Many nonprofit fundraisers are looking for effective ways to segment their current and potential donors. However, segmentation alone does not make for a magical appeal.

Fundraising relies on researching your potential and current donors, along with answering some very substantive, but subjective, questions for them. While your organization may not have the resources to implement a broad survey of the populace regarding nonprofit fundraising, with a bit of research you should be able to find some great data which will help you answer some of those subjective questions.

One such study was done by the Colorado Generosity Project and the Colorado Nonprofit Association, titled Beliefs and Behaviors of Colorado’s Donors. This report is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their nonprofit’s communications and appeals. While the report is specific to Colorado (if you are Denver nonprofit or Colorado nonprofit, lucky you), much of the information could be extrapolated to a larger context. What’s most appealing about this fundraising data are the types of questions asked. Many organizations take for granted some of the most basic questions about their organization and overlook the fact that they need to communicate some very basic information to donors.

Three statements that almost all donors believe from the above report:

  1. “Charitable organizations play a major role in making our communities better places to live”.
  2. They donate, “Because you believe it is the right thing to do”.
  3. An important factor when choosing an organization to support: “The organization is one that you trust”.

How much do you know about donors’ beliefs: their reasons for giving and their view of the role of charities?

Does this change based on demographic factors?

While the above Beliefs and Behaviors Report of Colorado’s Donors report can give you some greate ideas to start segmenting your appeals and more effectively targeting your communications, the true test is your success. This is where you have to go beyond what is in a report and use your nonprofit’s or charity’s software to take a look at how successful one appeal was compared with another.

If you know of any other reports on state level nonprofit fundraising beliefs, or if you would like to share some insights, please share them in the comments.