Identifying Your Ideal Prospective Donor

Jackie SmithAugust 19, 2021

ideal prospective donor

It’s almost new donor acquisition season, and now is the perfect time to review the ideal prospective donor you’re trying to attract for your organization.  

As you probably know by now, looking for new donors can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But if you start by first identifying who your ideal prospective donor is, it actually helps you know where and how to locate them. And once you locate them, you can begin the job of acquiring them.  

Understanding your ideal prospective donor

Here are some questions you can use to begin crafting the image of your ideal donor:

  • Which age range best describes the donors we’re trying to acquire? Be as specific as you can. For instance, are they 20-30 years old, 30–45 years old, 45–64 years old, or 65 and older? 
  • Where does my donor live? Do they live in your city, your parish or county, your state, your region, anywhere in the USA, or anywhere in the world?  
  • What is your ideal donor’s gender? 
  • What is your ideal donor’s marital status? 
  • Does your ideal donor have children? And if yes, does it matter how many children? Or do the ages of the children matter? If yes, what age ranges? 
  • Is your ideal donor internet savvy? 
  • How do you imagine they prefer paying for things? Writing checks? Online or Bill pay through a bank website or PayPal? Mobile or Mobile Apps (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)?
  • What is your donor’s household income level? 
  • What are additional psychographic characteristics for a potential ideal donor? Are they religious? Are they political? And if so, are they affiliated with a certain party? Which nonprofits do they usually support and how much do they give? Do they love or have pets? Are they involved in their local community? Do they read? If so, what are they reading? 
  • Are there any other characteristics that would be important for your ideal donor to have? 

After you have these things outlined, the next step is to look at the picture you have and get an idea of where they are and what they’re doing.

Find out where your donor is and what they’re doing. 

For example, let’s say your ideal donor is someone who is between 20 and 30 years old with an annual income range between $40,000 and $60,000.

Who they are:

  • They pay for things online and/or via mobile and are very up to date with all of the latest money transferring apps and may even use cryptocurrency to make donations
  • They grew up with technology and are savvy and early adopters. They’re still helping their parents and grandparents with technology.
  • They’re still early in their careers and may or may not live at home (depending on the housing costs near their jobs). 
  • Some are married, while others aren’t. They may or may not have children yet. 
  • They can live anywhere in the USA. 
  • They’re saddled with student debt, but they are compassionate and will give occasionally. 
  • They’re not currently going to be the long-term donors you hope for, but if you treat them well, they will remember your organization.

They can be reached through:

  • Online advocate program 
  • Events like galas or concerts
  • Social media

Another example could be: Your ideal donor is someone who is between 30 and 45 years old with an annual income range of more than $60,000.

Who they are:

  • Busy parents who live in the United States 
  • They pay for things online and/or via mobile. 
  • They’re married with school-aged children. 
  • They’re running from one kid event to another while also working a demanding job and possibly a side hustle.

They can be reached through:

  • Online advocate program 
  • Events like galas or concerts
  • Social media, and emails
  • NOTE: Don’t ask them to volunteer—they’re just a little too busy. In fact, it’s easier for them to make a donation than to volunteer. 

For one final example, let’s say your ideal donor is someone who is between 45 and 60 years old with an annual income range of more than $80,000.

Who they are:

  • These folks live in the United States.
  • They pay for things online, via mobile, or perhaps with a check (if they must!).
  • They’re internet savvy but may have to ask their kids to help set up their new phones. 
  • They’re either married or unmarried with children who are either grown or in college. Things have slowed down a bit for these folks, but they’re not retired, and they’re starting to volunteer a bit more now.

They can be reached through:

  • Either online socially or offline socially, including the online advocate program, events or speaking engagements (church or other places)
  • You can use direct mail and email to reach them, but more than likely they will donate online and not mail in a check.

As you can see, while there are some similarities to these audience groups, they’re all very clearly in different stages in their lives. Don’t discount this! Whichever life stage someone is in is an important piece to consider when determining the strategies to use to acquire these new donors.

Even if you’ve already identified your ideal prospective donor, it may be a good time to review and see if there are any changes you need to make to the avatar of your ideal new donor audience.  

Just remember, the more you know about your ideal donor, the more likely you are to pick the right channel, the right time, and the right message to reach them. This will lead to your goal of more donors and more donations for your organization.

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Donor Management