If I’m Not the Target Audience, Who Is?
Of course, there are wonderful data overlay programs that can give you terrific insight into your donors and help you “find” other donors who have similar characteristics. I am a big fan of those services, but know they aren’t realistic for everyone. So lacking that, some sleuthing and questioning of colleagues can help you form a mental image of the person to whom you are writing.
So who is my target audience?
Ah, we’re back to the beginning. But alas, I have no easy answer. Every nonprofit has a unique target audience. It is narrower than “males and females aged zero and up” but different from you and your colleagues. Your task is to figure out who that is and then to focus on that one person. Your e-appeal or direct-mail appeal needs to be a conversation between the letter signer and the reader — not a lecture or an address to an assembled crowd.
When I share from my heart (in the voice of the letter-signer, of course) in a way that touches your heart, a connection is formed that can lead to a donation. But this old dog knows that I have to know who you are if I hope to penetrate your busy world and earn a few minutes of your time to listen. Otherwise, I am just more white noise in a day already cluttered with too much babble that is easily ignored.