Your pool of potential grant-givers is not uniform. Each foundation is unique, as are the individuals who make up those foundations . Before you approach any audience with an appeal letter, you should know what makes your reader distinct from others.foster donor relationships need Potencial grant segmentation.

If you’ve done your homework, you already know the financials and giving history of the foundations to which you’re writing. Numbers aren’t enough, though. According to Pamela Grow, you need a solid segmentation strategy in order to build a personal connection.

What is segmentation?

In literal terms, segmentation is exactly what it sounds like: segmenting, or categorizing, your donors according to what you know about them. Though the terminology is borrowed from marketers, your approach can be organic. Analyzing data is simply a means of reaching different audiences with one common goal: To support the mission of your nonprofit.

Applying segmentation to your fundraising strategy is not a guarantee that you’ll immediately receive a grant. Instead, the practice helps solidify long term donor relationships with givers. Don’t think of segmentation as a strategy but as a means of getting to know those who might be your biggest supporters.

What’s the best approach?

Though you want to be sincere in stewarding your alliances, it’s perfectly fine to enlist the help of donation management software. Analytics and CRM tools will help you interpret, manage and categorize notes, so you don’t have to rely on memory or manually generate spreadsheets.

Even with the help of software, you’re not off the hook. Gathering information is still entirely up to you, and now the question is: What do you need to know about your current and prospective benefactors?

Though segmentation is a methodical process, be careful not to be detached. Emotions matter! Your donors are giving to you because they care about a cause, and you need to show them you’re equally invested.

Angie Moore recommended the practice of mindset segmentation, a much more specific and donor-centric way of segmenting. Take a look at the emotional mindset of givers. What do they most passionately believe? What are they afraid of? What do they expect from you? Seek feedback from past and existing donors. Why not recognize their efforts by involving them in the fundraising process? Remember that people comprise foundations, so these questions apply to organizations and individuals alike.

Of course, you don’t want to abandon traditional segmentation methods. Knowing a foundation’s wealth and giving history also play a role in cultivating a more individualized relationship. For example, numbers can help you avoid alienating a potential new donors by asking for too much.

Adding to emotional mindset and giving power, it’s also good to know how an individual or foundation prefers to receive correspondence. Take note of whether emails or direct mail garner the strongest responses from each recipient.

If you undertake the core purpose of reaching donors through shared goals, you can adopt a segmentation method that allows you to keep the heart of your nonprofit beating.