Defining the Audience for a Nonprofit

Defining the Audience for a Nonprofit

For any nonprofit, it is important to define the audience they are trying to reach. Without taking this step, creating fundraising campaigns is a waste of resources.

Defining the audience helps nonprofits focused on people who will impact their success. Given below are techniques that nonprofits can adopt to identify their target audiences

Nonprofits Have Multiple Audiences

Most nonprofits have multiple audiences, so they should  categorize their audiences into particular groups. To do that, it is essential to find out what their audiences value and how those values can be connected to a cause.

The most effective ways of communicating with clients also have to be categorized. The clients can be individual donors, government grantmakers, or corporate sponsors. Their communication channels of preference could be different.


Certain questions might help in the categorization of the target audience.

For instance, are they women or men?

What are their age groups?

What are their levels of education or incomes?

Do they have causes they feel strongly about?

Identify Goals

The goals of a nonprofit will help it focus on and prioritize people who matter to them.  The goal could be raising donations or recruiting more volunteers, for instance.

They may differ from organization to organization, and they may also change over time. The more specific a goal is, the more effective will be the communication. When defining goals, it is wise to think of problems that the cause of a nonprofit can alleviate for people.

Create Personas

Personas are vivid descriptions of real or imaginary people. Creating personas can help send messages to the appropriate audiences.

To create a persona, take the characteristics of current supporters, and categorize them into smaller groups. These smaller groups can be broken down further to create personas for each audience.

Each persona can be given an age group, hobby, income level, and so on. Three or four personas can be created for each group.

For instance, Christine is a retired person who wants to remain proactive and participate in different campaigns. She values time, so she could be asked to participate in campaigns that are time bound.

Do Research

It is essential to take a look at an organization’s current members to create target personas. Identifying patterns in a community’s database may prove helpful.

For instance, nonprofits could note down the names of people who watch a particular TV show. It is also important to keep in mind that personas should not be assigned characteristics that are false cultural stereotypes.

Do Not Jump to Tactics

Without successfully segmenting the target audience, it’s risky to jump into tactics.  Asking team members or supporters to compile a list of types of supporters and prioritize audiences might also help to segment the target audience.

They would appreciate the fact that their opinion is valued and might even become more committed to the cause of the organization.