Giving isn’t a business transaction. It’s a human connection. To inspire donors to give, you need to make a meaningful connection by showing them why they matter and how they can make a difference. When you understand why your donors give, you’ll be able to make a more effective appeal.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your donors personally and find out why they give. Their stories matter, and sharing them creates inspiration for others to follow their example. (If you don’t have an easy way to keep track of your relationships with your donors, check out Network for Good’s easy donor management system.)
That being said, here are some of the top reasons why donors give:
- Someone I know asked me to give, and I wanted to help them
- I felt emotionally moved by someone’s story
- I want to feel I’m not powerless in the face of need and can help (this is especially true during disasters)
- I want to feel I’m changing someone’s life
- I feel a sense of closeness to a community or group
- I want to memorialize someone (who is struggling or died of a disease, for example)
- I was raised to give to charity—it’s tradition in my family
- I want to be “hip,” and supporting this charity (i.e., wearing a yellow wrist band) is in style
- It makes me feel connected to other people and builds my social network
- I want to have a good image for myself/my company
- I want to leave a legacy that perpetuates me, my ideals or my cause
- I feel fortunate and want to give something back to others
- I give for religious reasons—my faith teaches me to help others
- I want to be seen as a leader/role model
Get the right tool to help you raise more money for your cause. Learn more about Network for Good’s products.
- People act from the heart, not the head. Yes, your nonprofit has to show that it’s a good steward of donor money and you need to impart where all that generosity is going, but your appeal must contain more than numbers and pie charts.
- Giving is a personal act. Your appeals need to be donor-centric. Make sure to tell your donor why they should care, and why they matter to your organization. Learn more about crafting your call-to-action and writing personal emails.
- The act of giving is immediate. Give your donors the opportunity to act here and now. Your relationship with them will be long-term, but their willingness to give is now—let them act on it.
There are many reasons why people give. When you’re crafting your next fundraising appeal, take this list out and ask yourself if you’ve tapped into these reasons.