Finding New Donors Online: The Best Targeting Tools

by | Apr 25, 2022

Billions of people donate to organizations each year. Your nonprofit attracts only a small fraction of these donors. For every donor who gives, there are many more potential donors out there who might give if they knew about you and the work you’re accomplishing. People out there care about your mission, but don’t know about you yet. So how do you reach them?

Person swiping on a phone screen to donate

The Challenge: Targeting Donors Likely To Give

In the past, it’s been difficult for nonprofits to find a cost-effective way to discover people they’ve previously had no contact with who are likely to support them. Nonprofits have used direct mail, print advertising, and telemarketing campaigns to varying success, but these methods are expensive, time-consuming, and risky. Even when these tactics do work, much of the activity misses its mark. Costs are high, and it’s hard to do in-depth targeting with them. The return on money and time is better over the long term, but in many cases, these approaches aren’t worth it. That’s why these tactics carry significant risk, even for smaller organizations. So aggressive donor discovery has been beyond the reach for many small and mid-size organizations.

The Solution: Online Outreach and Targeting Techniques

Today, online targeting and outreach techniques have changed the calculus of the economics of discovering new donors for small and mid-size nonprofits. 

Every day, billions of people are online expressing interest in your cause in various ways. When people use search engines or post, like, share, and follow social media content, Google, Facebook, and other platforms are capturing and tracking those interactions. These companies piece together in-depth profiles about each of us with this data. While there are legitimate privacy concerns about how much these companies know about us, the online profiles from these outlets are much richer and more powerful than offline targeting reports. 

What’s more, digital companies are giving this data away for free because they want to support online advertisers who pay to deliver their message. These advertisers use the data to target their outreach with incredible precision. Nonprofits can now do the same. 

Precision Targeting

Nonprofits can use free data from companies to discover and target the people they know are most likely to become donors. With online precision, they can create highly personalized campaigns that reach more of the right donors and move more of them to become supporters.

Online technology like cloud-based email marketing programs can help you deliver customized communications with a high degree of automation, which means less work with more results.

Building Profiles For Success

In iMission’s Discovering New Donors 101 free video class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create profiles of good donor targets
  • Use Google’s Adword Express
  • Use Facebook Ads Targeting Tools

With the information you’ll get from Google and Facebook, you’ll be able to evaluate and understand the key traits of your most likely donors. You’ll have the information you need to prioritize which donor groups to target first, which will give you a focus and manageable place to start and to see results faster.

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