I NEVER plug vendors... but I feel compelled to evangelize for a moment about my recent, GREAT experience with Survey Monkey.
For a mere $20, I was able to:
1. create an online survey
2. BEAUTIFY it
3. upload over 800 emails
4. create custom messaging
5. segment appeals based on who did/did not respond
6. test the appeals
7. send the survey out on their servers
8. analyze responses in real-time
9. learn some pretty cool stuff
10. share results with other folks on our team
11. achieve a 12 percent response rate to date! (The survey hasn't closed yet.)
Bonus: Make my boss happy!
I don't know about you, but in my book, this is some pretty good ROI! And, the experience reminds me that market research doesn't have to be expensive.
Don't put off learning more from your donors/volunteers/clients, etc. They'll appreciate your sincere request for help.