Why donors give, and how you can connect to those things

From The Nonprofit Marketing Blog, 7 Reasons Why Donors Give:

  1. Mission-driven (they give because they support what you do)
  2. Desire to make a difference
  3. Personal satisfaction
  4. Family and upbringing
  5. Personal stories
  6. Religious beliefs
  7. Social networks
  8. Tax benefits

Only the first item here has anything to do with your organization. The rest are about their inner motivations. (And really, mission-driven giving can easily go to a different organization that does roughly what you do.)

Note some things that are not reasons donors give:

  • Your brand/logo/colors
  • Your mission statement
  • The fact that it’s your 20th anniversary
  • Your excellent methods
  • The experience and education of your staff and leaders

Bottom line: Donors give because of who they are. Not because of who you are. You owe it to them to be great. But you’ll raise more money when your fundraising is about their goals, their motives, and they action they take by 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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About the blogger

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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