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Segment Strategically

If you want to communicate with your donors more effectively, interact with them based on their behaviors. By doing so, you’ll be accomplishing two things: 1. donor satisfaction and 2. donor loyalty. Need examples? Read on:

Segment by giving history – Simply changing one or two lines in your appeal letter to recognize different types of giving history—sybunts, lybunts, and lapsed donors.


  • Generous gifts from people like you have resulted in…

  • Thank you so much for becoming a donor. We hope to prove to you that you made a wise decision.(New donor)

  • Thank you so much for your last gift of $$$$ on DATE. Will you please join us again this fall?

Segment by major donors – At Rescigno’s, we help many organizations by NOT adding a digital signature. Instead, we send the large donor letters back to the organization so that they can be personally signed with hand-written notes.


  • We’re very fortunate to have your loyal support. This work that we do would not be possible without your generosity. Please send us your gift today.

Leadership circle or giving society members – In these letters change up a paragraph or two as well as the ask to recognize the donor’s level of support and thank them for being leaders of your cause.


  • Today, I want to tell you how much I value your support. You have generously demonstrated your confidence in addressing homelessness in our community. The role you have played in drastically reducing the number of homeless people this winter has made a very real difference in the lives of many. Not only that, but your past generosity has proven to me that you strongly believe that by giving these people a helping hand you’re giving them a chance to thrive.

Segmentation by donor experience with your organization – Affinity groups like board members, volunteers, auxiliaries, patients, parents alumni, friends, sponsors, etc. You should address these groups in the same way they identify with your non-profit.


  • You are a parent of XYZ University. You are XYZ!! As such, the role you play is vital. You have entrusted us with preparing your young adult to expect challenges and to seek and find distinction.

Finally, don’t allow segmentation to overwhelm you. One of the best things you can do is build relationships with your donors. Try a few variations that you think are likely to have the most impact. Stay consistent with what works.

Has any particular area of segmentation proven very successful? Please share it with us here.

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