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5 Reasons People Donate [An Infographic]

Posted by Ashley Shaw on 10/11/17 11:00 AM

why people make donations.jpg

You depend in large part on donations. But how do you get potential or former donors to give to your cause? I believe that, in order to figure out the answer to 'how to get people to donate' is to first answer the question 'why do people donate?'

Knowing reasons people give will help you develop marketing and communication plans around this topic. So start by figuring out why and then move on to developing a plan on how to increase donations by taking the insights you glean here. 

Why Do Donors Give, Anyway? 

There are a lot of reasons donors give! However, that doesn't help you much, does it? So let's stick to some big items.

I've compiled a list of five reasons that often influence people to give up their hard earned money for a good cause! 

I've put them in a - hopefully - helpful infographic form that you can view in order to help remember these steps. However, let's talk a little bit about them first.

  1. They see a need. This may seem obvious, but it needs to be stated anyway: if a person doesn't know about you or the cause you are trying  to support, then they aren't going to donate to you. So, my first tip of the day is this: be great at communicating who you are and why your cause matters. When you get your name out there, good things will start to happen.
  2. They see how they can help. Maybe you have a great cause, and I see why you are trying to help with this very clear need. But let's be honest: my money isn't really going to do much. So I might as well get that new TV I've been eyeing. Yikes! Wouldn't you hate to lose donors over this? Well, if people don't think they can really help, then it doesn't matter how real the cause is to them. So show off the great things you've accomplished with donations in the past. 
  3. They feel appreciated. This is similar to showing donors how they can help. But it goes a little bit beyond that, and it applies to former donors who may one day donate again. Let your donors know how great they are and how much they have helped you. Giving them a little bit of pride in what they have done will only make them want to feel more of that good feeling.
  4. They feel all of the emotions. Stories work better than stats. I've said this before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. But there are reasons for this. And right now we are going to focus on one of those reasons: emotions. When you feel something, you want to do something about those feelings. If you feel angry because of an injustice, you are going to do more to help fix that injustice. If you feel overwhelmingly sad because someone young is dying of a fatal disease, then you will want to do more to help find a cure. If you feel joy because someone who was sick got better because of the amazing facilities and research at a hospital, then you are more likely to do what needs to be done to keep that hospital at the top of its game. So make your potential donors feel those emotions and spur them to act.
  5. They get something out of it. Not everything has to be altruistic. Sometimes people donate because they want the public recognition or the tax break. So if their are benefits to donating to you - besides the obvious - then point those out too.  

The Reasons Donors Give Infographic...

So now that we've talked a little bit about this topic, let's get to the great free resource for today! Here is an infographic for you: and you can get the PDF version to download with clickable links if you'd like.

Why Donors Give.jpg

Some Final Thoughts

Knowing why donors give can help you focus your marketing and communication plans on things that could actually work! So take these tips, and go do great things! 

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Topics: Tips and How To's

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