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January 28, 2020

Getting Started with Nonprofit Audience Creation

SW_NP Audience


If you don't know who you're marketing to, how do you even begin to craft your messaging? It's essential to know the interests, lifestyle, and motivations of your target audience.


Start by asking yourself some key questions, such as:


How do they like to consume content?


How do they choose which organization they want to help, whether that's through volunteering or donations?


Your audience may be a mix of the following:


• Lapsed Donors

• Active Donors

• Prospective Donors

• List Acquisition


Lapsed Donors

When it comes to donors who are no longer giving, reactivation should be your target goal. The reactivation rate for previous donors, who have lapsed 1 to 5 years, is 8.4% according to Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud.


So how do you get them back?


Send them a personal message, whether that's thanking them for their previous donations, or noting how their contributions have made an impact.


Explain how their funds will help with future fundraising initiatives, but phrase it in a way that will not make them feel guilty for not giving.


Ask them to visit your office or send them videos that show how your organization is making a difference thanks to people like them.


Lastly, ask them why they haven’t donated in a while. Perhaps priorities have changed, their financial means are prohibitive, or they just haven't been asked recently for a gift. Studies show that donors who get mailed a request are 5-15% more likely to donate again.


Active Donors

This segment of your audience engages regularly, so make sure they feel appreciated, especially if they are first-time donors. You’ll want to keep them updated on the impact of their donations. Consider sending blogs or success stories.


Keep an eye on which method of communication they respond to best: newsletter, email, social, web. Segmentation is vital for maintaining engagement and donations.  


Studies have shown that first-time offline donors have an average retention rate of 31% when mailed an appeal letter, compared to an online retention rate of roughly 25%.


Prospective Donors

There may be a segment of your database that hasn't actively donated in dollars, but with their time. Volunteers are a great place to start when looking at prospective donors and should be your first touchpoint when expanding your fundraising audience.


Review people who have actively shared support by:


• Subscribing to your newsletter

• Engaging with your content on social media

• Frequently visiting your website


These are all people you can tap as potential donors.


List Acquisition

If you're looking to grow your database, list acquisition is a great way to do it. There are a few different approaches you can use.


Look-alike modeling, where an audience is built based on similar characteristics of your existing database


Behavior-based, where an audience is created based on the digital behaviors and search history of your existing donors


Re-messaging, where data collected from your website, social, and email efforts generates a lead list


Third-party data, where a list is purchased based on parameters you provide (age, demographics, geographic region)


List acquisition can help you fill in the blanks in your database, but be mindful when purchasing third-party data that the list matches your target audience.


To stay up-to-date on digital marketing tactics for your organization, we encourage you to follow The Buzz: a LinkedIn page that focuses exclusively on nonprofit education, best practices, and tips.

The Buzz - Nonprofit LinkedIn Showcase Page


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