A charity I support invites me to an informal fundraising breakfast every year. I never attend.
In fact, I delete the e-mail as soon as it arrives in my inbox. I consider unsubscribing from all their mail each time too. Do you know why? The invite they send me is to a breakfast in a city on another continent. Every time this mail arrives, I feel like the charity doesn’t know me and doesn’t care about me as a donor.
Without basic segmentation, it runs the risk of losing me as a donor every time they send a mail. By segmenting their donors and sending only the e-mails that are applicable to me, I would be more open to their calls for donations and less likely to unsubscribe.
A simple definition for segmenting your fundraising audience would be to divide your donors by demographics, interests and geographical location. Using an online tool like GivenGain makes it easy for you to collect and analyse who your donors are, what motivates them and where they live. You can use this information to create a donor persona and segmented mailing lists.
How to segment your audience
There are many ways to segment your list but if you’re starting out you might want to think about dividing your list in the following ways. Open a spreadsheet and put the following headings to the columns:
Then populate each line. When you do this think of the audience that would be most appropriate to receive the message, and not of your programme or activity beneficiaries. For instance, if you run an activity that feeds homeless people it might read something like this:
• Programme: Friday night soup kitchen
• Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
• Age: 18 – 35
• Interest: Volunteers
• Gender: Male or female
Feel free to add more columns or information. Once you have this summary, then start looking through your mailing lists for people who fit this profile. You can then create a new segment and send updates, invites and donation requests to a smaller, engaged group of donors.
Doing this type of basic segmentation will help you create stronger relationships with your donors. A stronger relationship builds trust which in turn results in more engagement and ultimately donations to your cause.
If you’ve got a cause you care about, I’m here to help you grow and fund it. My name is Wendy van Eyck and I am obsessed with teaching non-profit fundraisers and marketers with few resources, little time and high targets how to generate the funding they need to bring change to a community they care about. Find free resources and ideas at http://www.solofundraiser.com/.
Wendy van Eyck
Non-Profit Communications Expert