Surveying is a vital tool for getting a foundation on the goals your organization will need to reach. It’s all about reaching out to find a prospective audience, and then learning where their priorities lie so you can align your messaging with them. Casting a wide net takes time to bring in what potential audience your cause will have. It’s far better to approach the groups that are most important to your group. Knowing what those groups are should be the first step for any organization before any canvasing starts.
Here are Five groups you should look to survey first and spend the most of your effort attracting.
Start with the ground forces of nonprofit work: the volunteers. The people who work the hardest promoting a cause will surely have their own views of it and how it could be going better. Allowing them to participate in surveys about the group’s image, health and appeal will offer a new perspective that higher-ups might not have a full view of.
Surveying former members of an organization who have since moved on to other, bigger projects can give the group a better perspective on how it’s doing from the outside by those who know significantly more than a common audience. Sending surveys is also a great way to stay in touch with people who may still be mingling in the nonprofit networking world to get your group out there more often.
The future generation of activists and hard workers. Surveying students gives the added benefit of introducing them to your cause early while they are still in a position to learn more about it in their daily education. It may even inspire them to support you through questioning about the cause. Otherwise, it will give a much needed perspective on how the younger generations who already have a whole world of concerns on their plate can dedicate their time and vision to another cause.
4. Board Members
Internal surveys help keep goals aligned. Surveying the current sitting members of your organization’s board of directors gives a perspective on how the managing members view the work being done. Not everyone may end up agreeing on the best tactics or strategies being undertaken at the moment. Use a survey to figure out where you can unify all those viewpoints moving forward and make improvements to the team’s overall vision.
5. Digital Audience
The world of marketing - even for nonprofits - now centers around the digital sphere of influence. Sending a survey onto the internet, through social media groups full of followers keeping up with your group’s latest news or to random strangers in a wide-open campaign, can give you a mix of many unique responses. More importantly, it will give you a gauge of actual readership. The number of responders you get from the most open forum will be a greater indicator to the group’s reach than the answers they give.