraising?  What insights and tips can you share?  We love a good story, so be sure to share!

alumni giving

Homecoming: A Great Time to Connect for Alumni Giving

This fall many schools and parishes are hosting homecoming festivities which are a fun way for students, parents and parishioners to show their parish pride!  As the name implies, homecoming is also a time to invite former students and parish members back to campus to keep them connected to you and your mission.

If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to share details about your upcoming homecoming.  Alumni are an important constituent who can help you advance your mission.  Keeping them engaged in your organization can have significant payoff in the long run which is why they should already be part of your fundraising strategy playbook.

Here’s a quick game plan to help you tackle this initiative during homecoming:

  • Create a special invite for alumni encouraging them to come back for homecoming festivities.  Distribute via traditional channels (bulletin, flyers at local establishments, local newspaper, email if you have that info, etc.) as well as socially on popular social sites.
  • If you haven’t done so already, create an alumni Facebook group and include details on how to join the group in your homecoming alumni invite.  You can use this group as a way to publicize homecoming events and so much more year round! Share news of the site with existing parish and school members and ask them to share with alumni they know.
  • Engage alumni ambassadors to help spread the news and get their classmates to attend homecoming.

Now that you’ve spread the word, on game day:

  • Have parish/school members staff a highly visible alumni table where attendees are encouraged to check in. Use the face-to-face greeting as a time to collect up-to-date email, phone and address information (use an ipad for quick and easy data collection) so you can add them to your ongoing communications outreach. Be sure to encourage them to join your alumni Facebook Group.  Create signage with the group name for easy reference.
  • Tap into alumni nostalgia and connection to the school.  Consider selling school spirit wear or car magnets so alumni can show their pride.  Use GiveCentral Go to collect sales on the spot!  Designate a project or program that money collected will support.
  • During halftime, make an announcement welcoming alumni and inviting them onto the field for special recognition.

In the week following homecoming, be sure to use the data you collected and send personal thank you notes to alumni who participated in homecoming activities.  Leveraging homecoming is a great way to kick-start or invigorate your alumni relations plan which should already be part of your fundraising strategy.