Recruiting new donors is one of the most important and most expensive challenges of any fundraising program. Get it right, and you’re on your way to sustainable growth. Get it wrong, and you’re investing precious resources without getting the return on investment you deserve.
And it’s not getting any easier. Our prospective donors are being bombarded with messages through conventional media like TV, newspapers, and radio, as well as highly personalised content delivered by digital and social media.
So how’s a nonprofit to compete? How do we cut through the noise and clutter to recruit new donors?
The long and short answer is: know your prospect.
To assist the voluntary sector in Ireland, Nexus Direct and Coyne Research developed a segmentation model, which profiles Irish consumers in terms of attitudes and behaviours towards charity donations. We segmented the entire consumer market, not just existing donors, because we’re focused on recruitment of new donors.
How did we do it? We took a deep dive, going much further than simply demographic data about age and gender, into what’s called psychographics — segmenting consumers based on their psychological attributes around donating to charities and things like lifestyle, personality, and consumption.
The research revealed an important emerging segment, as well as details on how to better target our traditional audience.
- Altruistic Annie — Traditional Audience: Our most reliable prospect is someone we’ve nicknamed Altruistic Annie, and I suspect you know her quite well.
- She’s solidly middle class, is over 45 years old, gives regularly (90% gave in the last month), gives high gifts (€76 on average) and, not surprisingly, is the most trusting of our sector.
- What you might be surprised to learn is how engaged Altruistic Annie is on social media, raising the important question: How many of us are designing social media content and campaigns with Altruistic Annie in mind? How well-integrated is social media into our other channels as we build a relationship with Annie?
- Liam and Linda — Opportunity Segment: The research also identified an emerging segment that you might not be as familiar with. We’ve dubbed them Lucrative Liam and Linda:
- They are middle class but younger (21% are 35–44 years old), and while avid consumers of social media, they are not so keen on traditional media, particularly newspapers (only 9% identifying they consume this media).
- Even though their trust is only at 29% (vs Annie’s at 33%), and they have a low average gift (€33), they still give often (37% gave in the last 3 months) and their willingness to donate is quite high.
- One of the most powerful and surprising findings of the research was that Lucrative Liam and Linda feel they are just not asked enough! When have you ever heard that from a prospect or a donor?
The bottom line? Integrated campaigns.
Neither Altruistic Annie or Lucrative Liam and Linda will be waiting at home for your fundraiser to knock at the door. But while they’re commuting to work, multi-tasking with the TV on in the background, or checking social media throughout the day, they’re ripe for your messages. Are you talking with them in any of these channels throughout the day? And are you doing so in an integrated way?
In this media environment, the only way to cut through the clutter is with an integrated, omni-channel approach to fundraising carefully targeted to the most promising donor segments.
There’s lots more gold in the research, and we’re happy to share the entire report. If you're lucky enough to be in Ireland, we're hosting a free breakfast in Cork, May 15th. Just CLICK HERE to learn the details and reserve your spot.