Donor Surveys: What They Are & Questions to Ask

Donor surveys can help your organization and its donors feel more connected to its mission. Knowing what makes your donors happy can make their time with your organization more enjoyable.

You don’t need to be bothered about what motivates your donors to contribute. Ask the appropriate survey questions. By asking these essential questions, you clearly show that you care about your donors’ opinions and remind them that they are an integral part of your mission.

In light of this, let’s dive deep into the definition of proper donor surveys and survey questions.

What is a donor survey?

A donor survey lets you know your donors better and concentrate on their problems to enhance their overall experience.

These surveys can help you communicate more effectively with donors, build lasting relationships with them, and send them hyper-targeted messages and appeals.

Let’s start with some tips and tricks and a list of questions to help you get the correct information from your donors.

Creating a donor survey

When making a donor survey, you may start by thinking about what you want to achieve. First, think about What questions you have and whether your questions apply to all of your donors or just to a select few? The answer to these questions will help you decide what type of survey you want to create.

There are several kinds of donor surveys, including: 

Find out which type best supports your goal and stick to it. This kind of survey will make reviewing the responses much more accessible.

Sample donor survey questions

Asking the right questions can help you get the donor information you need. Read on to find out what questions you need to be asking in your donor surveys:

Question 01: Why are you donating to us?

You can assume people donate to support your mission or admire your organization, but it may not be the only reason. According to DonorGraphics and One & All research, people donate to causes that have affected them or a loved one.

Are you confused with the question in terms of your organization’s mission? That’s exactly why this question works. Whether the answer is obvious or not, you can obtain valuable feedback from your constituents, including perhaps a quote for future marketing materials.

Understanding your donors’ minds is key to capturing their attention when you need donations.

Question 02: How do you like to donate?

Knowing how your donors like to give you money lets you know what steps to take when accepting donations. Make sure that at least one of your donation methods is easy for your donors to use. Knowing this can help you avoid making mistakes like going completely digital.

Switching to an electronic system could disrupt the giving habits of donors who still use checks. Such a roadblock could cause them to donate to another organization.

By asking your audience what they prefer, you show dedication to their needs and wants. You also learn if you’re highlighting their preferred methods or not.

Question 03: How much impact do you think your gift has?

Most donors who have stopped giving or are heading in that scary direction feel like their gifts aren’t making a difference. By asking this question as a test, you can understand how your donors feel after donation.

Are you worried you’re not following up with them enough? This is an excellent way to see if your suspicions are correct or things are going well.

You can also make this question more interesting by rephrasing it as follows:

  • Do we thank you sufficiently?
  • How can we make you feel valued?
  • How do we show that your gift means a lot to us?

Question 04: What other causes do you support?

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States alone, so your donors may likely support them more than just your organization. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Knowing about their involvement with other organizations can help determine your competitors. 

Furthermore, if a lot of your donors give to another organization with a similar mission, you might do a survey asking “what they have that we don’t?”

Keeping track of all the organizations your donors support can lead to partnership opportunities. Teaming up with other causes is a great way to show your donors you care about the same missions.

Question 05: Which part of our mission do you like best?

Despite the similarity to question #1, this question approaches from a different angle. To answer this question, the donor will have to connect with a part of your actual mission, which may be quite different from the reason they give in general.

Maybe they like it when you talk to them or might like the fact that you care about them and help the community they live. Either way, you can figure out what they think.

Question 06: How would you rate your donating experience?

How do you treat customers? Are you keeping each of your promises? Need assistance with your donor love? Please don’t make assumptions; instead, ask your donors to rate their experience with your nonprofit on a set scale.

Asking in a donor survey what they want is key to providing the best service. If you can predict your constituents’ needs, you can update your follow-up plan to make every fundraising step donor-centric.

Question 07: Have you got any questions or concerns about our group?

Preventing problems before they arise is critical in any situation with negative press or a change in leadership or staff.

Even though you don’t want to assume there are problems, it’s best to ask if there’s something you’re not aware of that needs to be fixed. Plus, it shows you where you might be able to improve.


A donor survey is a great way to build a donor information database and better get to know people in your community. When done correctly, your survey can give you new information to get more people to donate to your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, send more successful targeted appeals, and build lifelong relationships with the people who care the most about your nonprofit.

With QuestionPro survey software, you can start making your donor survey immediately. It’s easy to survey with us, and you can try our features for free. Get started right now on doing the perfect survey.