3. Match your volunteering message to the values of each persona.
- For Anna, the focus should be on specific, recurring tasks that can be accomplished in a set amount of time. And send her personal thank-you notes.
- For Jessica, focus on tasks that let her polish her skills. Flexible weekend and evening hours, with child care or activities available.
- For John, messaging should focus on the fact that he can tailor his volunteer experience to his talents and can give back and get results.
- For Maria, give her opportunities to volunteer with friends, let her know there's a Facebook group of younger volunteers, and there are social events before or after volunteering.
"They may be all doing the exact same thing when they come into volunteer," Miller said. "But we're going to talk to them differently about them."
4. For donation asks, match your message to values.
- For Anna, the focus of the ask should be on leaving a legacy (planned giving); naming opportunities; and PR.
- For Jessica, focus on monthly giving (smaller amounts); events (especially with kids); and church/club service projects.
- For John, let him know that he has options for what to fund; you'll report back; PR.
- For Maria, pitch monthly giving (Miller said you may not get a lot of money, but even if she's only giving $5 or $10 a month, she's getting in the habit of supporting you and making that part of her life, which is important); events; Facebook causes; mobile giving
5. Do your homework before attempting to deliver the message.
This is where Miller said most nonprofits start, not having done all of the aforementioned homework on their targets. But in order to properly deliver a message that will resonate with recipients to the correct channel, she says it's necessary to do everything previously discussed. Do you do it in print, over the air, by e-mail, by word-of-mouth or social networking?
The best way to deliver your message is to use what you know about your personas to determine where they are now, what they already are doing and how you can connect with that, Miller said.
6. Research and learn more about targets.
Surveys, interviews and focus groups are formal ways of learning about your target audience, or just ask constituents to share information about themselves informally every time you communicate with them.
Things organizations should be looking to learn about members of their target audience are where they get their news and information (e.g., mainstream media, friends, co-workers, church/clubs, family, and online/social media), where they shop, work, relax, etc., who they talk to, and what they see, hear, taste, touch in their everyday lives.
Analyzing e-mail and Web metrics also is important. What search terms do people use to reach you? What pages are they staying on the longest? What are your e-mail newsletter clickthroughs?
"If you have two articles about two different topics in your newsletter, and 80 percent of the people who clicked through clicked on one, that could tell you a lot," Miller said. "All of these questions will help you figure out the most effective way to deliver your message and where to deliver it."
Miller suggested reading up on case studies from other organizations about defining a target audience and watching for trend reports about your target audience.
To learn about upcoming webinars by Kivi, visit www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com.