Storytelling is essential in donor development, and to tell an effective story, you must know your audience. Developing donor personas (a.k.a. avatars) will help you identify and get to know your audience better.
A donor persona is a fictional person with characteristics that represent a segment of your audience. By using donor personas, your fundraising and communications teams will better understand the people they are working to reach. The messages you create will be more consistent with your mission.
Here are three benefits of developing donor personas.
Know Your Audience
Donor personas are a critical piece of any marketing and communications plan. Personas help you understand your audience so that you know who is engaging with your organization and why.
Your donor management software or CRM should provide you with information to get started. Looking at trends, you can find your audience’s demographic information, how they like to communicate and how often, the social media platforms they prefer, and what prompts them to get involved.
Your audience is the group of people who help you achieve your goals. They donate, volunteer, and refer others to your organization. It’s crucial you know who these people are. While you may need to create more than one persona to capture the different segments that contribute to your organization, you will want to limit your number of personas to no more than seven.
Focus Your Time and Energy
Time and energy are valuable resources, and you want to use both as efficiently as possible. It’s crucial to focus your efforts on the people who support your organization and have the potential to help it grow.
Developing a negative donor persona is almost as beneficial as developing personas for those who endorse your organization. A negative persona is a fictional person with qualities you don’t want to target. Finding your negative persona will help you save time and energy by not focusing on the donors who aren’t interested in your cause.
Find New Donors
Personas add a human element to your fundraising and communications efforts. They guide interactions with your donors and can help you attract others with the same interests. With personas, key information is organized in one place, streamlining processes and allowing your staff to know the target audience. Personas allow you to attract people who have a real interest in supporting your cause.
Donor tracking software like StudioEnterprise with Advanced CRM can help you gather the data necessary to create a donor persona, including demographic information and giving, communication, and social media preferences.
Your supporters are a diverse group of people, and reaching them effectively requires that you ask several key questions like:
- How well do you know your audience?
- Can you identify your audience, their interests, motivation and communication preferences?
- Is your nonprofit focusing its time and energy on where you will gain in the greatest return?
- Do you know where to find new donors?
Creating donor personas will help you answer these questions and more so you can know your donor base and tailor your marketing and communications efforts toward the people who are most likely to support and engage with you.
If your current CRM doesn’t give you the level of reporting you need, let us show you how DonorDirect can help. Click here for a free demo today!