The 4 levels of donor commitment according to Mal Warwick

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

For those of you who are new to the field, Mal Warwick played a tremendous leadership role in fundraising and direct marketing. In his book titled How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals, he outlined the 4 levels of donor commitment. Here they are:

  1. The Tourist – No commitment: These folks are not likely to give you money but they do respond to freebies and use your website to gather information. They might become donors if you give them enough value but it’s doubtful.

  3. The Visitor – A bit of commitment: They might be attracted to you in the same way the Tourist was but they become a bit more involved. They might subscribe to your e-newsletter or give a small donation.

  5. The Resident – A lot of commitment: Residents aim to stick with you unless you screw it up. They have given on multiple occasions and could be monthly donors. They volunteer and attend events. Residents include former staff or board members too. All of these folks are great legacy gift prospects.

  7. The Lifer – The highest level of commitment: Lifers are the residents that have stuck with your organization through thick and thin; good times and bad. Their undying passion makes them your best bet for legacy gifts.

How do your supporters fit into these personas? Are you overlooking some lifers?

Related posts:

>> How to Develop Donor Personas for Your Nonprofit
>> Marketing personas for non-profits: design and implementation
>> Donor Personas, Their Value, and How to Craft Them

Free Offer: Discover how to crack the code for donor retention from a fortune 500 expert!

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Ann Wrenshall Worley
Ann Wrenshall Worley
5 years ago

I love this post! Mal really nailed it when he described the 4 levels of donor commitment. Thank you for sharing, Greg.

Greg Warner
5 years ago

My pleasure Ann. Thanks for being such a loyal subscriber to my blog.

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