Overly Practical Advice About Segmenting Your Financial Partner List

What is segmenting, anyway? 

Segmenting is truly an easy exercise, and something that should be an essential part of your year-end fundraising strategy.

Why Should You Segment Your Current Financial Partners?

You should segment (separate) your financial partners into specific categories. When it comes to ensuring fundraising success, even the best letter in the world won’t raise money if you don’t have the recipients segmented properly. Spend 80 percent of your time on building your lists (contacts, prayer partners, financial partners, ministry partners, snail mail, or e-mail), and 20 percent on writing copy and designing your package.

How to Segment

1- Figure out who you’re writing to and break down your appeals (asking for funding) to cater to specific types of financial partners. It’s important that you aren’t sending the same letter to someone who supported once by attending an event, and the same letter someone who has been loyally giving for 20 years.

2- Another area to segment out are specific donors who are interested in giving to a particular part of your ministry/program. Make sure your ask for funding is tailored to fit that financial partner. This segmentation will help you narrow down what to ask for and how to ask for it.

3- Understand how people give; older readers respond best to direct mail. Generation X and Y, Millenials, and Baby Boomers give most using mobile phones or online giving. Segment which financial partners will get which type of letter from you. And send it in the format most suited to that list.

Some Basic Categories to Segment:

  • Annual or Quarterly Partners

  • Past Partners (including people who made special gifts)

  • Individuals who receive your regular communication who have not given (snail mail, e-mail, social media)

  • Individuals who have said no in the past, but might be inclined to say yes if you ask again

  • Individuals who may have come to an event that was hosted for you

  • Lapsed Partner, this is a great way to get them restarted

  • Generosity level---Major Donor, mid-level giver, etc.

  • Passions, interests, or reason for giving

Use these segmentation categories to group similar people together, and send them all the same year end letter. You can do this, and it's well worth your time.


Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist

With a passion for discipleship, it’s a true joy for my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.

5 Actions to Snowball Year End Giving

3 Quick Ideas For Your Year End Campaign