In Uncategorised

A Segmentation Model for Donors to 12 University Presenting Programs

November 21, 200821 November 2008

Performing arts: Attendance, donors and social impacts

Article Link

The primary finding of this report is that values, beliefs, aspirations and motivations are related to donations and to donation levels in the performing arts. Rather than relying only on past donation behaviour and the personal knowledge of development staff, information about values could help create “a fundamentally better way to market and fundraise for the arts”.

Along with other reports in a “Values Survey”, the report attempts to “build new customer segmentation models for performing arts ticket buyers and donors, to aid in future marketing and fundraising efforts”.

An online survey, conducted in conjunction with 12 major university presenters, reached 1,800 donors. Although the segmentation results are specific to the 12 sites and should not be applied to other performing arts organizations, the results are interesting and can stimulate other organizations’ thinking about their own donors.

Different types of motivations are important for different donors. The report identified three general categories of motivations: artistic and civic; social and transactional; and sustainability.

The top two motivations for giving are “to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability” of the program and “to make possible a high quality of life for our community”.

Motivations that are related to higher gift levels are “to enjoy the social opportunities provided to donors” and “because I want to leave a legacy that includes a vibrant cultural life”. Interestingly, the quality of life motivation, although a top motivation for giving at all, is associated with lower average gift levels.

The report identified five segments among the university presenters’ donors:

  • Intrinsics (22% of all donors; people who “believe in the transformative power of art”);
  • Networkers (23%; “socially-oriented donors”);
  • Co-creators (11%; “desire to commission new work and be a part of the evolution of the art forms);
  • Marquee donors (23%; people who “want public recognition”); and
  • Youth-focussed (21%; people who are “motivated by a desire to expand the reach of the arts to children and the disadvantaged”).

The report provides a brief summary of each segment, detailed tables for key variables in the analysis, as well as the online survey protocol.

The report can help performing arts organizations talk to their own donors to learn more about their values, beliefs, aspirations and motivations, which may differ from donors to American university presenters.

Recent Resources
All archives by date