Mentored Fundraising Assignment 2 Discussion Page
6-Month Mentored Nonprofit Fundraising Certificate Program

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This week’s resources:
Class Home Page for Mentored Fundraising
Fundraising Assignment 2 Homework Instructions
Magee Example of Fundraising Assignment 2

Assignment 2. Get specific: Who exactly are these new nonprofit supporters you are hoping to reach? What causes do they want to support? Where do they look for causes to support? What information do you already have about current, similar supporters? Compile this information and place it beneath your prioritized goal.

Who are these new nonprofit supporters you are hoping to reach? What causes do they want to support?
This week, were going to jump right into the deep end of one of the most important parts about engaging with potential supporters of your organization. It will be an exercise in beginning to identify—very specifically—who they are.

This will probably not happen overnight but developing a sense now of who your supporters could be and documenting that will give you a benchmark for future refinement.

Google Analytics is extremely powerful—and can even provide demographics about people visiting your website including their gender, age bracket, and location. Over the course of this diploma program you will learn how to use more of Google’s tools to first identify, and then to target specific types of individuals looking for specific things from your organization.

So…. we might as well start off by being as specific as we can about our knowledge of who our supporters and potential supporters are. For the purposes of this course, I don’t mean for you to commission a company to perform an analysis! Let’s take this from a more practical standpoint—using basic information that you already probably have at hand. These could be examples (for simplicity) of the types of supporters your nonprofit already has:

  • Donors: First, you may need to clarify which donors you want to focus on for your new campaign—you can even break these into segmented groups that you can target. For the purposes of this course we’re going to focus on unique individuals as opposed to foundations. Here might be some typical examples:
    • Donors that you’ve met in your hometown from a local church. They tend to be retired couples and community-oriented. Average donations tend to be in the $50 to $100 range and are based on a specific call to action by the pastor—so you know what interests them.
    • The pastor in your hometown that initially provided an introduction to members of her congregation. She is in her early 60s and feels it is important for members of her congregation to feel a connection with and provide support to their local community.
    • A few people have made online donations to your website. You have their names (and consequently their gender) and the town they live in—but you don’t know much more about them. A simple SurveyMonkey survey could help here. Donations tend to be in the $100 range and the donation for a specific request made on your website—so you know what motivates them.

 

  • Volunteers: Again, you may need to clarify which type of volunteers you want to focus on for your upcoming campaign—and segment them into groups that you can target. Here might be some examples:
    • Adult volunteers. These tend to be retired women from your hometown that volunteer consistently for an ongoing position. On average, they tend to volunteer for between four and eight hours a month.
    • High school volunteers. These are 17 and 18-year-old students from your hometown who participate in annual consciousness-raising events such as a fall cleanup of a nearby park. These high school volunteers participate in one organizational meeting and for four hours during your annual cleanup. The receive their motivation from high school staff promoting community engagement.
    • Your high school contact that coordinates between your organization and the potential volunteers. She is 45, from your hometown, and a full-time administrator whose role also includes community outreach.
    • University volunteers. They are 21 and 22-year-old students from a local college in your hometown who have a volunteer or internship requirement as part of the graduation process. They tend to work on one project for the course of a semester. These University volunteers volunteer for two hours a week over a three-month period.
    • Your University contact. She is an energetic 30-year-old woman who has a full-time job in the Office of External Relations.
  • Mailing list: Possibly, if you’re just getting started with building a mailing list—but have a few names—you might be able to scan the list and put faces to names of people that you know and come up with a generalized idea of who has subscribed. It’s conceivable that the demographics of your mailing list (if you’re a localized nonprofit) may bear a strong resemblance to your donor list.
    • Donors that you’ve met in your hometown from a local church. They tend to be retired couples and community-oriented. Average donations tend to be in the $50 to $100 range and are based on a specific call to action by the pastor—so you know what interests them.
    • The pastor in your hometown that initially provided an introduction to members of her congregation. She is in her early 60s and feels it is important for members of her congregation to feel a connection with and provide support to their local community.
    • A few people have made online donations to your website. You have their names (and consequently their gender) and the town they live in—but you don’t know much more about them. A simple SurveyMonkey survey could help here. Donations tend to be in the $100 range and the donation for a specific request made your website—so you know what motivates them.

 

So in this relatively simple list, you will have identified specific age ranges, gender, affiliations (such as schools universities and churches) their motivation (what specifically are they looking for!) location, donation levels and volunteer time investment.

All of this is incredibly important information for developing your initial campaign—and as you begin to refine these demographics over time with observation and new tools, this information will help you more carefully target your communications with supporters.

You also need to begin to develop a visual of your supporters (an avatar!) which is incredibly important as a visual tool during the writing process. Supporter photos can be extremely useful in firming up this visual tool.

I’m going to suggest that when you complete this week’s assignment that you put it together with the first assignment and put them into a notebook. Make sure each dated. This will begin a set of templates which you can revise and improve upon over time so that one day when you decide to launch a new campaign you will have current and exacting information for making decisions.

Getting started.
So let’s get going. Here’s what we’re going to do in Assignment Two.

The First Step in Assignment Two
First: Get specific about who your supporters are for the purpose of developing a new campaign. You might identify supporters that are donors, volunteers, subscribers—or others?

Action: Create a description of the type of person they are: We need a persona—an avatar to visualize here!

You might be able to sit down and do this second assignment in 30 minutes. On the other hand, you may feel compelled to interview a few people in your organization to clarify who your supporters are.

The Assignment Two Homework Instructions will guide you through a simplified process. Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing your second assignment and I’ll see you next week in A3.

Copyright © 2019, Tim Magee