How to Collect Donor Data Without Being Annoying

One of the most important strategies for any nonprofit is having current, clean, and complete donor data in their database. Most often, we take it for grant and leave it running ‘rogue’ when we really should keep a vigilant eye out for redundant data like duplicate records, improper casing, and incorrect information.

Without current data, your communication strategies are likely to be built on opinions as opposed to facts. The beauty of data is that it negates opinions – and we love data! It can guide us, make appropriate decisions, and be a beacon of truth in a sea of opinion.

If you’re like most nonprofits, your data is stored in different tools, rendering it cumbersome and useless, or limited to basic insights without a true ‘deep dive’ of your donors.

Sound familiar?

If so, let’s look at how to collect useful donor data without being annoying. Why do we say, ‘being annoying’? Because most donors view survey questions as a nuisance, in the way of a task they’re trying to complete, or cumbersome for a limited marketing team.

Thankfully, there a few easy, low-touch strategies you can deploy that’ll be easy on your donors and marketing team that will yield big results.

Utilize Your Thank You Page as a Data Collection Point

There’s nothing more valuable than providing a thank you page on your website after a donor completes a form or donates to your organization. Not only is it a timely way to immediately thank a donor, but you can populate it with a few questions to obtain more information so you can create segmented emails that pertain to their interests like volunteering, annual giving, and events.

Ask questions like:

  • What motivated your donation today?
  • What’s the best way to communicate with you?
  • How often would you like us to communicate with you?
  • Are you interested in other opportunities with our organization?

Each of these questions can offer 3-5 different optional answers to select from. Make sure you don’t exclude basic information like asking for their first and last name, email address (how else will you communicate?), or what city they live in. There is a plethora of questions you can ask to really segment your donors for future campaigns!


Send a Donor Survey

Has your organization sent out a donor survey recently? Was it short? Our best guess is, probably not short enough!

Resist the urge to craft long surveys – they’re meant to be short, punchy, and to the point! So, curb the urge to ask them about their favorite animal or color.

Instead, for a low touch, add the survey link to the bottom of your donor’s email receipt. Remember, they’re feeling good about the donation they just made to your organization. Keep the good karma train going by incentivizing them to complete a short 3-5 question survey. Make sure you emphasize how easy and quick this survey will be, and make sure that it is!

Using this strategy, the survey is not a cumbersome initiative for your nonprofit’s marketing manager. It simply rolls out on a continual basis whenever a donation is made. And with a seamless integration with your donor database, you can ask different questions each time the donor gives.

Ask on the Donation Page

You can always use a ‘one and done’ process of asking questions on the same page as your donation page. This isn’t our favorite option but one that may be suited best where software and IT resources are limited.

If you take this approach, make sure that you ask questions that enhance the donor’s experience like:

  • Which of our programs most interest you?
  • How best should we communicate with you?

This isn’t the best time to ask more granular questions like age, location, income, or other questions that may prevent the donor from completing their donation. Our recommendation is to keep it short, ask questions that might enhance their experience with your organization, and make it fast!

Test, Test, and Test Again!

There’s no ‘one fits all’ approach to gathering data from your donors in an easy, low-touch way. Make sure you test all the options to see what works best for your organizations. Perhaps you see a larger influx of data from post-donation surveys than including it on a thank you page. There’s no way to tell without testing it first!

Once you pinpoint the perfection solution for your organization, you can start building upon it over time to make your data more robust than ever before!

Bonus Tip:

Ready to speak with someone about cleansing your database? Contact us today for a personalized demo!

Read more on how to beat the donor data blues so your database always stays fresh and clean!