Supporters in Sight: An Examination of Donor Personas

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Research shows that donor counts have been declining across the sector for a number of years, and the losses seen in 2019 were some of the most significant in recent history. In this session, Melissa will provide a brief survey of the varying analytics techniques that nonprofits can use to better understand their donors’ characteristics and segment their database with strategic purpose. Then, she will dive deep into one of the newer methodologies being leveraged by the most successful nonprofits: cluster segmentation. Building cluster segmentation — or persona models — can help an organization bring existing supporters into focus and better understand not only who to target but also how to communicate with them most effectively. With fewer donors giving, maximizing the value of your relationships with those who still are is more important than ever. Cluster segmentation offers a pragmatic, yet strategic and data-driven method of connecting with supporters through the channels they prefer while delivering messages most likely to resonate with them.

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Start: Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 3:00pm

End: Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 4:00pm



Melissa Bank Stepno
Director of Analytics Consulting | Blackbaud

Melissa joined Blackbaud in 2005 and currently serves as Director of Analytics Consulting. She has worked in the fundraising and nonprofit space since 1999, spending about half that time as an analytics consultant for Blackbaud. Her specific areas of interest include the impact of high net worth philanthropy on major giving programs and helping organizations develop effective research and prospect management operations. Melissa sits on the board of directors for Apra and is an instructor for the Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Previously, she has served on the boards of NEDRA, AFP’s Northern New England Chapter and Brandeis University’s Alumni Association. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and master’s degrees in arts administration and higher education administration from Boston University.