Profiling your ideal donors ensures your organization sends messages that will resonate with your targeted audience. In today’s digital-savvy world, relationships with your donors are more important than ever. While social media can be useful for blasting out your loudest message, people have learned to tune them out.

Understanding who your donors are is more important than ever for your nonprofit. With the help of a donor profile, you can help your nonprofit organization continue to build the relationship with personalized interactions based on the profile.

What’s the Purpose of Your Donor Profile?

Knowing the “why” for your donor profile guides the use of data and the possibilities for your future “ask.” Answer the following questions to find the “why” behind your donor profile.

  1. What’s the purpose of the donor profile for your organization? Do you want donors for a particular program? Are you hoping to find new donors for a campaign? Would you like to touch base with current donors?
  2. Who’s your target audience?
  3. How will you collect data and then use it?

Start with What You Already Have

Within your database, you already have a wealth of donor information and data. Sift through that information and create segments. For example, categorize your donors by their type, whether one-time givers, recurring, or volunteer. You can further segment the list by other key interests, such as education, health, or entertainment.

Build on Your Information

Formulate a few interview questions to send to each segment of donors. The data you collect can be focused on collecting regular data such as demographics, daily activities, and favorite types of social media. All of this information will help you know how to better reach your donors.

Analyze Data

Once you’ve gathered sufficient data on your donors, sort your donors by their patterns, similarities, and differences. From these groupings, you can create a few different types of general donor profiles to help your teams speak directly to each grouping. While each profile represents a group of people, you still want the profile to be specific enough that it will feel personal to your donors.

Create Easy-to-Read Profiles

Whether you choose a simple format or an infographic, be sure to outfit your entire organization with the information on these different types of profiles. Having donor profiles will help your entire organization improve their communication with current and future donors.

Example fields for Profile InformationNameContact InfoEmployerEducationFamily/Children

Type of Donor: Never Donated, One-Time, Recurring, Volunteer, Event Attendant

History of Giving: Include information about their giving to your organization as well as other nonprofits.

Personal Story: Most donors support an organization because of something from their own personal story. Donors like to personally connect to the causes that they invest in with their money or time.

Giving Capacity: Every donor is capable of giving so much. Having an idea of a donor’s giving capacity can be helpful to you and your donor so that you don’t overwhelm them. Fundraising will be more successful if you know how to ask each group of people according to their giving capacity.

Suggested Gift Amounts: Informed by past giving and the giving capacity, you can assign suggested gift amounts to each donor profile. This will help fundraisers to cater to each donor type.

Preferred Communication: Go where your donors are. Some donors only want to be contacted by phone or email. Be sure to communicate with your donors in a way that works best for them.

Keep Notes: For every personal interaction with a donor, whether at an event or on a telephone call, take notes about the interaction. This means that the next person to contact the donor will be up to date with the donor’s life. These personal touches help to build trust and relationship.

Building out your ideal donor profile is an important tool for every nonprofit. Information is more powerful than ever. With the growth of Artificial Intelligence and data collection, organizations are in an even better place to meet their donors right where they are. If your organization hasn’t created donor profiles, now is the time.