Right now, within your database, your best donors are slipping through your fingers...

They're your most loyal donors; your untapped gold mine...

Do you know who they are?

Do you understand their giving potential?

Do you have a way to know when they stop giving?

Are you nurturing them through a strategic, effective process?

This 5-module, multi-media course, guides you step-by-step as you create a simple segmentation system to manage, retain, and grow your donorbase.

Through the course, you'll be able to...

  • Understand your donor data and use it to grow your fundraising.
  • Create a strategic segmentation plan for relevant and meaningful donor communications.
  • Produce clear reports that help your board and staff grasp the big picture of your donor base.
  • Identify and nurture your most valuable donors - from potential donor to major donor.
  • How to get the most out of your current donor database software - and use it to raise more money.

Here's what you'll get:

  • Five Self-paced, Multi-media Modules

    Each in-depth module is divided into multiple, digestible classes. You work on YOUR time schedule - not ours. When you're ready, we'll guide you through the entire segmentation implementation from start to finish.

  • Live Office Hours

    Get your individual questions answered one-on-one during our member exclusive office hours.

  • Database Walkthrough Demos

    We show you how to set up the Donor Segmentation System inside your donor database. We teach you how to use your software to its full potential.

  • 15-day, 100% Money-back Guarantee

    Not what you expected? No problem. Your complete satisfaction is important to us.

  • 5 Hands-on Workshops

    We won't just tell you the concepts and leave you to figure it out on your own. We'll walk you through each step, with video demos, worksheets & templates. You'll take action and get results.

  • Companion PDF Workbook

    Prefer text-based guides? You'll get a PDF guide and workbook where you can follow along with the video tutorials and workshops.

  • 5 Pre-designed, Downloadable Templates & Reports

    Plug in your info into our pre-designed reports and tools, then customize for your organization. Includes segmentation system template & annual donor inventory report.

  • FREE BONUS WORKSHOP! Growing Your Mid-Level Giving Program

    When you enroll by May 20th, you'll get our 2-module workshop, Growing Your Mid-level Donor Program completely free!

Course Syllabus


Module 1: Fundamental Concepts of Donor Management

Class 1: Course Overview Just like the first day of school, we'll talk about exactly what to expect and get ready to start.

Class 2: Fundamentals of Donor Management & Segmentation We'll make sure you've got all the basic concepts under your belt before we get down to business.

Class 3: Introducing the Donor Segmentation System The big reveal! We'll walk through the Donor Segmentation System and demonstrate what your end result will look like.

Module 2: Implementing The Donor Segmentation System

Class 1: The Four Components of Segmentation We'll take a closer look at each component of the Donor Segmentation System and prepare to implement.

Class 2: Defining Your Parameters Workshop How do you define when a donor is lapsed? What is a mid-range gift? How long do we keep trying to recruit a prospect? You'll establish firm, data-driven parameters that make sense for your organization.

Class 3: Setting up Your Database to Use the Donor Segmentation System Using several popular database software systems, we'll walk through setting up your database following the Donor Segmentation System.

Module 3: Inventorying and Analyzing Your Donor Database

Class 1: Understanding Your Donorbase Before we dig in to the donor inventory process, this class summarizes what information you'll need from your database and what to do with it.

Class 2: Donor Inventory Workshop This is meat and potatoes of the course. Here we'll determine who falls into each segment, get actual counts, and assign segments to each donor record within your database.

Class 3: Key Donor Metrics Workshop You'll define exactly what you should measure each year, set up a reporting system, and calculate your current metrics.  We've gathered all the math and formulas you'll need and we'll walk you through all the calculations.

Module 4: Managing and Communicating by Segment

Class 1: Overview of The Donor Communications Plan Once you've segmented your donors, you need a plan to nurture them. Here, we'll introduce the Donor Communications Plan that aligns with the Donor Segmentation System. We'll share our recommendations for exactly what segments should get what communications and when.

Class 2: Communications Assessment Workshop In this hands-on workshop, you'll think through your current communication strategy. What are you already doing well?  What do you need to add?  You'll decide what your budget will allow right now now and what gets put on hold.

Class 3: Developing Your Segmented Communications Plan In this workshop, you'll finalize your plan and put it on paper using our handy template to make it easier.

Module 5: Annual Donor Review

Class 1: What is an Annual Donor Review?
Here, we explain why, during the first quarter of each year, you should assess the status of your donor base and assign donors into a segment for the coming year. We'll explain the the benefits and why your Annual Donor Review is the key to your annual fundraising.

Class 2: Annual Donor Inventory & Reporting 
In this workshop, we'll walk you through the process of conducting an annual donor inventory and share our customizable annual report template. You'll create a report which will illuminate and communicate the health and status of your donor base in the coming year.

Class 3: Annual Classification Inside Your Database  We'll walk you through the process for quickly updating individual donor records with their new annual classification inside your donor database.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It enabled me to create a segmentation system for our donor database and have a foundational plan based on the information gleaned. It was so well done, I was able to follow and segment with a completely different database than used as the demo in the workshops.
    Donor Managment Course Participant
  • My board would ask me how many donors we have. While it seemed like a simple question, I never had a confident, accurate answer. Now I know exactly how many active, current donors we have. I know which of our best donors lapsed last year. I know which donors I need to focus on and I have a plan now to make sure they get my attention!
    2018 Course Participant

2019 Spring Session

Enrollment in the 2019 Donor Management Blueprint is now closed.  We anticipate opening again in the Spring of 2020.  Meanwhile the course is currently available as a part of the Annual Giving System!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of the course?

There course consists of 5 modules, each containing 2-3 video-based classes and workshops that run between 6-17 minutes each.  The classes are in-depth, "everything-you-need-to-know" content, but intentionally broken into smaller chunks so that they can be easily digested.

How is the course delivered?

The course is delivered through video screencast, with downloadable worksheets and report templates (PDF and Excel) that you'll follow as we move throughout the course exercises. The course materials include a companion PDF guide and workbook to supplement the course video classes and help you apply the material.

What if I'm not available when the course begins or when the modules are released?
Once the course is released, you'll have ongoing access to that module's material, and ongoing access to the entire course after June 18th, when Module 5 is released.  The presentations are all recorded for you to view at your own pace on your own schedule.

Will the course be helpful for people using my specific donor management software program?

Yes!  I specifically designed this system to be relevant no matter which donor management software your organization uses.  We've had course participants using Raiser's Edge, eTapestry,  Kindful, Neon, Little Green Light and many other donor software systems.

Who is this course for?

We designed this course for anyone who works with donors and donor management software programs: development managers, executive directors, annual fund coordinators, and database administrators of small to mid-sized nonprofits who are ready to grow their annual fundraising and tap into the potential within their donor database.

This course will be most helpful for groups with an established list of donors - even a small list - and who are currently using a donor database software system. 

If you aren't quite ready to commit to a new system (or aren't sure if you are or aren't) but want some in-depth information on the concept of managing your donors and donor segmentation, this course is for you, too!

What if I find out that the course isn't for me?

If within the first 15 days you find the course just isn't what you expected, simply send an email with your feedback and reason why you've requested a refund. We'll refund 100% of your money right away.  

How is this course unique?

While much has been written about good donor communications, there just isn't much out there on "behind-the-scenes" management and measurement of donor communications and outreach.  This course shows you how to build a solid infrastructure for donor management -- that supports your fundraising efforts in a thoughtful, systematic, and measured way.  

The course helps you use your donor management software beyond just a repository for contact information and gift process. Rather, you'll be able to use your donor management software and donor data for proactive fundraising.

This Course is a Part of The Complete Annual Giving Academy!

The Donor Cultivation System, combined with The Donor Management Blueprint, together form the The Complete Annual Giving System:

Course #1: The Donor Management Blueprint is the "back-end" of your annual giving system. The course walks you step-by-step as you establish a simple donor segmentation system and apply that system  within your current donor database. Then we'll show you how to inventory and assess your donor data so that you can make informed decisions about your fundraising and measure your ongoing progress.

When you complete the course, you'll have a simple system that allows you to manage and use an otherwise complex web of donor information to grow your annual fundraising.

Course #2: The Donor Cultivation System helps you set up the "front-end" of your annual giving program. This course provides a "deep-dive" into designing and crafting a highly-effective, strategic, repeatable system of donor communications and outreach -- designed specifically for each individual donor segment.

Read about the Donor Cultivation System Here 

Note: Although both courses complement each other, they are designed to be independently beneficial and can be applied individually.

Join The Complete Annual Giving Academy Today!

Course Instructor: Donna Mehr

For over 18 years, Donna Mehr has managed individual fundraising for nonprofits. In 2012, she founded smartannualgiving.com to help nonprofits build strong, systematic annual fundraising programs. In 2018, she created Toccata Data Solutions, a consulting firm working with individual nonprofit organizations to streamline their data management processes and increase their capacity for successful fundraising.

In addition to her smartannualgiving.com courses, Donna has been a course instructor for North Carolina State University's Institute for Nonprofit Management.

Donna holds a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University, a Master of Arts from Duke University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management also from Duke.