Who Are Your Donors? Personas Can Tell You!

Who Are Your Donors? Personas Can Tell You!

I attended a conference in the Spring and went to several sessions on online marketing for nonprofits. There was a lot of discussion in the break-out sessions on Personas, and even a whole session dedicated to that topic. So, what is a Persona? Wikipedia defines a Persona as a “fictional character created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.” It adds that “Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service or product such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website.” I’ve seen that Personas can be extremely useful when creating a marketing campaign or designing a website. They can help to make sure that the entire team can visualize the audience for the marketing effort. Hubspot even has this useful template for creating personas. But, the key to creating useful personas is good research. The Hubspot template says “Donor personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. … You’ll collect data that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a picture of who your ideal donor is, what inspires them, and how they can or cannot relate to your mission.” Has your organization used Personas? Were they helpful or not? As an article on Personas in The Guardian states, “Everyone thinks they know who their audience is but without data, it’s just a guessing...
The Power of a Major Donor Model

The Power of a Major Donor Model

  Think about this and see if it doesn’t convince you of the value of a major donor model to identify prospects on your donor database. These are actual numbers from one of our clients. What are the odds of any donor reaching major donor status? About 1 in 1500 What are the odds of a donor with a net worth of $1 million becoming a major donor? About 1 in 900 What are the odds of a donor whose first gift is $100 or more becoming a major donor? About 1 in 400 What are the odds of a donor with an Analytical One’s top major donor prospect score becoming a major donor? About 1 in 4 Any...
Listening to Donors

Listening to Donors

We talk to – or talk “at” – our donors a lot, through our websites, our direct mail, our annual reports and other marketing and fundraising information, but how often do we actually LISTEN to our donors. Sure, we’ll listen IF they call or email or contact us on social media, and IF we are good fundraisers and IF we have good, trained donor service professionals who answer the phone. But, how often do we solicit thoughts, ideas and feedback from our donors? For most non-profits, not too often. We’re not having a conversation with our donors. We’re having a one-way stream (or barrage?) of information FROM us TO them. As donors grow more sophisticated about giving and more questioning of non-profits, that’s just not going to cut it anymore. Donors want interaction and input. A great way to get that feedback, those ideas, that interaction and input is through Donor Surveys. I’m not going to tell you why you shouldn’t design a survey yourself. My business partner Joe already did that. But, I am going to suggest if you’re not already doing it that you strongly consider doing a donor survey this year and that you continue to do regular, ongoing surveys. And I’d love to hear other ways that you are listening to donors. Whatever you’re doing over the next few days, stop talking. Listen to your...