Penelope Burk | Become a Partner in the 2017 Burk Donor Survey
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Become a Partner in the 2017 Burk Donor Survey

The Burk Donor SurveyWhere Philanthropy is Headed in 2017

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Register as a 2017 Burk Donor Survey Partner

ABOUT THE BURK DONOR SURVEY
The 2017 Burk Donor Survey is the eighth annual national research study investigating where donors are taking their philanthropy, what will inspire their loyalty and generosity in a rapidly changing world, and what donors expect from the causes they support. The Study is authored by Penelope Burk and published by her firm, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

 

The Burk Donor Survey is unique among fundraising research studies because it is a collaborative partnership with over one hundred not-for profits and institutions. While this group reflects the diversity of the not-for-profit sector, all partners have one thing in common: a keen interest in using reliable evidence from donors to inform their decisions. 27,000 donors participated in the most recent Burk Donor Survey, thanks entirely to our gracious not-for-profit partners. Those donors offered opinions and advice on issues of critical importance to professional fundraisers, CEOs, Board members, communications specialists and administrators.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE BURK DONOR SURVEY INVESTIGATING IN 2017?

 

  • how donors gave in 2016 (how much they gave, number and types of causes they supported, how they transacted their gifts)
  • why respondents’ giving grew, was reduced or stayed the same between 2015 and 2016
  • how donors intend to give in 2017 and how/why their giving will remain the same or differ from their giving in 2016
  • whether political or global issues are causing donors to make radical changes in their giving, what those changes will look like in the coming year, and what not-for-profits should do to prepare for change
  • whether donors feel, in the big picture, they are maximizing their giving or holding their philanthropy back
  • what is motivating a growing number of donors to establish Donor-Advised Funds and how not-for-profits can effectively steward donors whose giving happens indirectly through DAFs
  • how donors’ interest in recurring (monthly) giving has grown in the last five years

 

 

WHAT HAS THE BURK DONOR SURVEY INVESTIGATED IN THE PAST?

 

Among many important topics that are critically important to fundraisers, the Burk Donor Survey has generated compelling information about donors’ growing independence in managing their philanthropy and what that means for fundraisers. It has explored the views and preferences of donors by gender and age and the impact of religious conviction on giving in a changing faith environment. The Burk Donor Survey has studied such diverse issues as what inspires donors to join monthly giving programs, whether people who sponsor participants in athletic events make good candidates as direct donors, whether heavy users of social media are an asset to fundraising, why some alumni give to their alma mater and others do not, what the real and immediate potential is in bequest fundraising, and much more.

As a potential 2017 Burk Donor Survey Partner, you can download free of charge the Executive Summary of past Burk Donor Survey Reports. This will give you a fuller picture of the types of issues Penelope’s research explores.

 

 

WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM A PARTNER IN THE  BURK DONOR SURVEY?

 

Sometime between late February and the end of March, our partners reach out to their donors via email, asking them to take part in our anonymous survey. The email request is drafted by Cygnus and tested prior to the Survey’s launch. This is the full extent of our partners’ responsibility but, of course, it is the essential contribution that ensures a volume of respondents large enough to generate statistical reliability by age of donor, giving level and many other criteria.

 

Note that Partners never have to share any donor information, including email addresses, with Cygnus.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A BURK DONOR SURVEY PARTNER?

 

Our partners enjoy the following FREE benefits:

 

  • the full 2017 Burk Donor Survey National Report, authored by Penelope Burk, containing complete statistical findings, dozens of charts and graphs, and hundreds of quotes from donors
  • a private, interactive webinar for partners only to discuss the findings with Penelope

 

(For a modest fee, partners with a sufficient number of respondents can also request a report comparing what their donors said with all other donors in the study.)

 

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A BURK DONOR SURVEY PARTNER?

 

  • being available to take part in The Burk Donor Survey between February 22nd and  March 31st, 2017
  • being able to invite a minimum of 1,000 active donors into the survey
  • emailing the initial invitation to participate in The Burk Donor Survey to donors  (see below for minimum number of donors required for partnership in this project)
  • sending a reminder email, if advised

 

Registration is mandatory by February 15th, 2017 in order to become a Burk Donor Survey partner.   See the registration form below.

 

 

HOW MANY DONORS MUST PARTNERS INVITE INTO THE BURK DONOR SURVEY? 

 

In order to accommodate not- for-profits of all sizes in this important project, partners are expected to reach out to a number that is relative to the size of their active donor file, with a minimum of 1,000 names for smaller organizations.

 

Partners never have to share any donor information including email addresses with Cygnus. In addition, the survey is open to your leadership volunteers, direct service volunteers and staff.

 

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PROJECT?

 

Penelope Burk, President of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. is this study’s author.  Penelope has forty-five years’ experience in fundraising and not-for-profit management and consulting and is renowned as the originator of Donor-Centered Fundraising.  Her company specializes in conducting confidential research with donors and helping not-for-profits raise more money by adjusting their fundraising practices to reflect donors’ changing preferences and giving trends.

 

 

HOW IS THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF MY DONORS ASSURED?

 

You do not have to provide Cygnus with data files or any information about your donors. The email asking your donors to join the study comes directly from you.  Donors click a link within the body of the email that is unique to your organization and which takes them to Cygnus’ ANONYMOUS survey. At no time during the survey do we ask respondents to disclose their identity.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING FOR MY DONORS?

 

Cygnus will provide the Executive Summary of the 2017 Burk Donor Survey Report to any donor who requests it. In order to be sure that their participation is anonymous, respondents will be redirected to Cygnus’ website after they complete the survey. Once on our site, they will be asked if they would like to receive the Executive Summary of the results when they become available in June or July. If they do, they will provide their email address so that we can send them the report. This is an opt-in opportunity only. Donors in past Burk Donor Surveys say they appreciate the opportunity to learn what our survey found and that their privacy is simultaneously protected.

 

 

WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION OR ASSISTANCE?

 

Theresa Horak

Director, Customer Relations                                

Phone: 800-263-0267 ext. 1000                        

Email: thorak@cygresearch.com

PARTNER REGISTRATION FORM