Six reasons people don’t give, and what you can do about them

You know all the reasons people should give to you. Do you know the reasons they don’t?


A post at About Nonprofit Charitable Orgs, Why People Don’t Give to Our Causes looks at some of those as put for by ethicist Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save. Here are things that block donors from giving, and what good fundraising can do about it:


No Identifiable Victim. Donors are much less likely to respond to a huge, abstract problem than to a specific person in need. Good fundraising shows how large-scale problems play out in the lives of individuals — and how the donor can impact individuals.


Parochialism. People are much more inclined to help solve nearby than far-way problems. Good fundraising erases the distance by bringing those distant problems close to home.


Futility. Donors are less inclined to act when they sense they can’t make a difference. Good fundraising makes it clear that every gift makes a meaningful difference.


The Diffusion of Responsibility. There’s much less compulsion to act if you feel like one of a large number people standing by, waiting for someone who. Good fundraising zeroes in on each donor shows their responsibility and opportunity in the situation.


The Sense of Fairness. Many donors need proof that they aren’t “unfairly” shouldering the burden. Good fundraising lets them know that there are other donors like them who are all doing their part.


Money. Research seems to show that thinking about money can depress altruism. Good fundraising is about the cause, not the money.


Comments

4 responses to “Six reasons people don’t give, and what you can do about them”

  1. Interesting post. Thanks Jeff. Here’s a great example of why people do give: http://cortcom.blogspot.com/2009/12/year-end-gift-this-one-nailed-it.html

  2. Interesting post. Thanks Jeff. Here’s a great example of why people do give: http://cortcom.blogspot.com/2009/12/year-end-gift-this-one-nailed-it.html

  3. Why people don’t give

    There have been a number of recent posts on various blogs looking at the reasons why people don’t give to charity. Last week I added to the debate when I wrote about nine techniques that donors use to avoid giving…

  4. Why people don’t give

    There have been a number of recent posts on various blogs looking at the reasons why people don’t give to charity. Last week I added to the debate when I wrote about nine techniques that donors use to avoid giving…

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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