Nonprofit Marketing Made Easier, Part 3: Defining Your Target Audience and Persona

Marketing team defining a target audience on a whiteboard

Nonprofit Marketing Made Easier, Part 3: Defining Your Target Audience and Persona

August 21, 2023

In previous posts, we covered how to create a marketing plan and develop your brand identity. The focus of this third article in the series is identifying your nonprofit’s target audience.

Your marketing plan is ready to go. Now, you need to put it in front of the right people. But who are the “right people?”

What is a Target Audience?

Your target audience is the specific group of individuals that’s most likely to interact with your nonprofit. They’re the people who are interested in your cause, whether as a volunteer, donor, community partner or board member.

Knowing your target audience will help you determine the content of your marketing campaigns and the channels you use to deliver it.  When you know your target audience, you can focus your marketing efforts on specific goals such as recruiting volunteers, increasing your donor base and raising funds.

Target Audience Demographics and Identifiers

If you could envision an ideal volunteer, community partner or donor, what might their life look like, and how would they support your organization?

Here are some elements to consider when narrowing your target audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Profession
  • Education level
  • Location
  • Income

Analyze your current volunteer and donor base. You can also conduct surveys to learn how people discover your organization, what inspired them to get involved and what makes your nonprofit stand out.

Digital monitoring tools provide metrics that help you understand how people find your nonprofit. Google Analytics tracks the number of users that visit your website and the channels they used to get there. Facebook Insights evaluate which types of content resonate with your audience.

Defining Your Target Audience

There are three factors to consider when defining your target audience:

Interests: Knowing your ideal donors’ or volunteers’ interests helps you create more targeted messages that resonate with your audience.

Purchase intention: That parameter defines your target audience as those who are looking for a specific service or product –  or a cause, in the case of your nonprofit.

Subculture: That hyper-segmentation of your target audience is defined as individuals who share a common interest, such as volunteering or donating.

Once you’ve defined your target audience, you can create marketing personas for volunteers, donors, board members and community partners.

What are Personas?

A persona is a profile of each individual’s possible personality traits and philanthropic behaviors.

A persona also highlights the challenges each person would face in reaching their philanthropic goals. For example, what types of obstacles would prevent someone from becoming a volunteer for your organization? Do they not have enough time? Are they unsure of how to get started? Creating a persona allows you to develop solutions to those potential problems and implement communication strategies to mitigate them.

The team at MadAveCollective is dedicated to strengthening your nonprofit marketing strategy. That includes creating the right content for the right people.

Let’s get started. Call 419-725-6500 or email us to schedule a meeting.