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Who Is Your Ideal Donor?

Have you ever wondered how to expand your donor base? Of course, you have, along with every other fundraiser!

Believe it or not, the best place to look for new donors is your own donor database.

You may question this piece of information but trust me. I’m going to take you through a simple exercise that that will show you the value of the resources you already have.

We’re going to go through the steps of creating a Donor Profile based on your unique set of donors. Here are the basic steps:

  • Sit down with a blank piece of paper or open a Word document and think about your top donors. Write down their names.

  • Think about what they have in common: age, gender, education, work experience, and any other identifying details.

  • Write out that description.

Here’s an example of a Donor Profile. These are the common characteristics of my fictional donor data base:

  • Women

  • Aged 55-70

  • College educated

  • Attend worship services regularly

  • Volunteer in the community

The next step is to think about where you can find more of these donors. Should you focus on a certain industry, place of worship, college-affinity? Find ways to connect and visit with these sources of potential donors. For example, use your board of directors and other volunteers. Do any of them work in the same industry, attend the same worship services, share an alma mater? Possibly, they know some of the prospects on your list.

Potential donors that match your Donor Profile can also be added to a targeted mailing list, or a social media campaign. They can also be invited to tour your facility or to a “lunch and learn.”

Knowing YOUR Ideal Donor can greatly enhance your donor acquisition efforts and build your pipeline of future donors.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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