The 4 Personalities of Tom Ahern

Tom Ahern, fundraising, nonprofits, non profit,

Tom Ahern, from his site, looking young and happy in France!

Do you have a specific type of reader in mind when you write your fundraising appeal, newsletter, brochure, blog, Facebook post…? You should. This is where personas come in.

Creating a full-blown persona can feel arduous. Thank goodness for Tom Ahern! He gives us four handy personalities to consider when embarking on mission-motivated writing.

  1. Amiable: They crave a good story and engaging images.
  2. Expressive: They want something new. Program, website, trends, reports. New=good.
  3. Skeptical: They’re into facts and supporting evidence. FAQs, testimonials and proof points will make them happy.
  4. Bottom-liner: They’re looking for a very specific, actionable call to action (CTA). Make it easy for them to know what to do.

Each of us has a bit of each of these personalities in us and so do the people you’re trying to engage. Write accordingly. You might mix a bit of amiable with a dose of skeptical for your fall newsletter and then for your year-end appeal, get expressive with some bottom-line.

The point: For best results, write with a specific personality in mind.

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  1. […] A real, live person who represents the type of person who will be reading the piece. (This is why personas are so important.) Write something they’d love to read. Others will love it, […]

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