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):


  1. 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!
  2. Ego: Yes, some donors give because it boosts their ego or at least it makes them feel good.
  3. Care: Many donors genuinely care for other people and want to help them.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Tax Advantages: Charitable giving is a deductible expense and one that many donors utilize.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

  1. Financial Constraints: Donors may experience changes in their finances which means they are compelled to reduce their charitable giving.
  2. Lack of Appreciation: If donors do not feel like their gift matters, they may stop giving.
  3. 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:

Join me for the webinar!


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/


Celebrating Mercy’s Gate – Preventing Homelessness in Colorado Springs!

MG_annual report

It was so much fun collaborating with Mercy’s Gate on this year’s 2018 Annual Report! Here are some highlights:

  • 64% of every dollar went directly to serve individuals and families in El Paso County.
  • 29,759 people were impacted by our community-based direct services.
  • 69% of these people visited Mercy’s Gate for the first time.

“I was contemplating suicide that night but the staff at Mercy’s Gate changed that by providing hope. I feared becoming homeless and Mercy’s Gate was my last hope. I was helped financially, as well as provided food for both the body and soul. I can never repay the generosity and love I received that night.  God Bless the wonderful people at Mercy’s Gate!” – A neighbor who visited Mercy’s Gate

Read More!

Interested in creating your own annual report? Contact me to find out how!

Presenting Go Laadli’s 2018 Impact Report!


It was an honor to work with Heera and her young nonprofit Go Laadli. This project was really fun because Heera is so gifted in the areas of strategic thinking and data collection, so my job was really easy! We spent some time tabulating data from 2018 surveys (completed by the young women who participated in the Challenge), analyzing the data, and writing up a report. We also looked at evaluation data from the Girls’ Advisory Board workshops and collected other output data. We worked with Heera to create a final report, and then graphic artist Liane Fuji worked her magic to create this final report!

Want to create a high-quality outcomes report for your nonprofit? Learn more . . .


Need Help Finding Grants?

Need Help Writing and Finding Grants?kari-shea-556663-unsplash

Wondering where you’ll find appropriate grants? Not sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

For a limited time only, Puffin Strategies is offering a FREE consultation and grant research package to FIVE small to mid-sized nonprofits.*

What’s included?

  • A one-hour consultation with Puffin Strategies to discuss your grant needs
  • Customized research to find suitable grants
  • A list of 6-10 foundations/grant options that would be a good fit for your organization
  • A bulleted list of recommendations to guide your grant-writing efforts.

There is no obligation to purchase future services from Puffin Strategies!

This offer will only apply to the first five nonprofits! Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity!

Want more information? Contact Anne Marie today!

Learn More About Grants.png

What Others Are Saying

“My biggest roadblock for grant reporting is finding data. I’m a great writer but I need the data to answer their questions. Thanks for your help!” 

Grant Manager for a Current Client

“I would highly recommend Anne Marie to engage with strategic and research-based projects within any nonprofit organization. Her insight and wisdom as a young professional is beyond her years.”

Executive Director of Mercy’s Gate

*Criteria: a) Cannot be a current or former client of Puffin Strategies, b) must have an annual budget under $2 Million, and c) must not have a full-time grant manager or staff member dedicated to researching grants.

What is your plan?

Do you have a communications plan?plush-design-studio-684713-unsplash

There are SO many different communication resources available: Instagram, Facebook, digital marketing, Google AdWords, old-fashioned hardcopy newsletters, Mailchimp, and the list goes on! How do you decide what channels to use?

It starts with a communications plan:

  • First, identify your audience.
  • Second, figure out the best modes of communication. You don’t need to use every tool out there.
  • Third, create a 12-month calendar and be consistent.

Why? Having a plan enables you to be focused about when you need to find stories, where you find them, who you contact, and what resources need to be allocated. For more help on how to create a Communication Strategy, please refer to the helpful resources or contact me!

(Of course, before you can have a great Plan, you need to figure out what are the key messages and stories you should communicate. Next week’s tip addresses that one!)Sign up for a free

Helpful Resources:

5 Reasons You Need a Communications Plan: link

Top 10 Reasons for Creating a Communications Plan: link