Donor Centered Client Surveys

“The most obvious value of Cygnus’ research is that it gave us an objective validation of what our donors think.  This is especially important in light of the increasing cost pressures and the ever-present need to be sure we are using donor communication resources in the most effective way to influence future giving.”

– Boston Children’s Hospital Trust

Forget what you think you know about surveys. Every Cygnus donor survey is a unique and detailed tool designed to reveal the issues that influence your donors’ loyalty and generosity. Cygnus draws upon two decades of research experience as it builds surveys designed specifically for your donors. We develop and refine questions and choose survey deployment strategies that yield a vibrant profile of your donors, focusing on how their philanthropy can be inspired beyond its current level. Cygnus then interprets the data and shows you how specific findings can translate into program enhancements that you can implement with confidence. Any given finding – for example, that your donors are more responsive when they are sure about the impact of their gifts, or that your youngest donors find a particular aspect of your case for support compelling – can shape a powerful tactical recommendation that will help you raise more money.

  • The session, Donor-Centered for Boards, with Penelope Burk was by far the best learning experience I’ve ever had as a board member for any organization. I also bought and read both her books (which is something I rarely do after attending a session) and I have applied so much of her donor-centered philosophy to my work, not only as a board member but as a donor, too.

    Robert C. Woodhouse Jr. Trustee, Saint Mary’s Foundation
  • Penelope Burk is a phenomenal presenter for two reasons: first, her casual and engaging style draws participants in and makes the subject matter easy to understand with real-life examples and an “I know what it’s like” connection to those in the room; second, her data is extensive and compelling, and it gives fundraisers real-life tools that they can use to begin shifting from a traditional dollar-centered approach to a more dependable and lucrative donor-centered approach.

    Elizabeth Brunner Habitat for Humanity International
  • Penelope’s keynote address and her break-out session yesterday were the highlights of the conference for me. She shared such relevant and immediately-applicable information. What an inspiration she is—in speaking, in writing, and (most important) one-on-one.

    Karen H. Crane Director of Development, University of Jamestown
  • I congratulate Penelope for her presentation at the AFP International Conference. She is a truly dynamic performer and speaker who shares her vision with humor and energy. Listening to her makes me want to commit more to my work; and she increases my dedication to philanthropy.

    Elsa Desjardins Director Events and Fundraising Projects, Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
  • Penelope is the most knowledgeable and interesting speaker I have ever heard in my nearly twenty years in the business.

    Kelly Millington Vice President of Financial Development, YMCA of Greater St Louis and YMCA of Southwest Illinois
  • Penelope is a rock star for fundraisers. Always entertaining; always provocative. She has transformed how we see our donors and how we do our work in fundamental ways.

    Laura Breeze President, AFP Southwest Florida Chapter
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