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Why You Need To Segment Your Donor List

The key to successful donor management is to understand the unique attributes of your donors and communicate with them accordingly.

Donor segmentation is the process of categorizing donors based on similar characteristics such as demographics, engagement level and interests. Whether you are a big or small nonprofit, segmentation allows your organization to communicate effectively and efficiently with donors as individuals. Providing relevant content and messaging to a smaller pool of donors allows for a higher ROI.

For example, Ali a 27 year old first time #GivingTuesday donor should be treated different than Terry, a 63 year old who has been a dedicated volunteer and donor to your organization for over 25 years.

Here are 5 things to consider when segmenting your donor lists:

    • Acquisition: It is important to know where your donors came from whether that be an event, social media, peer-to-peer fundraising, website, in-person networking, email marketing, and more. If you met with a donor face to face, your future communication with them should be much more personal than a donor that was acquired via social media.
    • First Time Donors v. Returning Donor: First time donors require extra support and persuasion to donate, whereas returning donors have already bought into your mission.
    • Demographics: Age, gender, and location are all key information to consider when segmenting your donors. It is known that Baby Boomers respond better to emails than Millennials, whereas Millennials are more likely to engage in crowdfunding.
    • Interests: It is important to get to know as much information about your donors as possible. Understanding what their interests are within your organization is very important to create the right messaging for them. For example, if they are interested in your relief efforts in the Bahamas, then send them a specific donation ask for that project.
    • Engagement Level: Categorizing donors based engagement level, helps you as a nonprofit understand what kind of messaging best fits. It is important to recognize donors with a high engagement level, and recruit them for events, peer-to-peer fundraisers, and more.
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