The key to donor-centricity

July 27, 2011

There’s no such thing as “generic’ persuasion.

Truly understanding your organization’s ideal donor is the most important element in your fundraising success.

Have you created your organization’s “donor profile?”

What is her level of education?  Where does she shop?  What other organizations does she contribute to?  What is her income level?  Where does she live?  What does she do for fun?

You get the picture.

Most of the clients I come in contact cannot describe their “ideal donor” in detail.

The more you know about who is attracted to your organization the stronger your donor base.



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry Truhlar July 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

Pamela, you are so correct – a strong donor base is possible when organizations know donor profiles. I see this more and more in the direct mail pieces I receive. I can tell when a nonprofit is talking to me – a female, giving to multiple orgs, etc, etc – and when I get a generic communication not targeted to me.

I also see my clients have better returns at charity auctions when they know guests profiles and can match up the auction items and price points with guests. The research really does pay off.

Tracy Moavero April 10, 2012 at 6:54 am

Thanks for the reminder to think these questions through. Am in the process of setting up “listening” methods for my organization.

And thanks for using “she” instead of “he.” If “he” can be universal, so can “she.”

Brad Fenstermacher October 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

Love this. All fundraising organizations need to think this way. For profit marketers have been using personas to do this for some time. Understanding affinities, behaviors, and motivations can shed light on where to focus communications, how to position appeals, and even the types of giving opportunities to present. Taking it a step further, rather than a single “ideal donor” it can often be beneficial to identify 3-5 different donor personas. There are so many factors to consider. Finding the really meaningful differences can really help an organization begin to tailor its approach and strike a balance between personalization and efficiency.

Pamela Grow October 28, 2012 at 12:39 am

Absolutely 🙂

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