Donor Segments

Each Donor Is a 'Guest of Honor' in Your Fundraising Budget
May 1, 2014

Budgeting as a fundraiser can be challenging. Too often, the overall goals seem to be (1) spend less and (2) raise more. It's as if it was as easy as simply willing it to happen … I am unable to solve that problem for you, but here are six groups you need to be sure have a starring role in your next fiscal year budget.

New Study: Are You Leaving Money in the Middle?
April 1, 2014

Mind the gap. That’s the advice in a new report on midlevel donor programs. The folks at Sea Change Strategies caution that nonprofits are missing out on a ton of money simply because they’re overlooking a committed and productive audience: middle donors — the donors who give more than low-dollar direct-marketing donations, but less than major-gift targets.

The Rich Are Irrelevant ... and Other Thoughts About the Donor Pyramid
June 17, 2013

Too often, fundraising focuses on money. Fundraisers and their organizations search (too often desperately) for money … and the bigger the bucks, the better. “Fundraisers and their organizations keep searching for the top of the pyramid,” Tom said. “They don’t spend enough time moving the base up.”

Ah, yes, the pyramid and its top: the pinnacle of the pyramid, where so few donors reside. And fundraisers focus on the top. They and their organizations keep looking up. Too few fundraisers pay too little attention to too few people.

A Blast From the Past: Listen and Learn (May 2010)
May 21, 2013

In the May 2010 issue, I wrote this column, "Listen and Learn," asking readers to really consider the language and focal points of their communications with different groups of donors.

Looking Back: Segment Snapshots (2011)
March 12, 2013

In June 2011, a handful of writers took on the task of breaking down traits and tendencies associated with a variety of donor segments — mature, African-American and faith-based — in our story, "Segment Snapshots."