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Increasing Fundraising Efficiency Increasing Fundraising Efficiency by Segmenting Donors

By Katharina J. Srnka, Reinhard Grohs and Ingeborg Eckler


In recent years, private individual giving has gained much importance as a source of support for non-profit organisations (NPOs). Most academics consider psychographic criteria as the basis for segmenting and targeting donors. In marketing practice, however, fundraisers are often confined to socio-demographic data on their target groups. This article suggests certain socio-demographic characteristics, when combined with behavioural aspects, can be traced back to fundamental dimensions that represent efficient criteria for potential donor segmentation. The authors conducted an investigation in Austria to find which individuals (as defined by age, gender and social class) donate what amounts, how frequently, to which organisations, and in which forms. Reviewing the data and their statistical results in a succeeding interpretative process, they were able to deduce three basic conditions under which individuals are particularly prone to donate: (1) when the purpose of the NPO pertains to the individual’s sphere; (2) when the individual might benefit from the services of an organisation; (3) when the donation does not represent overmuch expense and/or effort. These conditions are proposed as dimensions for selecting and targeting specific donor-segments, allowing NPOs to increase their fundraising efficiency through easy-to-get socio-demographic data. Keywords: Non-profit organisations, Fundraising, Private charitable giving, Donations, Donor segmentation, Austria 1

Year: 2011
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