Top 25 nonprofit survey questions

Nonprofit organizations do important work for their communities, providing support, and resources to those who need help. However, the operational aspects of running a nonprofit can be challenging, which is why it’s vital to ask stakeholders for feedback in order to ensure your organization and its mission are on the right track. In this article, we cover use cases where nonprofit surveys can be helpful, share example nonprofit survey questions to ask, and explain how to create these surveys using Jotform.

Benefits of conducting nonprofit surveys

There are many use cases where nonprofit survey questions come in handy. First, it’s important to give your donors opportunities to offer feedback. Asking donors questions can help your nonprofit understand the motivations of your biggest supporters, including whether they’ll continue to donate and whether they feel comfortable recommending your organization to their friends.

Another case for using nonprofit surveys is when you’re managing volunteers. Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to run events, campaigns, and even day-to-day operations. Asking volunteers to provide suggestions for improvement or information about their availability in advance can help organizations operate more effectively.

Nonprofits can also survey staff and board members to learn more about their engagement levels in the organization or whether they have any ideas for future campaigns.

Blair Glaser, a mission-driven leadership and organizational consultant, suggests that regardless of the survey’s audience, it’s vital for the nonprofit to be clear on the survey’s intended outcomes.

“It’s easy to get carried away with expectations of what a survey can deliver,” she says. “My key recommendation is to keep it short; the fewer questions you ask, the more engagement you will have. Each question should be directly tied to the outcomes of the survey.”

Examples of nonprofit survey questions

Nonprofit survey questions for donors

For many nonprofits, donors provide the majority of operational funding. As a result, it’s vital to connect with them and get their feedback. “Donor surveys help nonprofits increase awareness,” says Glaser. “They also show which donors are actually plugged in enough to take a survey.”

Here are some example donor questions to consider:

  • Why do you support this nonprofit organization?
  • Are you likely to donate to our nonprofit organization again?
  • Are you likely to recommend our nonprofit organization to a friend?
  • Which of the causes we support matter most to you?
  • How smooth was the donation process?
  • Do you have any feedback on the donation process?
  • Do you have any feedback on our campaigns?
  • Do you understand how we used your donation?
  • Do you prefer to make monthly or annual donations?

Nonprofit survey questions for volunteers

Maintaining a strong relationship with volunteers is essential if your organization wants to have enough help running events and campaigns. “Surveys to volunteers are typically logistical,” says Glaser. These survey questions can help you maintain a good relationship with your volunteers:

  • How many hours per week are you available to volunteer?
  • How do you like us to communicate with you: phone or email?
  • Which time slots do you prefer?
  • Why do you like volunteering with our nonprofit organization?
  • How smooth was the volunteer application process?
  • Would you like to spend more or fewer hours volunteering with us each month?
  • Do you have any special skills (such as telemarketing, crafting, or organizing events) that can benefit our organization? 
  • Do you know any people who may like to volunteer with us?

Nonprofit survey questions for staff and board members

The staff at a nonprofit organize events and campaigns, connect with donors, and manage volunteers, while the board oversees the strategy and mission. Keeping staff and board members engaged and satisfied is key to running the nonprofit successfully. Here are some example questions to ask:

  • Here are our goals. Please rank them in order of importance.
  • How would you rate the executive team’s performance?
  • How well do you understand our nonprofit organization’s mission, vision, and values?
  • Do you have any suggestions for future events and campaigns?
  • Do you have any suggestions to improve internal processes?
  • Do you have any suggestions regarding new donors we can approach?
  • What do you like most about working at this nonprofit?
  • If you could support another cause through this nonprofit, what would it be?

Nonprofit surveys with Jotform

Running a nonprofit is no easy task and involves a lot of logistical and operational challenges. To ensure a nonprofit is making the largest impact possible, it’s important to check in with stakeholders on a regular basis.

You might not get as much feedback as you’d like, but surveys are still worth the effort.

“The attention economy is really challenging right now,” says Glaser. “Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a lot of survey responses, but celebrate if you do. Surveys are a fantastic way to get crucial information to inform a number of strategies, but it can be challenging to get responses.”

Jotform can help make the process of creating surveys easier for your organization. You can get a head start by using one of our charity templates for nonprofits and customize it to fit your needs. Or you can create one from scratch.

Then you just need to decide which nonprofit survey questions you want to include. With your survey ready to go, your nonprofit can get valuable feedback from stakeholders that will help you operate more effectively.

This article is originally published on Jun 03, 2022, and updated on Dec 04, 2022.

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