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How Free Online Survey Tools Add Value to Metrics

By Terri Harel
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Use Free Online Survey Tools to Measure Donor Satisfaction

Metrics are great, concrete indicators of how your organization is doing. However, do you ever wonder what your donors are literally thinking? Which of your programs do they wish you focused more resources on? How well do they understand your mission? Are they hearing from you too much or not enough? You can leverage free online survey tools to help answer these questions.

If you want to gain insight into your donors’ thoughts, the simplest way to bridge this gap is to simply ask your donors what they think.

Test it Out

According to research by Dr. Adrian Sargeant 53% of donors leave because there is a lack of communication from the organization. Between your website, social media, e-mails, and newsletters, nonprofits have a ton of ways to express themselves to donors, but it’s not much of a conversation if you’re the only one talking. Fortunately there are a lot of online survey tools available to nonprofits that allow this two-way street to run.

Surveys allow you to reach large groups of donors and find out what they think and what they want. Not only do survey tools inform you of how to engage your donors, the very act of sending a survey shows that you value their opinion.

Create an Online Survey Just for Your Nonprofit

While many donors will be pleasantly surprised to be asked about their opinions and experiences, you still want to keep your nonprofit’s online survey short and simple, just like your donation forms. A study by SurveyMonkey (more on them later), found that surveys with more questions have lower completion rates. Another of their internal studies found that as the number of questions in a survey increases, the amount of time (and presumably thought) given to each question decreases.

The bottom line is you should keep your survey as short as possible and make every question count. It’s a good idea to limit your survey to 15 minutes at most.

As for what questions to ask, that will depend on your organization, but here are some common questions:

  • How satisfied are you with the information you have received on the use of your gift?
  • How recently have you participated in one of our events or programs?
  • How important to you are the following areas of our work . . .?
  • How interested are you in volunteering with our organization?
  • What kind of opportunities would encourage you to be more involved in our organization?
  • How did you hear about our organization?

Because open-ended questions require more time and thought, try to guide the conversation with options, like multiple choice or a scale of 1-10. At the very least, this allows for a more complex response than “yes or no” but doesn’t daunt the responder with writing on his or her own.

Surveys + Metrics = Value

Free online survey tools can provide the kind of qualitative information that can’t be conveyed by clicks on a “donate” button, adding valuable insight to help you plan campaigns and improve communication with donors. Keep in mind that surveys should be supplementing actionable metrics like click through rates and conversions. Surveys can provide insight, but it is often difficult for people to be extremely objective in their responses. Actions don’t lie, however, which is why tracking metrics and interactions with your webpage and blog should be done in conjunction with asking for qualitative feedback from donors.

Free Online Survey Tools

Many free online survey platforms exists, but some place limits on the number of respondents and offer varied features based on free or paid subscription plans. Here are a few products that offer a free option:


Typeform operates smoothly and is beautifully designed. The simple layout and conversational feel encourages survey respondents to complete the form.


SurveyAnyplace is another beautiful tool that comes stacked with features like skip logic and offline capabilities. Another added bonus is fun functionalities like quizzes and interactive widgets.


This survey tool has over 15 million users and offers 24/7 support. The Basic Plan is free but it limits you to ten questions and 100 respondents per survey. All their paid plans, starting at $17/month, offer unlimited questions and responses.

SurveyMonkey also has a partnership with the independent company, Clicktools, which integrates surveys and forms into CRMs like Salesforce.


As the name suggests, KwikSurvey prides itself on its quickness and ease-of-use. A big plus is that their free platform offers unlimited questions and respondents.

Constant Contact

This platform offers real-time reports and promotion features to distribute your survey. You can try the product for free, but only for 60 days. Fortunately, Constant Contact offers rates as low as $10.50 per month. Classy’s newly released integration with the email marketing software allows nonprofit organizations to sync their Classy donors and fundraisers with ConstantContact in real time, making this option worth a try.

Image Credit: Alberto G.

Communications Strategy Guide for Nonprofits

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