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Jun 3, 2022 | Blog

Nonprofit Marketing: 3 Lessons Proven to Increase Donations

By Bryna Dilman, Fundraising Kit

Want to increase donations and raise awareness for your nonprofit’s mission more effectively? 

If your answer to this question is “yes”, you may want to consider ways to optimize your nonprofit marketing strategy.  

By adopting some nonprofit marketing best practices, your organization can amplify its efforts, reach its target audience, and increase donations to support your nonprofit’s mission. Follow the three proven marketing best practices below. 

1. Know Your Donors

Regardless of whether you’re in the for-profit or nonprofit sector, you need to get to know your organization’s audience in order to get the most out of your marketing efforts.  

But how do you get to know your audience? Start by creating a donor profile template that outlines who your ideal donors are, based on information from your current donor base. 

Here is some information you might want to collect for your template:  

  • Age 
  • Location 
  • Occupation 
  • Marital status 
  • Parental status 
  • Philanthropic interests 
  • Hobbies 
  • Lifestyle 
  • Communication preferences 
  • Interactions with your nonprofit  
  • Donation history 
  • Donor type (first-time donor, lapsed donor, recurring donors, volunteers, long-time donors) 

In addition to individual donors, you can collect information to understand philanthropic organizations that contribute to your cause. Here is some organizational information you can collect:  

  • Organization’s Name 
  • Charitable registration number 
  • Location  
  • Philanthropic focuses  
  • Contact person  
  • Donation history 
  • Grant application information 
  • Grant application deadlines 
  • Restricted or unrestricted funds 

By identifying your organization’s most impactful contributors and understanding their shared characteristics, you’ll become more familiar with your donor base.   

So what else do you need to do to get to know your supporters? Well, according to HubSpot’s State of Marketing report, 89% of companies collect feedback through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Try sending out some donor surveys to better understand the demographics, interests, and satisfaction levels of your supporters.  

Check out Fundraising KIT’s post-event survey guide for one quick way to gain critical feedback and information from your donors. Once you gain additional information about your donors, you’re ready to apply your findings to other aspects of your marketing strategy. 

2. Segment Your Communications

By understanding who your donors are, you can build a unique relationship with each one through segmenting your donor communications. A study found that email marketing campaigns that segment prospects and personalize messaging have seen a 760% increase in revenue. That’s no joke!   

For example, if you’re completing renovations on your house, you need to communicate differently with the team working on your garage than the team updating your curtains. Of course, each team is a part of your home renos, but how you communicate with both groups should be different and will help you build better relationships. 

This principle also applies to nonprofit marketing and communications; you’ll need to deliver messages that are relevant to each of your nonprofit’s donor groups. This takes us to segmentation and how it plays a large part in nonprofit marketing.  

Donor segmentation is the process of categorizing your donor base into grouped segments based on their shared characteristics. Once segmented, you can send each group targeted communications that they’ll be particularly interested in. For example, you can send all of your monthly donors a monthly impact report to outline their impact.  

With Fundraising KIT’s donor segmentation template, you can categorize donors into segments based on their donations histories and levels of engagement to strategically build relationships and raise more with every message sent.

When you segment and communicate with your donors regularly, and on a deeper level, you build a relationship with them, even if it’s through your computer! Once donors feel connected to your organization, they are more likely to give, give more, and give more often. 

3. Personalize Your Outreach

Did you know that more than 70% of consumers expect personalized communications? It’s true! Additionally, Philanthropy News Digest revealed that personal connections drive the decision to donate. 

So when you can effectively communicate to donors with personalized messages, you create a winning marketing formula.  

Here are some tips to help personalize your donor communications:  

  • Customize your thank you messages: Use Fundraising KIT’s thank you letter templates to create personalized thank you messages for various donor types. Also, when you include information that shows how your donors’ contributions made a tangible impact, they feel like they are part of the solution and will be motivated to give again. 
  • Use snail mail: Using letter mail to thank your most impactful and loyal supporters can go a long way. We have seen that communicating online is part of our everyday experiences, the idea of a mailed letter or physical thank you can surprise and delight donors.  
  • Develop personalized event invitations: Segment your donors by the impact areas they’re most interested in and invite them to events that align with those areas. You can also personalize your welcome and thank you emails for first-time donors by inviting them to upcoming events.  
  • Create an ambassador program: Identify the donors who’ve supported you for more than a year and invite them to join an ambassador program where they can gain special access to your organization by inviting new donors and spreading the word about your nonprofit.  

By personalizing your messages, you can build unique, meaningful relationships with each donor and raise more for your cause with every email, letter, and social media message you send.  


To improve your nonprofit marketing, get to know your supporters, create segments for donor communications, and personalize your outreach. By incorporating these best practices into your marketing strategy, you can create more meaningful donor relationships and raise more for your cause.  

This blog is brought to you by Fundraising KIT. 

Fundraising KIT was built by a nonprofit leader to support the nonprofit community. Fundraising KIT’s data-driven toolkit helps nonprofits raise more for their cause. Integrating with leading nonprofit databases, KIT identifies supporters ready to give, segments donors for targeted communications, and tracks fundraising progress, all while saving time and resources in the quest to increase revenue. Learn more. 

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