4 Donor Persona Examples Every Nonprofit Can Use

October 5, 2022

Our solutions specialist and resident nonprofit expert, Robert Friend, shares donor journey mapping basics and four basic personas that any organization can use.

Ask any nonprofit organizer if they want more successful fundraising and you’ll get a resounding “yes”! The next question, of course, is how? The answer is in understanding your goal and audience and then matching your pitch to the prospect. In other words, you create donor journeys.

If you’ve never done so, developing donor journeys (also known as donor journey mapping) can feel like quite an undertaking. You might find yourself wondering where to start. How do I segment my existing donors? What are my donor personas?  How do I execute?  Where am I going to find the time and resources? Where can I get more coffee?

Before you run for the hills, know this: donor journey mapping can be as complex or as straightforward as you like. To get you started, I’ll break down the basics and share my four top donor personas below.

Donor Journey Mapping Basics

Number 1

Start with a goal

I’m going to assume that the question that started you down this path is, “How do I get current donors to increase their gifts?” After all, what nonprofit doesn’t want that? From there, you can create a hard target, such as increasing existing donor gifts by x%. The reason we start this process with a goal is that you’ll have no way to measure the efficacy of your efforts without one. 
Number 1

Review your donor base

You may already have your donor list segmented by current donors and lapsed donors (which is great). Now, break it down even further. Ask yourself:

  1. Among your lapsed donors, who have given in the last year? How about in the last two or even three years?
  2. Who on your list is doing nothing at all except showing up to your annual event? 
  3. From your pool of existing donors, whose gifts have increased in amount or frequency in the last year? Similarly, whose have decreased?
Number 2

Review your donor base

You may already have your donor list segmented by current donors and lapsed donors (which is great). Now, break it down even further. Ask yourself:

  1. Among your lapsed donors, who have given in the last year? How about in the last two or even three years?
  2. Who on your list is doing nothing at all except showing up to your annual event?
  3. From your pool of existing donors, whose gifts have increased in amount or frequency in the last year? Similarly, whose have decreased?

Based on your answers to these questions, we can break your list into segments and create nonprofit donor personas. Then, you can start telling your organization’s story through a series of touch points (or communications) that resonates with each audience segment.

4 Donor Personas Any Nonprofit Can Start With

The following are four different persona types that are a great place to start for any organization. However, these are just examples—group or segment your list in a way that makes sense to you. 
Number 2

Persona #1—Community Stakeholders

These are the people actively and increasingly contributing to your nonprofit organization. They are recurring donors, regularly attend events, and even help you to raise money through peer-to-peer fundraisers like your walk-a-thon. These are also the folks who share your online fundraising efforts on their platforms and engage within your social network. With this group, the question is how to increase their engagement. Personalizing your communication with them is a good start. Make them feel part of the family, much like influencers, and develop an interactive dialogue specifically with this group—they love you, and that is why they are keyed in! Get to know them better and develop a rapport that is transparent and goes both ways. Ask them for their advice and always feed them random acts of kindness as they appreciate these types of connections. An example here would be to gift them swag!

Number 2

Persona #2—Separated Stakeholders

Donors who fall into this group have given in the past but have stopped donating in the current year (they have become lapsed donors). For this target audience, part of your donor journey should include touchpoints where you can reconnect and demonstrate the value of engaging with your nonprofit. You might invite them to view an exhibit for free or bring them backstage to meet performers, the curator, or your executive director at your next event. You may also welcome them for an exclusive tour of your facilities, during which time you’ll give them a random act of kindness.

Number 2

Persona #3—Community Acquaintance

These are folks who are participating in your endeavor (perhaps as volunteers) but have not yet committed to giving. These are high-opportunity potential donors as they can be turned into first-time donors by developing a dialogue that delivers a deeper connection and inspires them to give. For this persona, we must increase our value and engage them further.

Number 2

Persona #4—Fickle Friends

These are people who come to your annual event but barely scratch the surface with their engagement. This group has no real investment in your organization and is only driven to engage based on the cause, project, or event that interests them. Fickle Friends can be converted to Community Acquaintances if you connect them to the mission and allow them to see its importance and value.

I hope the above information will help make donor journey mapping a little less daunting!  If you’d like to learn more about donor journey mapping, please feel welcome to read the recap or watch my Donor Journey Mapping webinar hosted by Nonprofit Tech for Good.

Want to see Eventgroove in action?

We’d love to show you! Schedule a one-on-one demo with our expert sales team.

You May Also Like…

0 Comments