21 How-To Guide for Personas

Developing a Persona for a Non-Profit Organization

1. Conduct Research to Collect Persona Data

If your budget for persona development and research is zero, you can get many of the formal research benefits with a little bit of informal online investigating. All data sources have pros and cons, depending on how the data is collected. Good research reduces bias by combining data from multiple sources.

For more information on the types of research, review Major Techniques for Primary Research. The Pros and Cons of Research  can help you make the best decision.

2. Segment your Target Audience

Segmenting target audiences helps non-profits to build up customized strategies for different target audiences and better reach target audiences. You can segment your audience by demographic, psychographic, or user type.

3. Conduct Psychographic Profiling

Analyzing the stakeholder’s attitudes, activities, interests, and options will help you understand how they think, their media consumption habits, and how/where they spend time online. This is key information as it communicates us how to best reach them and when.

The persona template for persona development from key stakeholders group includes:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Preferred method of communication/ media consumption habits
  • Life Goals
  • Values: Understand what they are seeking for, their lifestyle in order to reach them effectively
  • How will this benefit them?
  • How will they be involved or impacted?
  • What do they think/feel about the campaign/issue?
  • Where did they obtain the information about the campaign/issue?

Additional Information Needed

Persona characteristics should be anonymous, yet specific. Additional information needed for personas development when it comes to non-profits includes:

  • Prioritize roles, motivations, and needs over occupation titles or group affiliations, and strip back demographic detail to a minimum. Think creatively about how to present the characteristics.
  • Think creatively about titles that describe roles (not just occupation). A title should convey what you want to compare across the open data industry.
  • Include capabilities
  • Include incentives
  • Include personal anecdotes
  • Include a picture
  • Once you have a title and some characteristics for each persona, think about their network and their position in the open data economy
  • Look at models of existing templates
  • Five or six is a good number of personas. Two is probably too little, ten is more than plenty.

Additional Tools

Available templates for persona development include:

  • Xtensio has created a User Persona Generator that can be used online free of charge. This is a great tool to use for creating personas including numerous templates.
  • Christof Zürn published a persona template under a creative commons license.
  • Adele Revella’s buyer persona template is more focused on the marketing side, but can also be useful for user experience purposes.
  • Marketing company XPLANE has created the Empathy Map, a tool that can help to create a user-focused profile. XPLANE’s worksheet focuses on getting at what’s most important for your customers—defining their goals and aspirations as well as their preoccupations. It also asks about their environment and influences as well as their behaviour toward others.


This page contains material taken from:

Buyer Persona Institute. (n.d). Influence every aspect of the decision-making process. Retrieved from

Rohles Bjorn. (2018, March 3). Personas in the user experience design. Retrieved from

Shapino, D. (2019, January 8). Tips for creating user personas. Sunlight Foundation. Retrieved from

Sunlight Foundation. (n.d). Creating user personas for open data. Retrieved from

Wilson, M. C. (2018, October 18 ). Using Personas in Open-Source Projects. Simply Secure. Retrieved from

Xtensio. (n.d). User persona templates and examples. Retrieved from

Zambonini, D. (2011). A practical guide to web app success. Retrieved from

Zurn, C. (2011, May 5). The persona core poster. Creative companion. Retrieved from


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An Open Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Copyright © by Andrea Niosi and KPU Marketing 4201 Class of Summer 2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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