How to Create a Donor Persona

February 23, 2016

A nonprofit organization’s success is dependent on its donors. Before you can promote your work and draw supporters to your cause, you must know who your supporters are. Do some research to create detailed personas, a specific, in-depth profile of the ideal donors you’d like to attract. Ideally you should form multiple personas, about 2-4, to better tailor your marketing strategy to them.

To develop an effective donor persona(s), you must ask yourself 5 key questions:

Pulse Marketing Agency - Donor Persona

  1. Who are your ideal donors?

When creating a donor persona, you must first think about the demographics of your ideal donor. Who is this person? Where do they live? What is their income level? Their age? Marital status? This information will give you a much clearer picture of who they are, where they are and what interests them.

  1. 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 search engines, social media, or reading print publications? Most likely your personas will be using multiple channels that will vary by demographic.


  1. How might they become aware of your 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. For example, 90% of millennials use social media and prefer to be contacted that way.


  1. How do they feel about your cause?

Find out what your ideal donors are passionate about and what they value in a relationship with a nonprofit organization. What are their motivations, opinions, and attitudes? What do they want, need, or hope to change in their everyday world? This information will help you craft messages that will resonate with them on an emotional level. Remember that one persona may value a certain story or how its told more than another.

  1. What objections might they have to supporting your 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.

Creating donor personas involves a lot of time and research, but they help ensure that your outreach strategies will make the greatest impact. The more detail you map out, the better your organization will be able to inform your marketing strategies. This will allow you to better reach your supporters with messages that resonate with them.

Along with your donors’ support, your marketing strategy is essential to your nonprofit organization’s success. If you’d like help developing your organization’s marketing strategy, check out our Nonprofit eBook or call Pulse Marketing Agency for a free 30-minute consultation today.

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