In development work, our important task of building trust-based relationships with donors and potential donors never stops. It is always valuable to pause and consider how we can communicate with donors in the best way possible, paving the way for meaningful philanthropic engagement.

To that end, we have prepared a guide to working with donors with a wide spectrum of communication and behavioral preferences. We based our guide on the Professional DynaMetric Profile, or PDP. The PDP is a tool for enhancing professional relationships by using personality traits to determine each individual’s unique behavioral and communication style.

Let’s start with the basic premise: People are different, but we are predictably different. Understanding these predictable differences is where the PDP can play an important role in development communication.

Consider a development professional who exhibits a profile of high extroversion, with low pace. He will likely think out loud, be very expressive, and push for innovation and quick decisions. Now consider a donor who exhibits high conformity and high pace. Naturally, she would be more systematic and precise; she would have a communication style that is more contemplative and composed.

A conversation style that feels natural for the development professional might make our donor uncomfortable. But if the development professional can use his knowledge of the PDP traits to identify the profile of the donor, then he can adopt a communication style that takes into consideration the donor’s natural preferences. He might come prepared with more information, and understand that the decision process may take longer and involve additional inquiries from the donor until all of her questions are answered.

Our PDP guide features information on best practices for working with donors with high levels of each behavioral trait.

Select a trait below to begin your exploration.