Talking to your diverse donors

Not all donors are the same. They give at different times and for different reasons. High dollar donors might want to be messaged to differently than an event participant. What messaging will engage a new donor and how does your organization keep that individual?  Understanding motivations, values and propensity to give is important in cultivating donor loyalty and developing a relationship with your constituents.

This is not an easy task.

In order to remove some of the guess work, Epsilon has developed eleven donor personas based on donation recency, spending activity, gift amounts and demographic data. This segmentation can help attract and retain your donor and help your nonprofit answer these five essential questions:

How do I maximize my high-value donors?

This group consistently gives higher gifts. According to Epsilon’s data sources, 57 percent of high-value donors donate to many different causes; 13 on average. These high net worth households donate consistently every year and donate 29 percent of their 0-12 month discretionary spend. In order to help you identify frequent, high gift donors and message to them differently and with more relevance, Epsilon has created a persona called the Boundlessly Bighearted.

To capitalize on this group, recognize that your best donor is also donating elsewhere. Create personalized messages to stand out and maximize their contribution to your cause. Boundlessly Bighearted donors love events, so differentiate them by inviting them to galas and other high-ticket functions. These active, highly educated donors enjoy skiing and cycling. Looking for a team captain to champion your cause? This group is a good place to start.

Are holiday donors worth the effort?

Most definitely. These Holiday Heroes have the financial means to donate higher dollar amounts and donate 24 percent of their discretionary spend. 80 percent of their donations are made from October through December, which means you could test different mailing strategies for this group. This online responsive audience might appreciate an e-newsletter throughout the year vs. monthly direct mail communications.

This group is slightly younger and financially savvy. They give but also take advantage of charitable tax deductions. To better engage with this group, convey  the power of their gift through newsletters and stories, ask them to give a little more than last time and remind them of corporate matching donations

What do I do with my first-timers?

As donors start to engage with you, it’s important to understand what life stage they are in. Epsilon’s non-profit personas have segmented younger donors into Careers, Kids and Kindness; working professionals who might be just starting to donate. This group is involved with community, is active online and likes to participate in events as a family. Invite them to your chapter walk or ask them to volunteer their time. They have a higher net worth so asking them to give time and treasure is important.

How do I get more out of my repeaters?

Don’t dismiss lower dollar donors. The best way to fill your funnel is to balance your program with high dollar donors with less response and lower dollar donors with higher response. Those we call Frugal and Frequents are generous within their means, so contact them frequently with lower gift strings.

What do I do with disengaged donors?

Identifying donors whose contribution activity has fallen off in the last 24 months will help optimize your mailing strategy. Our Downshifting and Downsizing persona group were once strong donors for you but their life stage has changed and they are no longer donating to any nonprofit. This group presents a testing opportunity for suppression.

Knowing your donor, their life stage and their propensity to give can help you message appropriately and create an efficient communication strategy. To learn more view our 11 donor personas and contact us for best practices.