Our Brisbane mentor (the legendary Vlad) has an uncanny knack of being able to identify an organisation’s audience.
Like, really identify.
We don’t mean, “Oh, those guys are largely talking to Australian women aged between 18 and 55.” We mean, “That cause is specifically talking to university-educated females with enough spare cash to donate on a monthly basis, but they really want to see stories of children in return.”
At first, we thought he had a spooky sixth sense. And – although he well might – it turns out that his knack for identifying audiences actually comes down to the time he spends talking to people connected to the organisation.
It’s time consuming, yes, but worth it to understand the ins and outs of your organisation’s volunteers, donors, advocates, staff and supporters. Because once you’ve figured that out, creating social posts and advertising campaigns becomes as easy as pie!
How does Vlad do it?
“You may need to interview 5-7 people per segment,” he says. “That means 5 donors, 5 volunteers, etc.
“Through these interviews, you’ll naturally start to notice patterns. Once you start expecting and predicting what your interviewee is going to say, that means you’ve interviewed enough people to find and internalise these patterns.
“Ask WHY,” Vlad continues. “The number one tip for running successful persona interviews is following up every question with ‘WHY’.
“You’re trying to understand your donors’ or potential donors’ goals, behaviours and what drives them to give. Start with a simple question – ‘what inspires you to support a cause or organisation’ – and then spend a good amount of time diving deeper into that one question to learn more about that person.
“You learn more by asking ‘why’ than by asking more simple questions.”
To follow, is Vlad’s (extensive) list of questions. These questions are specifically for donors, but you can tweak them to suit your needs!
Questions to ask
What inspired you to give?
How long have you been giving?
Have you given to other organisations? Why/why not?
What is your preferred form of giving? Why?
What would stop you from giving?
Do you have a preferred type of organisation you give to?
What do you look for in an NFP? Why?
Do you prefer local or overseas NFPs? Why?
Is the size of the NFP important? Why/why not?
Is the age of an NFP important? Why/why not?
Do you follow the NFP you give to? Why/why not? How?
Do you have any expectations from the NFP you give to? Why/why not? What do you feel are the benefits of giving? Why?
Do you have any frustrations with giving? Why?
Do you have any fears/concerns about giving? Why?
Are there any particular types of organisations you wouldn’t give to? Why?
What are your goals for giving? Why?
Should businesses/companies be involved in giving? Why?
Do you review your giving program? When? Why?
Is there a better way to help the organisation you give to? Why? How?
Do you tell other people about your giving? Why/why not?
Do you want other people to know about your giving? Why/why not?
Do you look for other opportunities to give? Why/why not?
What would be your preferred way to be approached by an NFP? Why?
What would be your least preferred way to be approached by an NFP? Why?
What would convince you to support an NFP? Why?
What do you like the most about NFPs? Why?
Is giving a tax consideration? How important is that? Why?
Any other comments or suggestions about NFPs?