Why Do Donors Give to Your Organization?
Ever wonder what motivates your donors? If you are like the average nonprofit, here are 10 reasons donors give (and 3 reasons why they might stop):
- Mission. Donors give because they believe in your cause or mission. How do you inspire this type of donor? Make sure you clearly communicate your cause!
- Ego: Yes, some donors give because it boosts their ego or at least it makes them feel good.
- Care: Many donors genuinely care for other people and want to help them.
- Impact: Donors give to organizations that they believe are making a significant contribution, and therefore know that their gift will make a difference. Do you know what type of impact you are making? And are you communicating this with your donors?
- Faith: Many donors give because of religious reasons. Similar to “mission” above, donors want to help others and will give to causes that share their religious persuasion.
- Tax Advantages: Charitable giving is a deductible expense and one that many donors utilize.
- Emotion: Some donors are compelled to give because they read a powerful story or saw a pitiful picture of a hungry child that stirred their emotions. Don’t underestimate the power of your stories.
- Peer Pressure: Donors give because their friends give. How do you harness this? Make sure to ask for referrals of your current donors and use social networks to your advantage.
- Personal Reasons: Donors are compelled to give to people they know, or causes that affect them personally, such as a GoFundMe account for a grandchild suffering from childhood leukemia.
- Trust: Donors give because they have faith in your organization and believe that you will use their money wisely.
Why do some donors stop giving?
- Financial Constraints: Donors may experience changes in their finances which means they are compelled to reduce their charitable giving.
- Lack of Appreciation: If donors do not feel like their gift matters, they may stop giving.
- Lack of Impact: Donors may initially be compelled by your cause, but if they don’t see that their gift is making a substantial impact over the long-term, they may drop you for another cause.
Note: These findings are taken from several helpful articles, including one that cites a study involving 819 donors.
So, how do you communicate impact and appreciation to your donors? Join me for a webinar hosted by the Nonprofit Learning Lab where I will present on this topic! The webinar will be held at 11:00 MST on Thursday, September 5th. Learn more:
Konrath, S. and Handy, F. (2017). 5 reasons why people give their money away plus 1 why they don’t. The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/5-reasons-why-people-give-their-money-away-plus-1-why-they-dont-87801
Network for Good (2019). 7 reasons why donors give. Network for Good. https://www.networkforgood.com/nonprofitblog/7-reasons-why-donors-give/