Legacy surveys

On my February 20th post, I talked about segmentation as being the first step to starting or rebooting

On my February 20th post, I talked about segmentation as being the first step to starting or rebooting your legacy program. In it, we covered database segmentation so you can send a survey to your donors.

A carefully thought-out survey can be the difference between receiving useful insights that will help you plot your donors in a pipeline and falling flat on your face! It should be short, concise and quick to complete.

So what’s the secret sauce? Simply put:

  • Start off your survey with warm-up questions,
  • Ask general questions that slowly introduces the subject and encourages the donor to continue, and
  • Finish by asking specific questions that allow the respondent to self-identify where they are in their decision-making process.

For instance, here’s one way to structure your survey:

  1. Why do you support organization X? (your donor will provide you with insights about the area of your work that interests her)
  2. How many organizations, besides organization X, do you support?
  3. Of all the charities you support, how important is organization X in your overall giving? (you’ll know how committed she is to your organization)
  4. Are you aware that you can make a legacy gift in your will to support the charities
    you care most about? (shows awareness level)
  5. More than [number of population in your community/province/state/country] have left a gift in their wills to their favourite¬†charity. Would you say that charitable gifts in wills are (list different options of whether it’s a good idea or not)
  6. Have you ever considered leaving a gift in your will to your favourite charity? (gauge intent)
  7. Have you already made a charitable gift in your will to one or more charities?
  8. When it comes to organization X, which one among the following options represents your current situation? Provide options that correspond with your legacy pipeline stages such as enquirer, considerer, intender, pledger (their self-identification will enable you to tag them in your database so you can develop a personalized journey for them)
  9. The following 3 – 4 questions can be demographic questions such as age group, marital status, if they have children or grandchildren

Don’t forget, the survey must be accompanied with a thoughtfully crafted letter that recognizes the donor’s past and current financial support. Shower your donor with love and ask them to kindly complete the survey.

Now that you are armed with all this new information, you can start plotting prospects along your pipeline and develop personalized journeys to engage them in a way that will recognize their past gifts and inspire them to remember your organization in their will.

Come back over the next few weeks where I’ll be breaking down the particularities of the 4 legacy pipeline stages mentioned earlier.

For additional reading, I encourage you to download MarketSmart‘s white paper on donor surveys.

So what has been your experience with legacy surveys? Have you done them before? Have you been successful? As always, feel free to ask me questions and I’ll answer them on Q&A Thursday.

Good luck!

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