Chasing Down Donors, or Is It Herding Cats

Three cats looking toward a lightsource with the title "Chasing Down Donors, or Is It Herding Cat"Truly personal connections with partner organizations and donors is paramount to keeping them engaged. It becomes easier to get hold them in times of need if they enjoy their conversations with you. Make this process fun for yourself by creating specific goals. One of the best ways to know how to engage is to use personas.  

Creating personas will help you understand the behaviors and preferences of your donors. This will help define donor groups and what they are looking for, in turn increasing donations. To figure out the best audience fit for a donor, start by creating a spreadsheet of all of your top contributors by identifying them with as much detail as possible. This includes data such as age, job, etc., which can be gathered from interactions you have or public records. You can go even deeper by searching social media such as LinkedIn. After the information is collected, graph out your findings grouped by the details found (ex. By age, education, job type, etc.). 

Now, you are able to deduce conclusions based on the data you have collected. Here are some examples: 

  1. Are they a onetime or infrequent donor?
    • Make sure your organization is always in the back of their mind.
    • Ask for donations based on the expected best time, i.e. every 12 months, to engage the specific donor based off the data you collected. 
  2. Does the donor give regularly because they believe in your mission?
    • Find extra ways to let them know the difference they make. 
  3. Are they a large sum donor?
    • Make sure to have well thought out/desirable/easy to attend events. (Private meets, easy RSVP, etc.) 

No matter the donor type, you must be proactive. There are plenty of other personas you can come up with in addition to the examples given above. This allows for the ability to pinpoint user experience for individuals rather than relying on generalizations. Constantly improve your engagement by getting feedback from your pool of donors.