What Should You Look For In Potential Donors?


In any type of marketing or communication scenario, identifying the audience you’re appealing to is the first step in creating any sort of strategy. In nonprofit fundraising, however, it may be beneficial to identify your audience on a more individual level. Creating a profile for donors with a high affinity for giving to your organization can help you to have better communication with these individuals and will be a wonderful aid in improving your outreach efforts.

Though it will not be time, or cost, effective to create a giving profile for each donor who contributes to your organization, it may be beneficial to identify those givers who have been incredibly active with (or are identified champions for) your cause. Trying to ascertain the individuals best suited to give to your NPO can be tricky, but that’s not to say that donor identification has to be a trying task. Look for a few of the following qualities in your givers when building your donor profiles and you’ll be well on your way to utilizing your fundraising efforts in ways that will yield a higher impact for your organization.

Donation History

Obviously, if a donor has been known for making regular donations to your organization, that individual would be a good person to reach out to, especially if you have noticed that they haven’t given in a while. Often, simply reaching out to these individuals with a quick reminder about your nonprofit’s work is all the effort you need to put into retaining a dedicated donor. Though habitual gifts to your organization are a good indicator for a donor’s affinity to give, those who have never donated to your nonprofit should not be forgotten. If a potential donor is known for making substantial gifts to other nonprofits, they may also be a key individual to reach out to.

Volunteer History

An individual’s history of involvement with your nonprofit or others could be a wonderful indicator of how likely they are to be an active giver. In many cases, individuals who volunteer are likely to feel very strongly about particular causes. This fervency for being actively involved to affect a particular change often indicates individuals who are likely to be more generous when it comes time to give.


Scanning a group of individuals for their interests goes beyond discovering what they like to do on the weekends or in their free time. Understanding what issues and activities a person is passionate about can help you connect with a group of people who are willing to work with your organization, whether through regular donations or volunteer work. A good way to find these individuals is through community outreach events held by your nonprofit, paying attention to whom your followers are on social media, or even asking other members or volunteers to bring friends that they believe may be interested in your nonprofit’s cause.

Though it can take time, creating working relationships with individuals that display these qualities is an important step in developing habitual generous givers for your nonprofit. What other habits do you look for in potential donors?