As any nonprofit fundraiser knows, a successful fundraising strategy is all about creating relationships with potential donors before asking them to contribute. No two donors are exactly the same, and creating engaging relationships with all of your contributors can be tricky, depending on the methods with which they choose to interact with your organization and their goals for their contributions. Separating your audience into groups based on their preferences is a quick and effective way to more carefully target your nonprofit’s communication strategy.
There are multiple ways to segment your database. Before segmenting your donors based on age demographics or the like, your nonprofit should determine which of three categories your prospects fall into. Doing so will allow you more insight into the cultivation cycle and timeline for the donors that you’re targeting.
These are individuals that have not yet contributed to your organization, but are solid candidates to get involved in some way in the future. To capture the interest of this audience, be sure they are receiving your email blasts, have easy access to your social profiles, and are aware of each step your organization is taking toward reaching its goals. Some day in the future, when the time is right, these are the individuals that will most likely contribute to your organization.
The donors that you’ve identified for this segment tend to give regularly to your organization – and they give for a number of reasons. Maybe these individuals feel a connection to your cause, or perhaps they know someone who works on the board for your nonprofit. Whatever the reason, individuals in this segment have an affinity for your nonprofit that spurs them to give. Though they might not seem like much individually, donations of this type likely make up a large percentage of your annual budget. Be sure to regularly update these individuals on your organization’s progress, and also be sure to thank them when they do find the motivation to give. Keeping a steady stream of communication with individual donors will help to engage them and potentially spur another gift in the future.
Major donors are those individuals who give in large sums to your organization. These individuals rarely decide to give in the course of a few days. It may take months, or even years, to create a lasting foundation with these individuals, but if they do decide to give, their gifts are substantial. Donors in this category require a more personal touch, involving face-to-face meetings and personal emails in order to develop a long-lasting relationship.
When designing a fundraising strategy, it’s imperative to keep in mind the timeline and the differing amounts of effort it takes to cultivate each type of donor. Though some of your contributors will be content to give small amounts through the e-giving platform linked on your website, major donors will require a more personal approach. Design your fundraising strategy around these imperative details to see more success.