All donors are not created equal. It sure would make things easier and more consistent if they were, but the reality is, donors of the same cause can vary dramatically. Some donors may give yearly, while others give once a decade. And some donors only give once, while others support monthly.
With such an array of giving habits, you can’t expect a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy to work. Instead, it is imperative to take the time to segment your donors so you can speak to them more personally.
Let’s look at some common segments to get you started.
Single Gift Donors
Nonprofits face a challenge when it comes to getting donors to donate a second time. Consider sending this group an appeal that stresses how thankful you are for their previous donation. Acknowledging their support will help these donors feel like they are seen and valued by your organization, even though they only gave once. After showing how much you appreciate them, ask for a second donation. And then continue the appreciation if they do donate again with a personalized follow up. A handwritten note can go a long way!
An appeal that goes out to people who have previously donated should be different than one that is going to potential donors. You can’t thank people for their previous support if they haven’t donated before. This would make them feel confused and send a signal that they are just one of the masses getting this letter. Instead, focus on your connection to these potential donors. You got their information somehow-are they volunteers? Did they attend an event? Did you purchase them on a list? The more you can personalize your communication with them, the more likely they’ll feel connected.
Donors that give often, especially monthly should definitely be recognized in a way that is personal and meaningful. Consider sending them a personalized gift in lieu of a standard appeal letter. These are the people who are supporting your cause on a regular basis, so think of them as a special segment and spoil them accordingly. Be sure to reach out with a phone call at the end of the year as well to thank them for their continued loyalty.
These are just examples. There are many ways to break down your donors into groups, so be sure to find what makes your donors different from each other and segment accordingly. This will help you better communicate, which will lead to further support!