Survey research could kill your fundraising.
Here's an example, from Burk's Blog: The Profitability of Restraint.
This is an extreme use of qualitative research that leads to unsupportable conclusions. Namely, in this case, that the top reason donors stop giving is "over-solicitation."
... donors feel bombarded, and their giving patterns reflect their growing frustration. Today, over-solicitation ranks first among reasons why donors stop giving. More than 90% of donors who start giving to a particular charity stop giving within five appeals....
The conclusion: "There is much more money to be made by holding back, by giving donors time to think...."
This is not supported by evidence.
(Any charity that's experiencing the claimed "90% of donors stop giving within five appeals" is in deeper trouble than anyone I've ever worked with -- and I've seen organizations in serious tailspins.)
It would be seriously irresponsible for you to follow this advice, because it's not based on actual behavioral reality.
Every test I've been involved in or heard about tells a very different story: "Holding back" will cost you big. You'll get less net revenue in the short run, and you'll lose more donors in the long run. You are in a lot more danger from under-communicating than you are from over-communicating.
Don't believe me? Do you think your donors are different from other donors? There's a small possibility that they are.
If you think your donors are completely different and restraint would be profitable, do this first: Set aside two groups of donors. For the first group, send X appeals in the course of a year (X being the number you normally send). For the second group, send X/2. Then track the response and retention of the two groups over the course of the year.
I can almost guarantee that the first group, the one you communicate with more, will not only give more, but a higher percentage of them will stay with you over the long term.
Only watching actual behavior can tell you if your quantity of communication frustrates them into not giving. Anyone who says otherwise, citing opinion-based research like surveys or focus groups, is selling you dangerous snake-oil.