Flickr Photo: booskittyThe late, great Mr. Rogers has been asking us this question for decades now: "Who is in your neighborhood?" Though we have learned a great many lessons from our avuncular, becardiganed friend, the nonprofit sector is still struggling to master this one.
I think we all know, intuitively, that all donors are not the same. They engage with us for extremely personal reasons, and are inspired to continue their engagement for equally personal and diverse reasons.
Technology has come a long way in letting us customize our relationships with donors. Our donors can tell us what issues they care about, and how often they want to be contacted. With social media, we can let super-engaged donors participate in a variety of ways. We can provide financial and other administrative information easily to donors who value transparency and accountability.
But doing all of this, in any way, has always felt like finding that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If every single donor has unique needs and expectations, how can we possibly keep up?
This week, Convio released a new white paper with Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research that provides a nice tidy framework for thinking about personalizing donor experiences.In " The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors," the authors surveyed more than 3,000 donors who gave $1,000 or more in an 18th month period and had valid email addresses.
There are lots of really useful tidbits in the report, but I thought the most interesting piece was the result of the cluster analysis.