[Infographic] 4 Donor Types and How to Motivate Them

We’ve leaned into DiSC personality assessment here at Stelter. It helps you improve self-awareness and understand others. It has a ton of application in building relationships and moving initiatives forward.

It feels like fundraising.

In DiSC, you’re somewhere on a spectrum from D (dominance), i (Influence), S (steadiness) and C (conscientiousness). I’m an iD style. Here’s what it says about me, “you are dynamic and outgoing, often rallying people around new initiatives with optimistic enthusiasm. You are probably not afraid to speak up and get persuasive, especially when advocating for bold ideas or pushing toward results.”

Your DiSC profile speaks to your natural strengths and limitations. Knowing DiSC styles can help you adapt your approach to others.

FREE Chart on Donor Styles

If you can assess your donor/prospect’s spot on the DiSC chart, you can help prepare a case that best leans into their communication style. For example, someone with a “D” or dominance style, wants you to be concise and confront obstacles directly. Their opposite, someone with an “S” or steadiness style, wants a warm and friendly relationship that doesn’t rush to business.

The chart below can help you build trust and prepare your sales approach.

Transitioning to the Financial Discussion

Knowing a donor’s DiSC style can also help you tactfully transition to the financial discussion. Here are some suggestions:

For High D – Be Direct

People with a D style are results-oriented and respect directness. Get to the point. Be assertive, open and confident, and provide choices.

“Let me ask you a question about the dollar range of a gift you might consider. What would you want your gift to accomplish?”

For High i – Focus on People

People with a strong i style tend to be warm, friendly and informal. When presenting gift opportunities, be enthusiastic.

“Maybe you can help me. In situations like this, people often tell me what they want to accomplish with a gift. Based on what we’ve talked about so far, here are two ideas for meaningful gifts you could make and the costs of each. I’d like to get your initial reaction.”

For High S – Be Gentle and Polite

People with a strong S style tend to be warm and calm, but reserved and process-oriented. Be patient when introducing gift opportunities. You may need to present one piece at a time and get a reaction.

“Thank you for sharing your reasons for your continued support. It sounds like you’d like to do something meaningful to keep our mission going strong. Can we talk for a few minutes about the dollar range you might consider and what such a gift would accomplish?”

For High C – Be Direct and Precise

People with a C style respect accuracy and directness. Details are important, so be prepared to answer questions and offer evidence to support conclusions. Be businesslike. Don’t exaggerate or over-sell.

“Can we talk about some numbers? I know there are a lot of details to cover yet. But if I have an idea of the size of a potential gift, I can show you a more detailed plan for what your gift would accomplish.”

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