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The Purposeful Donor and The Principle Donor Personality Types

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Donor Personality Types & What to Say to Them- The Purposeful Donor and The Principle Donor

Taking a personality test is beneficial for both for the church pastor and church members. This article is part of a series based on the Enneagram personality test. The Enneagram name comes from a nine-sided star polygon, and we can see each of its points as one of nine different donor personalities.

We have renamed the donor types to reflect the attributes and traits they bring to the church. Learning to understand your donors is a great way to prepare and plan your fundraising programs.

When you understand your donors, you learn how to approach them for giving in a way that is right for their particular personality. For more information on growing donors, read our resources on the blog.

Types 1 & 6: Aligned Yet Often Misidentified

Donor personality Types One and Six are often alike: both types are very hard workers and determined, and they have a strong sense of duty. When approaching them for donations, appeal to each one’s desire to serve others and make the world a better place. 

During your Bible studies and leadership training, however, remember that both types come with deeply held ideals and beliefs. It may take time for them to be convinced of certain principles. This is completely normal, and pastors who want to engage with Types One and Six must do so without pushing their personal agenda. Always lead with faith, directing them to specific Scriptures to show where your ideas and principles are coming from. Both types will want “proof” and may require time before they are ready to “take everything on faith.”

On the upside, Ones bring a sense of reason and mental clarity to the church, and so are perfect for managerial positions. They are usually quite sure of themselves—much more than Sixes tend to be. When accepted in the church, Sixes bring warmth, emotional responsiveness, and generosity. They may be some of your most devoted donors.

Now, let’s recap each personality’s traits and ways to appeal to them for giving.

Type One: The Purposeful Donor

Principled, purposeful, and positive, they have a deep desire to reform through humanitarian endeavors. They live to make the world a better place and look for ways to leave a positive legacy. Here are some ways you might recognize the Purposeful Donor personality Type within your church fellowship:

Most Notable Traits:

  • Self-controlled.
  • Perfectionist.
  • Always looking for reform.
  • Constantly improving their surroundings.
  • Advocates for change.
  • Humanitarian.
  • Known for always showing up.

The Purposeful Donor Is Motivated by:

  • A cause to fight for, such as issues of social justice.
  • Avenues to volunteer and help those less fortunate.
  • The chance to identify the right solutions to problems.
  • Space to pursue personal growth.

Donor Personality Type 6: The Principled Donor

A blessing to have, Type Six personalities are a special type of donor. They can engage and be responsible, yet are also known for their tendencies to feel anxious and suspicious. They are very realistic, so church leaders who serve by example inspire and motivate them. Make sure you are walking the talk, not just preaching it.

The Following Terms Describe a Principled Donor Best:

  • Hard-working.
  • Very responsible.
  • Family-oriented.
  • Don’t usually disappoint.
  • Loyal yet skeptical.
  • True to their word.
  • Has realistic expectations.
  • Never goes back on their word.
  • Reliable.
  • Best to call in emergencies.
  • Always have your back.

The Principled Donor Is Motivated by:

  • Consistent and trustworthy relationships.
  • The chance to help and assist others.
  • Leaders who also advocate for positive beliefs and values.
  • The opportunity to spend time with people they love.

How to Work and Engage with Both Donor personality Types

Ones and Sixes are both hardworking and motivated by deeply held beliefs or ideas. Purposeful Donors are self-assured and outspoken and love the church fellowship because it provides this social circle. Principled Donors may be attracted to your church because of the stable social relationships it provides them.

During outreach programs, if you have both personalities together, try to enable Ones to connect emotionally with Sixes, but be aware that harsh criticism on one end may be a factor. Engage these types of donors by recognizing that their need to do positive work in the world makes them a perfect addition to your outreach programs. Ask them to serve as volunteers; give them the opportunity and space to grow, and a reason to set an example for others.

When asking for donations, make your cause very clear to both types. Specify where and how their donations will benefit your organization’s long-term work. If there is a chance for sustainable change through your mission work, highlight this.

To find out whether you have Ones or Sixes, or any of the other Donor Types in your congregation, you may want to ask your members to complete the Donor Personality Test here.

How DonorWerx Can Help

At DonorWerx, we believe in leveraging the power of technology and strengthening relationships with donors through effective and relevant communication. Our mission is to help organizations create a better donor experience.

If you want to learn more about the donor journey, and how to use technology to grow your church, contact us today.


Email Teaser

In this blog article, we look at donors with an Enneagram Type One personality (Purposeful Donors). How do they compare to donors with an Enneagram Type Six personality (Principled Donors)? Improving your communications with your church members and growing donors starts with understanding them better. Read this article for more insights and an interesting perspective. 

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