Your donors are your most committed supporters. They’re loyal to your mission, dedicated to your success, and willing to rally to help you achieve your goals. However, there are different levels of engagement within your donor base. One of the best ways to identify your most enthusiastic donors is by looking closely at demographics.

Demographics are key to understanding your audience, which will help you create informed campaign strategies and personalized messaging for top donors. In this guide, we’ll cover four top strategies for targeting your nonprofit’s top donor demographic groups in your online fundraising efforts to maximize your revenue.

1. Identify Your Top Donor Demographics

To identify your top donor demographics, start by analyzing the information stored in your nonprofit’s constituent relationship management system (CRM). Consider your most engaged donors and determine if there are any common demographics between them to help you decide which potential donors to target.

Research the following demographic information for your most loyal donors:

  • Age: Discover if your nonprofit targets younger donors vs older ones. Then, tailor your outreach based on generation.
  • Geographic location: If your organization is national, take geographic location into account. Outreach for one area of the country may look different than another.
  • Income level: By understanding your donors’ income levels, you can make informed decisions about what groups you should ask for a large gift.
  • Interests and hobbies: If your donors share specific hobbies or interests, you can tie that back into your fundraising efforts. For example, if many of your donors are runners, organize a fun run to benefit your nonprofit.
  • Donation history: Understanding your donors’ donation history provides helpful insight to tailor your outreach. If a donor has only donated once, try to reengage with them. If a donor gives frequently, thank them often and share how their gift has moved your mission forward.
  • Charitable involvement: Donors can support your nonprofit in more ways than one. See if long-time supporters would be interested in volunteering at your next event to help push your mission forward.

These are just a few examples of ways to utilize your donor data. Understand what information your nonprofit needs, then turn to what your software has gathered. If what you have in your nonprofit CRM is incomplete, NPOInfo recommends conducting a data append to ensure you have a holistic view of your loyal supporters.

2. Optimize Online Fundraising Elements

In today’s world, online donations are often the most convenient way donors can give. Improving your online donation experience can help you receive more gifts, as well as build trust with your donors.

Here are a few common elements your nonprofit should optimize:

  • Nonprofit websiteYour website is often the first time your donors will interact with your nonprofit. Make sure that it clearly communicates your mission and goals.
  • Campaign microsite: An event or campaign microsite can help you stay on theme with your fundraiser while maintaining your nonprofit’s brand.
  • Donation page: Your donation page should have a user-friendly and engaging experience from start to finish. Check out these proven donation page strategies from the fundraising experts at OneCause to help.
  • Social media: Engage with your current donors while expanding your reach to a new audience through your social media channels.

Unoptimized online fundraising elements may lead to frustration from donors and could even result in them withdrawing their support. The experience online must be easy to navigate to ensure donors’ continued loyalty, support, and gifts. Plus, with continuous positive giving experiences, donors may even upgrade their support through recurring or larger gifts!

3. Tailor Online Fundraising to Your Top Demographics

There are a few more steps to take before you begin outreach. Consider the fundraising ideas that will appeal to your top demographic groups and then start building your campaigns. Common online fundraising ideas include:

  • Online auctions: An online charity auction provides all the benefits of a nonprofit as a live auction but allows bidders to give from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising: Get your whole community involved in your fundraising efforts with a peer-to-peer campaign. Tap into your loyal donors to champion your cause online, allowing your nonprofit to strengthen existing relationships while growing your network.
  • Awareness campaigns: Spread the word about your nonprofit’s mission through an online awareness campaign. Make use of social media outreach and tap into your ambassador network for extra reach!
  • Text-to-give campaign: Prompt donors to give through a simple text message. Send them a link to a mobile donation page, ask them to choose their gift amount, complete their payment information, and contribute to your cause.
  • Virtual walkathon: Host a virtual walkathon so your supporters can get in their miles and fundraise on your behalf no matter where they are.

Start by analyzing the performance of previous online fundraising campaigns to get a better idea of what donors would be interested in. If you saw a large amount of support for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign last year, it may be a great idea to host another this year.

4. Personalize Online Fundraising Appeals

Personalization can go a long way. Show your loyal donors you value their support by personalizing your fundraising appeals to their preferences. Segment your messages based on your donors’ preferred:

  • Marketing channels: Where they like to hear updates from your nonprofit (social media, email, etc.).
  • Message frequency: How often your donors like to receive messages from your nonprofit.
  • Lifecycle stage: What stage of giving your donors are in.
  • Interests: What type of event or fundraiser your donors are interested
  • Giving history: How much they have given, and how often.

You can determine if there are any common preferences for your top donor demographics to create more targeted fundraising appeals for them. Make sure to make requests with the donor’s name included. If they feel individually recognized, they are more likely to give.

Additionally, don’t forget to express your gratitude to donors for their previous gifts. By communicating how much your nonprofit values their contributions, you can help your donors understand their part in moving your mission forward.

Target Donors for Online Fundraising Success

Getting and keeping donors can take a lot of effort. Once you make a connection, it’s important to nurture your relationships. You want donors to support you long-term because it costs about 10 times more to bring in a new donor than it does to keep an existing one. By thoughtfully approaching online fundraising and strategically targeting your top donor demographic groups, you’ll be well-positioned to maximize the revenue your nonprofit receives.

About the Author

Karrie Wozniak

Karrie has spent more than a decade bringing innovative technology and fundraising strategies to the nonprofit industry. As one of the first executives at OneCause, Karrie combines her 20 years of experience in marketing with her passion for helping nonprofits expand their reach, leading industry research, marketing strategy, and fundraising consulting initiatives. She is also an active speaker on donor and fundraising trends, and has been featured on, Philanthropy Journal, and Nonprofit Hub.

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