Audience Demographics Expanded Content

5 IDEAS that will Change your Fundraising FOREVER!

Donor Decision Making

Donors take-action for two basic reasons: intellect or fact and emotion. In our experience, decision making begins with emotion, is validated by fact, and culminates in action. As a result, action comes from fact-based emotion.

Understanding your audience on a core level will help you identify why each guest is in attendance; why they care about what you’re talking about; and why they don’t. Once you understand this, you can craft and deliver the messages that inspire the action you want your guests to take, and this is where we shine! We’ll work with you to craft your emotional story, back it up by fact and then deliver it in a thoughtful, powerful manner that inspires your audience to give at the highest level possible.

Answer Your Audience Why’s

Understanding your guests WHY’S are critically important to the success of any fundraising event: why they attend your event; why they’re committed to your organization; why they’re familiar with your mission; and why they’re prepared to support your cause.

The 50/50 Principle

Most audiences are made up of two types of individuals: 50% need to win a widget (trip, vacation, experience) to part with their hard-earned cash; while the other 50% will buy an item if they want it, but are also committed to giving at the paddle raise. These donors are confident that the dollars they gift will be allocated for the highest and best use. The 50/50 Principle supports the rationale of conducting both a live auction and special appeal together.

The 5%, 40%, 55% Principle

Only 5% of your audience is prepared to spend several thousand dollars on live auction items or make a significant donation during the paddle raise . . . if inspired; 40% of your audience will not play at live auction or paddle raise; leaving 55% who would adore the opportunity to raise their bidder number and perhaps win an auction.

  • The 5%  Most organizations generate 70% of their event night revenue from the 5%. Given this fact, you need to be more creative to engage, inspire and motivate your 5% to show up, not only physically, but financially as well.
  • The 40% This section of your audience loves your organization, but have committed their disposable income to other matters. They would move heaven and earth to help, but will do that through non-cash methods such as referring friends, colleagues, volunteering or spreading the word about your organization
  • The 55% – Your Hidden Opportunity 55% of your audience wants to play at the live auction or paddle raise. They want to feel their heartbeat rise when they lift that bidder number for the first time, they are thrill seekers and want to WIN. Ask us how!

Baby Boomers – Ages 44-62 (Me Generation, Moral Authority) Bruce Springsteen, Oprah, George Clooney.


Technology – The Microwave

View of Authority – Impressed

CommunicationsMedia – Touch-tone phones, call me anytime.

Communications Style – Diplomatic, in person, speak open with a direct style, use e-communications/face-to-face.

Feedback and Rewards – Rewarded by money and will often display all awards and recognition.

Motivated By – Being valued and money.

Money – Status symbol.

Fundraising Tips – Put them out front and in the spotlight, appeal to their idealism, get them involved, allow them to find self fulfillment.

Generation X – Ages 28-43 (Gen X, Xers) Sheryl Crow, Barak Obama, Jennifer Lopez.
Technology – Assimilated what you can hold in your hand, cell, PDA, tablet.
View of Authority – Unimpressed Communications Media – Smart phones, call me only at work, email. Communications Style – Blunt and direct, use straight talk, present facts, email as #1 tool, don’t micro-manage. Feedback and Rewards – Get them involved, encourage creativity, allow flexibility, be more hands off.
Motivated By – Freedom, removal of rules, time off.
Money – A means to an end.
Fundraising Tips – Use humor in appeals, creative use of new technologies, engage quickly, show how they can make a difference today!


Millennials – Ages 8-27 (Gen Y) Beyoncé, Prince William, Bruno Mars.
Technology – Integral, ethereal, intangible.
View of Authority – Relaxed Communications Media – Internet, smart phones, e-mail.
Communications Style – Polite, don’t talk down, use language to portray visuals, show you are human.
Feedback and Rewards – Meaningful work, give feedback often, recognition for heroes, bosses, grandparents.
Money – Today’s payoff.
Fundraising Tips – Use of technologies for appeals-no long appeal letters, utilize their networks-have them plan events.

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