Developing an organizational persona

A face to go with the name: Nonprofit fundraisers know by now that success depends greatly on connecting to donors, avoiding being seen as a robotic entity that exists only to ask for money.

During the DMA 2014 Washington Nonprofit Conference, Dolores McDonagh, principal consultant of Charity Dynamics, said the important thing is for an organization to develop personas. She defined a persona as a representation of one of an organization’s key target audience members. Personas identify the motivations, expectations and goals of that site visitor and bring them to life by giving them names, personalities and often a photo.

The way to discover the necessary personas is to ask. That includes:

  • Internal stakeholders: The executive team, marketing, data/IT, fundraising, key internal volunteers and program staff.
  • Get Input Regarding: Department goals; key audiences; and the identity and location of possible third rails.
  • Key Audiences: General website visitors and online donors.
  • Utilize: Google analytics, Fundraising and engagement history, Surveys, Interviews, Focus groups and Key analytics include:
  • Number of Visits: Average daily, monthly and annual (Note any spikes and connect to reasons); Average visitation time; Percentage of visitors who are returning visitors; and, Bounce rate.

Think also of: How are they getting to the site? Are they going directly to the site or through Google? Are other sites directing them to you?

Content analytics. Who is visiting what?