Anyone who has ever written a grant proposal at a 501c3 knows the value of gathering member and donor feedback is critical to success. As a foundation nonprofit, you are vying for government or larger private foundation money, and the competition is fierce. You need concise data that demonstrate customer satisfaction, along with demands for future service. Those surveys need to be both quantitatively valid and qualitatively valuable. You can get there from here through reliable survey management software. Here are a few ways many of the 501c3’s I have worked with gain insights through data:
Cold Calls or Hot Results?
Telephone surveys are one way to gather your data, but they are time consuming and demand the extra forbearance of your client. Survey scripting is a challenge, and the telephone medium restricts survey format somewhat. Going online following an e-mail solicitation campaign with a link to your survey is easier on your organization and returns a manageable product. You can monitor survey progress, abstract its results and synthesize everything for that grant proposal or re-funding cycle.
Residual Benefits of Data for Your Non Profit
The thing about surveys is the number of surprises that always crop up as you review them. For example, you might be surprised to learn that many public employment agencies do not view their primary mission as finding jobs for individuals. Their focus is on the big picture of job development or making the unemployed better equipped to find work.
So if you’re the customer and still don’t have the job, even though your résumé skills are improved, are you a satisfied client? Your expectations didn’t match the agency’s focus, so maybe they need to change their focus or change your expectations.
Unfortunately, bureaucratic inertia in the public sector is often impermeable to any kind of feedback except budget cuts. Your foundation, on the other hand, has to scramble for funding. You must totally keep your services aligned with customer and client expectations, and you must show how your primary mission aligns with the nebulous realm of client or customer satisfaction. You do that with well-designed and well-executed client and community surveys.
The Survey Says…What Do You Need to Know
Think about the top five (or more – but at least five) things your nonprofit needs to do well and write a survey questionnaire to measure them. The survey could be in any format or structure that meets your purpose – e.g. “Rate these statements on a scale of 1 to 5.” When you work out the details and the feedback measurement goals, you can pin the survey to your web site or have the survey hosted on another server. Then you sit back and hope for positive results all in your association or nonprofit database system.
Contact us for a free discussion on available solutions which may help you gather data on your constituents.