What worked about your last fundraising campaign? What didn’t? How can you run your nonprofit more effectively? Or be more user friendly? How should you make these changes?
These are important questions to ask, and one of the best ways to find answers for them is to get feedback directly from your supporters. Let’s talk about how you can get this valuable feedback.
Wufoo is an online platform that allows you to create surveys and other forms and then collect feedback. They make the technical part easy – you just need an internet connection and a web browser.
How you can use it: Create survey forms using Wufoo, then share them! You can share the links, embed them on your website, or send them in emails. Then use the analytics to make strategic improvements.
2. Facebook Polls
There are a variety of apps on Facebook that let you poll your fans. The benefit of Facebook Polls is that they tap into a pre-existing community. It’s a good way to make your Facebook page work harder for you.
How you can use it: Set up the polls on your Facebook page to get the pulse on what your followers are interested in. You can also ask questions in your status updates for people to comment on – but you won’t get the responses organized in a seamless fashion.
3. Qualaroo (formerly KISSinsights)
This platform will make a question pop up in the lower corner of your website that your users can immediately respond to without leaving the page. It can also prompt action based on what they’re looking at. Feedback is immediate.
How you can use it: Use Qualaroo to get actionable feedback in real-time from your users. Ask a targeted question – just one, this increases the likelihood of a response – that will help you make your site more effective.
While less fancy than online programs and more time consuming, calling your supporters to ask for feedback demonstrates a personal touch.
How you can use it: Host a telethon with your staff after an event or workshop to get comments from attendees. Do it shortly after the event so that it is fresh in their minds. Make sure to collate all the information you gain so that you can easily interpret it for actionable insights.
5. In-Person Meetings
While certainly not scalable to a large group, it is still very useful to have a face-to-face conversation that can give you insights you might not get on a poll or survey.
How you can use it: These meetings should be carefully targeted. Invite top supporters to coffee or dinner. Another way to get feedback in-person is to ask for it during events.
Above I gave you some of the tools you can use for gathering feedback, but it’s important to use these tools effectively. Here are some techniques for doing just that.
Regular polling helps you see trends over time. It also builds a culture of feedback – your supporters know that you are listening and taking their responses into account. It also makes them more likely to give feedback without you having to constantly ask for it.
Understand your audience and only ask them questions that are relevant to them. You can discretely create identifiable groups and then make content that is specifically applicable to them. This increases the likelihood that you will receive feedback as well as its effectiveness.
Most of the platforms mentioned in the tools section come with analytics features. These can give you valuable insights on what actions to take as well as allowing you to see trends in responses. Analytics can also be helpful on your website. Google Analytics is a great way to get reports and data on your website stats and social media initiatives.
Keeping track of feedback is just as important as gathering it. You can use a Customer Relations Management system like Salesforce, NetSuite, or Highrise. If your nonprofit is small enough, you might be able to get away with a spreadsheet. However, having an organized system already in place will be beneficial as you expand so that you are not scrambling to get things together. And when it comes to service inquiries or tech support tickets on your site, systems like Tenderapp, Zendesk, and Desk.com will help you organize and respond to those needs.
As you can see, there are tons of tools and techniques you can use to gather feedback from your supporters. Don’t let that intimidate you, though. Pick one of the methods outlined above and make an actionable plan for how to implement it. Once the feedback starts rolling in, you can begin to make strategic changes that will grow your base and expand your influence. What are you waiting for?
Title photo by Pete Prodoehl