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Understanding the personality types of your donors


As you talk with your donors about the possibility of making a gift to your endowment fund at the community foundation, it's helpful to take a step back and consider your approach. Each donor's reasons for giving to your endowment fund will be a little different, but in general, it is helpful to categorize donor "personalities" into major groups.

Woman smiling into a mirror

There are many tools and techniques on the market today to help you segment your donors according to motivation and behavior. The net-net is that there does seem to be commonality among most segmentation methods that boils down to three types of charitable givers. Consider these major categories as you plan for your one-on-one meetings with potential major gift or planned giving donors:

  • "Investors" prefer to engage in charitable activities that are independent and don't necessarily require scheduling dedicated time or working directly with others. Investors sometimes feel they have more money than time and would prefer to write a check or purchase a product that supports a cause.
  • "Connectors" love to engage in charitable activities that involve the opportunity to get together with other people. These are people who enjoy going to community events or even promoting their favorite causes on social media and getting their friends and family to join them in putting dollars behind a cause. 
  • "Activators" are passionate about participating in the one or two causes they care most about, and tend to focus on "changing the world" and solving a very specific issue. Activators like to be able to see the difference they are making, and many will roll up their sleeves to get involved alongside their financial contributions.

Whatever your donors' charitable giving personality types, the community foundation is here to help. Reach out to strategize with our team about that next big gift to your endowment fund. We'd love to talk about how you can land it.

This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. 

For more information on agency endowment funds, contact Brian Reitz, Agency Endowment & Engagement Officer, at

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