Create unique personas to drive segmentation of your audience to send personalized, meaningful messages that will rise above the noise.

Many organizations have a one-size-fits-all approach to fundraising appeals. It’s time to start thinking beyond age and giving history. Consider segmenting around lifestyle factors, behavior and affinity to other causes in the community

Donors and prospects may have a lot in common but send them a generic message and your communication will be overlooked.

The following best practices will help you create personas that you can use in your donor and prospect marketing and solicitation segmentations.

Personas Need to Be Accurate and Meaningful

Don’t do this and you risk missing the mark when it comes to mapping your message to the motivations of your supporters.  Start with uncovering what your supporters really care about:

  • Interests, goals and passions
  • Past giving habits
  • Propensity to Give (not sure? WE can help).
  • Response rates across communication channels
  • Social network habits

Clarify with Colleagues, Verify with WealthEngine

  • Check with your colleagues who meet or interact most often with donors and prospects and ask them what an ideal donor looks like.
  • If possible, interview some donors across demographics and giving levels.
  • Conduct a wealth screening to validate your qualitative data and uncover latent trends for segmentation.
  • Develop a matrix to organize and develop your different personas to map  messaging can be Once you have some basic personas to work with, continue to refine and amend.

Test, Measure, Tweak

Try to start with at least four personas that represent different segments of your audience. Then you can develop subsegments by age, by giving history (current donor, lapsed donor, prospect), or by wealth or giving capacity (High, Moderate and Low).  Obviously, donors’ situations change over time, so incorporating qualitative data by staying in touch with your donors, polling them on a regular basis, and collecting feedback is a necessity.  As trends change, be sure to update your personas, so you are talking in the most relevant way to those who support your common cause.

Messaging is Key

Try writing an appeal to each sub segment.  When you write with a specific persona in mind, you’ll start to see how different the tone, message and context can be. That’s a good thing.  Writing for distinct personas makes your message resonate and inspires your donors to take action as a result.

What does your segmentation strategy look like?

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