Nonprofit donor surveying is a topic that’s hard to miss these days. Google “nonprofit survey questions” and you’ll get 31,500,000 hits!
The problem? Those top hits are all software companies with an agenda… and no clue what works in donor surveying!
They’ve never been in your shoes. They’ve never worked for a nonprofit.
And they don’t know the art and science of surveying for nonprofits.
I’ve downloaded any number of these “free” resources. And I’m here to tell you when you take the advice from many of these platforms, you’ll be actively turning your donors off.
So, how can you raise money using donor surveying?
I started my career in the nonprofit sector with a donor survey!
Yup! There I was. In my first job as a development director. I needed to create a development department from the ground up. And I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
I don’t need to tell you it was challenging!
Thanks to a successful capital campaign, the organization built a brand new building.
And what had they done since?
Nothing. Not a thing.
- Major donors ignored.
- Not a single foundation grant proposal had been written in five years.
- The businessman behind the capital campaign had died. None of the data from that campaign was available to me.
- The organization had no website.
- They’d been losing donors for years
The more I dug, the worse things looked.
The closest I’d come to fundraising experience was reviewing grant proposals. I had no clue where to start.
But, after emerging from head-desk mode, I sat down at my desk and mapped out a plan.
And the very first thing I did was send out a donor survey!
So what happened? Fast forward 12 months and we had:
- Raised nearly $150,000 in foundation support, the majority of it general operating support (who’s got time for all those grant reports?)
- Increased our individual giving by a full 25% – and reduced costs by 31% (Boards always love that part! And when you practice retention fundraising it’s easy to save money.)
- Brought in our first online gifts AND…
- Landed one of our first bequest gifts, a check for $250,000!
All through the power of a donor survey.
I’m here to tell you. No fundraising training I’ve ever taken came close to that initial revelation.
Your donors are your best teachers. When you actively listen and know the best questions to ask.
Through the power of targeted donor surveying, you’ll uncover your best planned, major, and monthly giving prospects. You’ll be able to launch campaigns knowing in advance how your donors will respond.
And if you’re planning a capital campaign any time soon, you absolutely want to start with a survey.
How are you making a practice of surveying your donors? Join us for the newest course in our roster, Raise More Money With Donor Surveys | Basics & More™. Donor Surveys goes beyond a free download (or even similar classes) to give you easy ways to survey your donors throughout the year — and encourage donor feedback.
With Donor Surveys, you’ll raise more money this summer. Without even asking!
“Your classes have been invaluable…
In my first year here we raised 47k with the EOY, my second year after taking just one of your classes I raised 100k, last year I raised 140K!
I am using the ask, thank, report, repeat system, and when I ran a survey to jump off my EOY campaign I found that donors like the personal stories, the student success stories, and they also mentioned that the communication was much better in the last 3 years, I could not have done this without you!”
San Juan Diego Academy
“My colleague and I went through your master class on writing a winning appeal letter a few months ago. We brought in more than $10,000 over our goal and a good number of lapsed donors responded to our letter!”
Public Relations and Development Coordinator
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands
“I began Pamela Grow’s Basics and More year-long class last year when I suddenly was offered the position of Development director at our organization. Feeling somewhat unprepared for running a department (with zero staff) for a very large agency I started looking for a program that would give me a great base (and beyond) for the tasks ahead of me.
And when I found the “Basics and More” Ticket, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for. I already knew Pam’s reputation and had been following her blog and emails for quite some time, so I knew she knew her stuff!
Starting the very first month Pamela laid out, in very easy chunks, all of the steps I needed to develop and write my first Case for Support. Not only did she give me the steps but she gave me real-time input that was invaluable.
Here I am a year and a half later, and our organization has had its most successful fundraising year ever!!
I would highly recommend this course to anyone in fundraising, from development directors to executive directors to associates!”
Director of Donor Engagement & Special Events
“I signed up for the whole year of Basics & More classes in 2016, after joining the Board of a national non-profit. Since then, we have:
- Established a policy of hand addressing envelopes and hand-writing notes to our current (last 12 months) donors at each Board meeting;
- Established a policy of having Board members hand-write thank-you notes to all donors;
- Established a policy of phoning donors who give $250 or more, including sustaining donors on the anniversary of their gift;
- Created a Fundraising Plan;
- Segmented our donor database into six categories;
- Creating a Planned Giving plan and launched our campaign;
- Created a Case for Support (one of the most challenging assignments);
- Made our fundraising letters donor-centric and used storytelling as a model;
- Designed a series of end-of-year solicitations, starting with the fall fundraising letter and continuing through a series of seven emails, including one that is our annual ‘thank you’ (done as a limerick this year).
This was a lot to learn! I can say that we went from running a deficit for a several year period before I joined the Board, to having an additional $40,000 in our investment account, basically in a two and a half year period.”
“Your book is incredibly helpful. I’ve started going through it and every page is filled with excellent advice and tips. Some of the people you quote, like Ken Burnett I know personally. He has been kind enough to put some of my old work on SOFII, I used to do fundraising and member recruitment for Amnesty and about 17 years ago helped found the Bhopal Medical Appeal.”
Thousands of Smart Nonprofits Have Gotten Smarter With Basics & More™. Here Are Just a Few
“I am such a fan of what you are doing and your deep knowledge of fundraising. There are thousands of details to getting this work right and you seem to know almost all of them!”
Director of Philanthropy
Central Region Heifer International
“Based on the excellent advice presented in your Monthly Giving course, we’ve increased our monthly donors by 242% in just 7 months! We’re excited to keep building on this success in the coming school year.”
Rachel N. Rodriguez, MPA, MSW
Development Director, Mountain Mahogany Community School
“There is truly NO better small shop resource!!!”
Dr. Janet Buchanan, CFRE
Vice President, Philanthropy
Carroll Lutheran Village
“After we implemented the simple Reply sheet recommended in one of your webinars after just three months we’ve already added 40 new monthly donors! Thanks so much Pam!”
“This is a great course for both novices and old hat fundraisers. Pam brings in the top fundraisers of the day and even if you’ve been fundraising for a long time they will give you new ideas to add to your repertoire. The techniques you will learn will help you not only in your year-end but all year round. I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to have the opportunity to learn from the best in a condensed and cost-effective way.”
Development Director, CEPAD USA
“Last fiscal year we had our best year ever. We reached out to lapsed donors and also segmented the database for our annual appeal. The result was a 15% increase in the number of supporters (I currently prefer the word “supporter” to “donor”) who gave to our organization. Pamela, thank you for everything you do.”
Katherine DiGiulio, Ph.D., CFRE
Mission Advancement Director
Congregation of Notre Dame
“I am really loving your Power of Thank You (POTY) course, and finding it so useful. Thank you so much. It has such great material. I am busy re-writing our online thank you letters. Our physical letters are great, handwritten etc., but our email ones were bad. I had never even checked them! I took your great advice, and gave ourselves a donation, and saw what happened. One system had a good thank you, the other didn’t. Thank you so much for making us think about this. It is so good to study something and instantly be able to make changes.”
Community Outreach Coordinator
Hope for the Nations
Here are the course modules you’ll be receiving for Donor Surveys:
Week One (July 25th): Feedback & the Future of Fundraising
The fundraising landscape is changing. In Week One, you’ll discover why donor service is more important now than ever before.
Week Two (August 1st): Developing Your First Survey
What is the purpose of your survey? In Week Two you’ll begin drafting your first survey to uncover potential major gifts, planned gifts, or monthly donors.
Week Three (August 8th): How will you be sharing your survey? Online, direct mail? Incorporating Surveying & Feedback Throughout Your Donor Communications.
Week Four (August 15th): Utilizing Feedback in Communications Planning
How will you track and use your survey responses? In Week Four you’ll learn how to incorporate your donor responses into your fundraising materials and more. After the survey – how will you be getting in touch with supporters/reporting impact?
“I always recommend Pamela Grow’s Basics and More for non-profits that want realistic and actionable advice on how to fundraise. Pamela and team understand what it’s like to work in a nonprofit
when you have multiple responsibilities and need to get stuff done in the easiest, most resourceful way. I like these programs so much I give them as gifts to friends and colleagues in the non-profit space. (And trust me, it’s a good gift!)”
-Julie Lacouture, Good Ways Inc.
“I had great success with the last course I took with you. My first EOY appeal campaign (sent mid December, a 4 page letter and lots of ‘yous’:) came in 38% higher than the previous year so far! And envelopes are still coming in. Very exciting.”
Margo Reveil, Cook Inletkeeper
“If you are struggling with creative ways to connect with your donors, then Pamela Grow’s newsletter course is just what you need.
I took this course last year and was able to immediately put some of the ideas and suggestions I learned from her class to work. Donor-focused newsletters can bring in a lot of funds for your nonprofit if done right. Take this course and start off on the right foot. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.”
Michelle Sanders Brinson
Nashville Rescue Mission
Mandy Fischer, Development Manager, Intervale Center
“I have thoroughly enjoyed and greatly benefited from all of the valuable classes you have offered! You are an amazing support for small nonprofits and I share your website with other nonprofit friends that I meet.”
Renee Scott, Executive Director, Gilead House
“I am so excited to say that after our coaching session, I was able to have an open and honest conversation with my ED. I advocated for a grant-writing consultant to come on so that I can spend more time loving our donors, and got the green light to co-create a plan to promote a culture of philanthropy that engages our Board and staff. Plus — I got a raise and a promotion! Thank you for everything, Pamela!”
Registration for Donor Surveys is $129 ($97 early bird).
Register for this Course$97
GCI & Donor SurveysGrow Consulting Implementation: Could you use more personal attention for your donor survey? With Pamela’s GCI, you’ll not only receive access to the four-week class Nonprofit Donor Surveys, Pam will also work with you step-by-step to help you plan, build and implement your first donor survey. We'll help you create a powerful survey and identify key targets to exceed your goal. This package comes with three 45 minute coaching calls.$1,500
SHORE Centre from Planned Parenthood Waterloo Region
“I just purchased your year-end fundraising course and it’s incredible! And this is coming from a person who took SEIU‘s PAC from 9.2 million to 21.5 million in 24 months. You are just incredible!”
Hayden L. Mora
Helen Banks Routon
Director of Development & Community Relations
This course is taught by Pamela Grow, founder of Basics & More Fundraising.
Since 2009, Pamela Grow has been teaching nonprofit professionals how to take their donors from first-time gift to lifetime. Pam is the founder of Basics & More™ Fundraising, providing comprehensive donor-centered fundraising training online to thousands of nonprofit organizations worldwide. She is also the author of Simple Development Systems: Successful Fundraising for the One-Person Shop, considered by many to be the bible of small shop fundraising.
A pioneer in creating online training for nonprofit professionals, Pam created the first online nonprofit storytelling class in 2010, as well as the first online nonprofit stewardship training. Partnering with Chris Davenport of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, she created the landmark program, 100 Donors in 90 Days, and The Donor Retention Project. In 2016, Pam developed the processes, curriculum, branding, systems, and launch for the Veritus Group’s Major Gift Academy, the leading online training for nonprofit major gift officers.
In 2010 Pam was honored to be named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by UK’s Civil Society magazine, and in 2016 she was named one of the Top 25 Fundraising Experts by the Michael Chatman Giving Show. She’s been featured by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Foundation Center and Small Shop Savior, column of NonprofitPRO Magazine.
Her weekly email newsletter, The Grow Report, reaches over 35,000 nonprofit professionals.
“Last week, I received my first $100,000 gift. I have such great stories to tell about the good work we do. It’s easy to be passionate when you’re doing what you love.I do not have any staff and my board has set a goal for me of $1 million by December 31, 2014. I really received the reigns of the foundation in late October. Since then, I have raised nearly $325,000. My annual appeal was very successful.
Using your book, webinars, classes, etc. I am moving forward nicely!
As your emails always say, Yes, you have my back!”
Teri Donaldson, Executive Director, The Futures Foundation
“As the new Associate Director of Development at a not-for-profit senior retirement community, I was told that year-end giving was almost non-existent therefore, no real effort had been put into a campaign. The rationale was donors were bombarded with requests and we were always at the bottom of their list. Taking cues from Simple Development Systems (I purchased two years ago), I came up with a plan in mid-September and presented to my boss. Her words were, ‘Okay, what do we have to lose?’ The campaign used direct mail, email and social media. The direct mail had three pieces that dropped in late November, early December, and late December. I used a letter from the CEO, a letter from a resident, and a postcard — all telling a story. And it worked! Not only did the year-end giving increase by 54%, we raised awareness and received several compliments. HUGE win and, hopefully, a great start to our 2017 fundraising.”
Shelley Hill, Associate Director of Development, The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc.
“I wanted to thank you for this course. I wanted to share that for the first time in our five years, we raised over 100K in program revenue and I think it was in large part due to this course and what I implemented. I need to look further, but program revenue for Q42015 was 28.7k. For Q42016 program revenue was 42k! Amazing! I will be back for more learning from you…thank you for serving those of us who feel called to bring hope to the world!”
Brooke F. Sulahian, President & Co-Founder, Hope for Our Sisters, Inc.
Questions? Email me.
All participants in this course will have direct email access to Pamela for questions about the course materials and how they apply to your non-profit. Ask one question or one hundred questions…we’re here to help your organization succeed.
Learn When You Want and Where You Want
One of the best things about this class is that you can read the guides and listen to the podcasts/webinars from the comfort of your own home, office or car. Instead of having to take time off to go to a full day seminar, you can learn everything you need to know about creating your organization’s development plan and case for support — right where you are.
And – you have lifetime access to the class materials! So even if you can’t go through all of the class materials right now, you can read and listen at your leisure. There are no tests or quizzes, only solid information that you can review whenever you are ready, with lifetime access to the course pages.
Q: What is the format of the class?
A: This is an online training that runs for four weeks. Every Monday (usually by 10 am EST) you’ll typically receive both a written class module and multimedia instruction (in the form of either a podcast or recorded webinar/s). The written guide will include 7–10 pages of fundraising course material, worksheets, and templates focused on that week’s topic.
Q: What if I miss a class? Can I go at my own pace?
A: Absolutely! This course is designed so that you can go at your own pace. Your materials are delivered every Monday for four weeks, but you have lifetime access to the class materials. This means that if you’re in the midst of end-of-year fundraising or have big projects at work, or are taking time off for the holiday, you can finish the course at your own pace, and you’ll always have access to the complete course materials as a reference guide. Read how one class participant applied the materials.
Q: What if several people at my organization want to take the class? Do we each have to pay a course fee?
A: No, you only need to pay once per organization. You may share the course materials with up to seven additional participants from your organization.
Many organizations who have taken the Basics & More online trainings have found that the classes work well as a group project. Each class module includes action steps, and many organizations found that having individual team members review the guides and bonus webinars, and then meeting to discuss the materials and the action steps, lead to the most positive fundraising outcomes.
Q: Do I have to be part of an organization to take this class? Can I just take it on my own?
A: Absolutely. You don’t need to officially be part of a nonprofit organization to take the class. Individuals wishing to learn more about online fundraising will benefit greatly from this course. Many consultants take the Basics & More courses as a refresher. We also offer a referral program for consultants who wish to refer clients to the classes.
Q: How much does this course cost?
A: Most Basics & More classes feature an affordable tiered pricing structure. Early Bird enrollees pay $97. Full pricing is $129. Our Monthly Giving Advanced Audit training is $479.
Full day fundraising seminars normally cost $400-$2,000, not including travel expenses, and yet don’t offer anywhere near the amount or quality of content that is included in this course.
Q: Is the course guaranteed?
A: Yes. We 100% unconditionally guarantee this class. If you’re unsatisfied with the class within the first 30 days for whatever reason, we will refund your fee in full, no questions asked. That’s our guarantee to you…you will love this course!
Q: How do I register to take the class?
A: Use the registration button on this page.
Q. I’m a consultant and I think this program would be good for a few of my clients. Do you have a referral program?
A. We do. We offer a 30% affiliate payment for every registration. Sign up here for the Basics & More affiliate program. You might also consider enrolling yourself and using the teachings in creating your clients’ year-end fundraising programs.
“Simple Development Systems is AMAZING. I am so glad we signed up for it — it has been an incredible support for me and our Development Associate. We don’t have a senior development person — it’s just me on top of being executive director, and your program has had JUST the right approach for us. I feel like we are doing things more effectively and efficiently — the webinars, resources, newsletters/emails, it has all been terrific. I am recommending it to other folks right and left!”
Julia R. Wilson, Executive Director, OneJustice
Since 2010, Basics & More™ fundraising fundamentals eCourses* have helped thousands of nonprofit organizations all over the world grow their funding exponentially. Basics & More™ trainings have included:
- nonprofit storytelling
- stewardship (Power of Thank You)
- nonprofit communications, including direct mail, money-making newsletters, email marketing and more
- board fundraising
- major gift fundraising
- foundation grants
- fundraising planning and developing a case for support
- creating your organization’s culture of philanthropy, and more
Courses are priced at under $100, and enrollment includes up to eight team members. Many of your peers are using Basics & More™ trainings to bring everyone on board.
Our referral program is one of the most generous in the industry. For every Basics & More™ enrollment tracked to you, you’ll receive a 30% referral. To apply to be a valued Basics & More™ Affiliate Partner, click here to email me.