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Getting To Know Your Donors

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Who is the ideal donor, and how do you attract them?

Every non-profit and charity has an ideal donor, and understanding who they are will help you in your fundraising goals! 

Whatever charitable service you provide, there is an ambassador who is the perfect match for your mission, vision, and values. That match is an influencer, and potential donor who will donate to, and champion, your cause. They will attract other perfect-match donors, who will also champion you. They love what you do, and possibly you have helped them intimately. Or someone they know, and they have a first-hand understanding of the good work you do. Developing a persona that outlines their attributes and habits will help you in targeting your message toward them and ultimately engaging them to become your supporter.

Donor personas help you to act on your donors’ needs, desires, likes, dislikes, expectations, behaviours, and motivations. You can provide better value back to them, when you understand what they value, who they are, and what motivates them. Learning who they are will allow you to develop targeted fundraising strategies, and allow you to target different segments, as you will understand your donors may have different qualities and needs.


Understanding who your ideal donor is will allow you to;

  • attract the right donors, 
  • anticipate your donor needs, 
  • nurture the relationship you have created with your donors, and
  • grow and sustain your impact. 


Create A Donor Persona

Using market survey tools, interviews, and other creative ways, gather information about your donor target market in the following data groups:

Demographic – age, gender, education, income bracket, location, ethnicity, employment

Psychographic – values, personality, lifestyle, activities, interests, opinions, and attitudes

Behavioral data – social media platforms, relationship to your organization, and charitable history

Once you’ve compiled the data and created a bio of who your ideal donor is, you will develop your communications strategy tailored directly to them. And this may be more than one target audience, so keep in mind that your communications strategy should be in multiple, yet consistent and cohesive to your values and brand, parts. Your message may also at times be crafted in a way to speak to all audience segments.

It will also help you to determine how best to speak to your audience. For example, is your audience only motivated by video content? You want to create connections to your organization directly to the people you need the support from, and to the community you are serving. As you are defining your personas and understanding your target audience, you begin to engage with them through social media and remain in the relevant conversation scene.

But you can’t know that if you don’t know who they are. So step one is to create the donor persona and then gather the data. Then create and implement the focussed communications strategy.

The work with your donors doesn’t end once you have donors and ambassadors on board to support you. Having a Donor Retention Strategy is the next important step in your resource development and fundraising goals, in your donor toolkit.


We know what you are thinking, this is all more work that I have to take on! Yes, it is! It is as important as those other things you need to do, possibly more important than some, when you consider the reasons you need donor support.

We know it’s daunting, and we can help you! We can help your team develop, and understand how to execute, custom-tailored fundraising and communications strategies!

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