Research from Dr. Adrian Sargeant tells us that surveying donors regularly is a key component to interpreting and improving your donor retention rates. Bloomerang's Engagement Surveys focus on New, Existing, and Lapsed Donors. Surveys to new and existing donors measure donor satisfaction, commitment, trust, and intimacy. The Lapsed Donor survey looks at why a donor stopped giving. Survey questions are based on Dr. Adrian Sargeant's research, taking out the guesswork and allowing you to focus on results, and action.

Activate Engagement Surveys

Activate Engagement Surveys so they are automatically sent out when a donor makes a qualifying transaction. To activate a survey:

  1. Click Emails icon, then Engagement Surveys.
  2. Click Configure your first survey.
  3. Select New Donor, Existing Donor, or Lapsed Donor.
  4. Customize the email and fill in the Email Details.

    TIP: The default text emphasizes that donors are being asked for their opinion and not more money. It sets the expectation for how long the survey will take.

    • Edit the email. Blocks may not be moved or removed.
    • Customize the Button label. Change the text through the editor, or change the color through the Edit Styles menu.
  5. To see the list of questions, click Preview Survey.
  6. Click Save And, then Activate.

The Engagement Surveys look at giving on the household level. For example, William Riker and Deanna Troi are in a household, and there are qualifying transactions on Will's timeline. Deanna makes an online donation resulting in the first qualifying transaction on her timeline. Since there is giving on their household account, Deanna is not seen as a new donor.

Surveys are automatically sent to active donors (including individuals, organizations, and all active members of a household) when a qualifying transaction is made, and based on the acknowledgement status of the transaction. An interaction will be created on the donor's timeline when a survey is sent, and a second interaction is created if the donor answers a survey. Donors may answer all questions of a survey, or only some questions.

Email Interests

When at least one survey is activated, an email interest is created for Engagement Surveys. Donors may opt in or out of Donor Surveys through the Manage email preferences link on all Bloomerang emails. To rename the email interest:

  1. Click Emails icon, then Manage Email Interests.
  2. Click Donor Surveys.
  3. Rename the email interest, then click Save.

When all surveys are deactivated, the email interest is automatically deactivated, as well.

Qualifying Transactions

Qualifying transactions include donations, pledges, pledge payments, recurring donation schedules, or recurring donation payments. The transactions must have not been refunded nor fully written-off. If at least one split of a split payment is a qualifying transaction, the split payment is considered a qualifying transaction.

Customizing the Donor Retention filters affects qualifying transactions:

  1. If soft credits are included in the custom donor retention filters, soft credits count as a qualifying transaction.
  2. If the transaction has a fund, campaign, or appeal that has been excluded from the custom donor retention filters, those transactions do not qualify.  

NOTE: Only transactions entered after a survey is activated are considered qualifying transactions for New and Existing Donor Surveys.

Acknowledgement Status

  • Do Not Acknowledge. When a transaction is marked as Do Not Acknowledge, the survey is sent out the next day. 
  • Acknowledged via email. When a transaction is acknowledged via email, the survey is sent two days after the email acknowledgement is sent.
  • Acknowledged via letter or manually changing the acknowledgement to “Yes.” When a transaction is acknowledged manually or via a letter, the survey is sent fourteen days after the acknowledgement letter is generated or after the acknowledgement status is changed to "Yes."
  • Unacknowledged. When transactions have not been acknowledged for fourteen days since the donation, the survey is sent fifteen days after the transaction date.

After a survey is activated, it is sent based on donor activity:

  • If a donor makes a qualifying transaction and they have no other qualifying transactions on their timeline, the New Donor Survey is sent. 
  • If a donor makes a qualifying transaction and they already have a qualifying transaction on their timeline, the Existing Donor Survey is sent.
  • If the last transaction on a donor's timeline is between 12-24 months ago, the Lapsed Donor Survey is sent.


An interaction will be created on the donor's timeline when a survey is sent, and a second interaction is created if the donor answers a survey. 

Engagement Surveys Dashboard

Cumulative survey scores are displayed on the Engagement Surveys dashboard so you can see how you are performing over time. The average commitment, satisfaction, trust, and intimacy is collected for each survey type so you can see how your donors collectively feel about your organization and which areas need improvement.

  • Toggle between New and Existing Donor survey results by clicking New or Existing
  • Review responses over the Last 6 months or Last 12 months.

The Top Lapsed Responses shows the top five responses.

To see more detailed tracking and responses on each survey, open the survey and go to the Tracking or Responses tab. 

Report on Surveys

Report on Survey activity using the following interaction fields:

  • Has Opened Survey. Add a filter to list constituents who have or have not opened a survey. Add a column to return values or Yes or No.
  • Channel is Engagement Survey Email indicates receipt of a survey.
  • Channel is Engagement Survey indicates response to a survey.
  • Subject lines include if the interaction is for a New Donor Survey, Existing Donor Survey, or Lapsed Donor Survey.
  • Lapsed Reason shows the response a constituent gave to a Lapsed Donor Survey.