Have you ever read a Burk Donor Survey Report? I find them fascinating. This is the sixth annual research project studying the philanthropy habits of Americans and specifically how they feel about fundraising practices used by nonprofits. It’s an opportunity to find out what donors think about what we’re doing – AND – an opportunity to find out how we can raise more money.

To give you a taste for the information included, I wanted to summarize some of the findings. But first, you should know The Burk Donor Survey asks donors questions about giving and compares those results to previous surveys to establish trends. The results for 2014 included 16,847 donors (57% female) of various ages. Here’s some of what they learned:

Online giving, recurring (monthly) giving, and sponsoring participants in athletic-type fundraising events are all increasing in popularity, as is giving through social media (especially with donors under 35).

– 57% of donors spend more time today than 5 years ago researching organizations before making a gift, and the main source of information is the your nonprofit’s website!

– 69% say they are more likely than 5 years ago to favor organizations that provide measurable results on what is being achieved with donors’ gifts

– 47% of respondents said that the non-profit that earned their most generous support was “confidence that the organization would achieve good results.”

– Donors said they would give again and give more generously to a nonprofit that “acknowledged their first gift promptly and in a meaningful way
and reported their progress in measurable terms before asking for another gift.”

This last point is the key finding in the Burk Donor Surveys and something all of us can likely do better! Get your copy of the free executive summary or the full report here.