I recently asked one of my staff members after a year on the job what she wished she knew about nonprofit fundraising before joining us. She had extensive corporate and agency digital marketing experience, but working at a nonprofit was new for her. Her first response? She wishes she understood more about our persona and who the target donor is.

I missed a great opportunity after hiring her.

As nonprofit fundraisers, we can’t live and die by the donor persona we’ve developed, but it sure is helpful when you’re crafting campaigns and messaging to have a target person in mind. Now, whenever I add a staff member, I’m going to make sure the new employee understands our personas and who we’re targeting for the different campaigns we create.

Countless books and articles have been written about how to develop a marketing persona. I’ve added 20+ resources here to help you identify who your donor is, craft a compelling narrative about the donor persona, and build effective campaigns to reach those people. Most organizations have 3-5 different donor personas depending on different classes of donors. Use these tools to build your donor personas: