Get to Know Your Donors Better and Improve Fundraising Results | npENGAGE

Fundraising is all about people connecting with people. The question is, how well do you know yours?

By on Apr 4, 2014


Fundraising is about People

How well do your know your audience?

I’m talking about the people who support your nonprofit organization and the mission you so passionately focus on – those who open up their wallets, give their free time, and tell their friends about you.

These are simple questions but incredibly difficult  to answer without spending quality time with your people – grabbing a cup of coffee, going to dinner, meeting in their home.

Carving out time to really get to know your donors can have a profound impact on your fundraising performance. You’ll gain insights like..

  • What motivates them to give
  • How they prefer to make contributions
  • How much they’re likely contribute

All of this information gives you, a nonprofit fundraising professional, the ability to more effectively communicate, cultivate, and steward your donors.

The Next Generation of American Giving

Watch this 4 minute video, and then go download The Next Generation of American Giving . It’s packed with information that will help you understand how each generation thinks about giving to the nonprofits they love.

Once you’ve soaked in all the goodness, take some time to talk specifically to your donors. Ask them the questions above. Talk to them about why the support you. Then, use that intel to improve your fundraising performance like never before.

Generational Giving Habits at a Glance

#nextgen of American giving: GenY
GenY gives $481/yr across 3.1 charities – 11% total giving >

#nextgen of American giving: GenX
GenX gives $732/yr across 3.9 charities – 20% total giving >

#nextgen of American giving: Boomers
Boomers give $1,212/yr across 4.5 charities – 43% total giving >

#nextgen of American giving: Matures
Matures give $1,367/yr across 6.2 charities – 26% total giving >

How well do you know your donors and what techniques are you using to learn as much as possible about them?


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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