Creating a customer persona and figuring out how to best communicate with your target audience is an imperative step for any marketing campaign. Before you can promote your work and draw supporters to your cause, you must have a clear picture of who your supporters are, what they’re passionate about, and what makes them tick.
Do some research to create a detailed donor persona—a specific, in-depth profile of the ideal donor you’d like to attract. Here are five questions you should ask yourself when creating your nonprofit’s donor persona:
- Who are my ideal donors? When creating a donor persona, you must first think about demographics of your ideal donor. Who is this person, where do they live, what is their income, their age, marital status, etc. This information will give you a much clearer picture of who your target is.
- How do they search for information about issues that interest them? There are many ways to search for information these days; how is your ideal donor searching? Are they using Google, social media channels, or reading print publications?
- How might they become aware of my organization? You want to know what a day in their life looks like. How does your ideal donor spend their time and what are their goals in life? Once you understand this, you will better be able to figure out which media channels to use to share information about your organization.
- What are their motivations, opinions, and attitudes? (How do they feel about my cause?) Find out what your ideal donors are passionate about and what they value in a relationship with a nonprofit organization. This information will help you craft messages that will resonate with them on an emotional level.
- What objections might they have to supporting my organization or cause? Depending on what your non-profit is, people may have objections to supporting it. If you can figure out what some of these objections may be, and tailor your messages in a way that might compel them to think differently about the issue, you can potentially reach a donor base that you initially weren’t able to connect with.
After you have gone through all these questions, it is good practice to create a fictional persona who is your ideal donor. Come up with a name and short bio for them; even find a stock photo of what you think they would look like. This will help you better imagine them whenever you are trying to reach potential donors. For example, if your non-profit is an Animal Shelter, one of your ideal donors could be Mary, a 35 year old middle-class wife and mother of two with two rescue dogs. She wants to continue to help animals in need but she has a full house. Now you craft a message to address the concerns of this target group that are compelled to help rescued animals, but aren’t in a position to adopt at this time. You can share with them the many other ways they can help, and even inspire them to help look for homes for these animals.
The process of creating donor personas can involve a great deal of time and research, but it can help ensure that your outreach strategies will make the greatest impact, and have the highest return on investment. The more detail you map out, the better your organization will be able to segment your supporters, and the more strongly your message will resonate with them.