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Your Ideal Donor Is not Everyone

Understanding your target market for donors is the first crucial step that must be taken to be an effective fundraiser. You have to know who the people are who are most likely to respond to your cause.

You also need to know things like:

  • Their typical age range

  • Their motivations and concerns

  • The kinds of information they want from you when you thank them and send follow-up info after a donation.

Knowing this information greatly increases the likelihood that your fundraising efforts will be positively received.

So don’t fall into the trap that many charities are guilty of falling into. Don’t look for donations from a certain tax bracket or from just anyone.

I promise you that there is a group of people out there who are more likely to donate to you and those are the people you should be concentrating your efforts on.

Start with people who have already given to your cause.

Surveys are an excellent way to gather more information about your audience – just don’t include the survey with an ask. Bad form! What you can do though is direct them towards a page that says something like, “Thanks for donating. Please take a second to tell us about yourself.” This kind of quick survey can get you information on their demographic-age, household income, kids, etc. And then a more intensive survey can reveal even more vital information like why they donated and how they found out about your nonprofit in the first place. Remember the more detailed the survey is, the less people will take it. However, the info you get from those that do may prove to be more valuable.

At this point, you can begin to look for some commonalities like people that live in a certain neighborhood and all their kids who go to a school that encourages helping nonprofits to members of an age group that’s small but where your mission really resonates.

Then you can go after members of the audience who have not donated. You know what message got your best donors ‘ attention. Maybe you can craft a message to these non-responders that will have an impact similar to the one that performed well.

This does require work, but you’ll be surprised how narrowing your message to a smaller targeted audience increases donations. In the long run, it could make your job a little easier.

Have any of you had success with this “targeted approach”? Please share with us....

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