How Do We Personalize Our Messaging?

How do we personalize? 

So maybe you are now convinced that personalization is the way forward. 

How do we do this? Where do we start? 

From Virtuous’ 5 Steps to Personalize Your Donor Communication, they share that, to be successful you need a plan to:

  1. Get to know donors in a holistic way
  2. Communicate in way that is relevant to them
  3. Provide personalized opportunities to engage based on your donor’s individual passions and preferences

For “getting to know your donor in a holistic way”, think “how do I collect data on what my donors enjoy/care about?” This could be as easy as including a quick survey asking why someone gave, what interests they want to hear updates from, etc. 

Communicating in a way that’s relevant to them includes both the medium and the message. Does the donor prefer text, email, or call? A donor who wants to text and receive updates about the wells in Africa would not be pleased with email communications asking for a gift to fund books in Australia. 

We can find opportunities to engage that are both action-centric on the donor side and impact-centric on the organization side. For example, do you have an updated workflow that personalized content to Donor A when they give their first gift vs. their third gift or when they support a specific campaign with a goal vs giving a general donation? On the impact-centric side, as you fulfill your mission with the funds received, how do you tell those stories to the donors who made it possible? Find one area where you can become more personal in your marketing and give it a try. It will take time at first, but be sure to look at the results and measure the gain.

Content can play a huge part in storytelling and communicating impact. Grab all of your videos, blogs, PDFs, and curriculum from all your departments. Next, eliminate the objectively bad content and do your best to catalog the keepers. Many times, nonprofits have a hard time determining which content really resonates with constituents. If you are feeling really ambitious, we encourage sending your good content to 4-5 people in each of your personas to solicit open, honest feedback from the groups you’ll be communicating to.

In the nonprofit world, these findings indicate that a successful personalization experience means showing donors that their contributions make a real difference.

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