Personas are data-driven but fictionalized representations of your supporters. They describe demographics of your core supporter segments and can include motivations, channel preferences, and hobbies. This information creates a better picture of your donors beyond the dollar amount they give.
Personas will help you tailor your communication tactics and overall messaging for your entire organization. When the entire organization communicates with the same personas in mind, the strength of those messages is increased.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when building personas:
• Start with fundamentals. Demographics offer an ideal foundation for personas. Start with the basics of your personas with age, generation, household type, gender, ethnicity, education, and financial capacity.
• Talk to real people. While the information in your database is helpful, it won’t ever give you the full picture. Consider conducting a survey or having targeted conversations with some of your most engaged supporters about why they give, what’s important to them, and their other channel or giving preferences. Some key questions can include:
o What are your personal hobbies?
o Do you follow the organization on social media?
o What additional organizations or causes are you involved with?
• Segment your personas. Segmentation refers to grouping constituents based on common characteristics. A successful fundraising and communication strategy will rely on the customization of messaging and stewardship to specific donors. Segmentation gives you the ability to tailor content to specific individuals, without the daunting task of creating specific one-on-one appeals. With the information you gather about your supporters, you’ll be able to reach out to them when, where, and how they want.
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