To successfully reach out to your donor base you need to become donor-centric. In essence, you want to stop communicating so much about yourself and your organization's mission statement and start focusing in on the donor. Find ways to connect to a potential donor emotionally and compel them to act.

Another way to become more donor-centric is to do a better job at segmentation. Segmentation is finding common groups of people, understanding who they are and targeting them accordingly. You can never segment your audience too much; be as personal and targeted as possible in your communications.

Ways to Segment


  • Send out several different versions of your next email appeal. Analyze what is working, what is not and who is responding to what.
  • Get people to segment themselves when they sign up by asking what they are looking for and what they are specifically interested in.
  • The options for segmenting are endless. You can segment people by what campaigns they have previously responded to or by what they have previously done you're your organization (donate, volunteer, etc). Segment them by how much money they donate or by how frequently they donate. If your organization has local events or is involved with specific local communities or regions you can segment users by their geographical location.


Source: Adapted by Jake Emen from Katya Andresen's Nonprofit 911 Presentation "Cultivating Donors Online"