Donor profiling is a data-driven way of categorising your supporters to ensure you have an accurate understanding of what they will respond to best. Donor profiling gives you an opportunity to think like your supporters—what are their motives? Can your organisation meet their expectations and encourage them to further their support?
Our data-driven fundraising experts have identified these 5 key types of donors who you need to consider during your seasonal appeal.
- Regular Christmas donor
It’s vital to know which of your supporters are giving only during specific campaigns or appeals. It shows you people who are engaged but who are not regular recurring donors – yet. It’s important to assess whether or not there’s a particular pattern, here: are there demographics across this group that you see in common, who may not be convinced to become regular supporters by your current messaging? This profile helps you identify donors who are a valuable target for conversion to recurring donations.
Once you have a good understanding of who these people are, you can cross-check with donors who have become regular givers and examine what factors may predicate the highest potential for conversion to inform your approach.
- Donates all year around
If you’ve ever processed donations, you’ve seen regular donors react poorly upon receiving seasonal appeal messaging—some of them might even message you back to ask: aren’t I already donating enough?
Take the opportunity to send them your season’s greetings and thank them for their contributions! This will help you keep your organisation front of mind and foster ongoing engagement. Seasonal donation options should still be presented, but your regular, loyal contributors are the backbone of your organisation. It’s important to make sure they know how much you appreciate their support before you ask them to donate to your seasonal appeal.
- At risk supporter
At risk supporters are those who still donate, but whose engagement has taken a dip. Perhaps they’re a regular donor who has unsubscribed from your emails. Perhaps they’ve cancelled their regular donations and now only respond to annual requests for support.
Consider if there’s a reason for this that you can control. Do these supporters feel unappreciated? Could you send them a personalised thank you, invite them to an event or shout them out on social media?
Alternatively, in some cases, it can pay to reach out to these supporters and ask directly what they need—if their engagement with your emails has taken a nosedive, for example, it might be best to send them a campaign that will highlight the option to change the frequency with which they receive them, rather than waiting for them to eventually unsubscribe. Your contacts are more likely to allow you to defend territory in their inbox if they feel that they’ve actively invited your presence there themselves.
- Need to reactivate
Donors who cease regular donations, or who have exchanged annual one-off contributions for radio silence, fall under this profile. It’s an inevitability that you will lose some of your donors over time. Some of them will regrettably pass away and some will find alternative causes that speak more loudly to them—there are myriad reasons.
But the reason does matter here because your supporters aren’t homogenous. They will have different reasons for ceasing support, and it is when you know why that you’re in a position to take action.
For example, donors who cease regular support due to financial hardship may appreciate if you offer them alternative ways of contributing. This may include volunteering, sharing your donations appeal with their networks, completing surveys—or even perhaps pointing them towards corporate partner programs where buying goods they need can help your cause. Staying in contact and preserving the relationship with these supporters can help smooth the way when they’re in a position to contribute again.
- New supporter
Onboarding new supporters in a way that makes them feel appreciated is vital to fostering lasting relationships, and seasonal appeals like your Christmas campaign are a significant source of new donors. Prompt thank-you messages, examples of how their contribution directly impacts recipients, and opportunities to engage further that align with their demographics all go a long way to transforming a new supporter into a lifetime donor.
But more than this, knowing who your newest supporters are tells you who future supporters are likely to be and where to find them. Finding new donors is vital to the growth of any non-profit organisation. Best of all, you likely already have a lot of the information you’ll need to determine who these supporters are. You can use the information you already have about people who have historically supported your organisation to find like-minded potential supporters.
Consider information like your current donors’ ages, locations, membership with other charitable or community organisations and socio-economic brackets to build a robust profile of those most likely to donate in future, and laser-focus your acquisition efforts for the strongest possible returns.
DCA helps non-profits achieve better segmentation and higher ROI through automated profiling. Learn more about our DataICA offering here.