What motivates Donors

What motivates Donors

People act from the heart, not the head. Yes, your non-profit must show that it’s a good steward of donor money and show where all that generosity is going, but your appeal must contain more than numbers and pie charts. These are the top 7 reasons donors give, according to a survey Network for Good conducted among 3,000 donors.


They’re mission-driven

Donors say: “I know there is a need for the non-profit’s mission in my community, and I know it does good work.”

Donating to charity feels good. Scientific studies have proven that generosity stimulates dopamine, which creates similar brain activity in the regions connected to the experience of pleasure and reward.


They trust your organization

Donors say: “I believe the non-profit will use my gift to stabilize or expand programming.”

Donors come to your non-profit because they believe in your mission. They stay with you because you prove worthy of their trust and commitment. Transparency and dependability are essential. When you say you will do something, be true to your word.


They get to see the impact

Donors say: “The non-profit communicate about the impact of giving by sharing program outcomes.”

When donors feel their gift directly impacts improving a situation, they feel empowered. Share specifics with your donors about what their gifts support. Detailed information about what you’re accomplishing as a direct result of donations gives donors confidence.


They have a personal connection to your cause

Donors say: “I know someone who benefitted from the non-profit’s work.”

For many donors, charitable giving is highly personal. Donors who give because they’ve seen your impact firsthand are incredible advocates for your cause. If you aren’t asking donors why they give, you might miss out on these stories and opportunities to spread the word about your mission. Use your fundraising software to send a donor survey, then use this information to send highly personalized communications.


They want to be part of something

Donors say: “I want to be associated with the organization and its brand.”

Donating is emotional, and people connect more to personal stories than statistics or broad statements. Put a human face on your facts and statistics and get to the heart of the matter. Share that with your donors so they can connect with your work on a personal level.


You’ve caught their attention

Donors say: “I see the organization online and on social media.”

The power of social media combined with the ease of online giving has contributed to the rise in popularity of peer-to-peer giving. The more people see their peers involved in a cause, the more likely they are to participate and donate. Plus, participating in social campaigns is fun.


They want tax benefits

Donors say: “I want the tax deduction.”

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will impact every individual and organization. Non-profits are watching how the standard deduction increase and elimination of personal exemptions will affect charitable giving. Although we won’t know for a few years the lasting impact these changes will have, we know that altruism is a driving factor for why people donate. Continue to make your case for change to keep donors inspired by your work.

And the #1 reason why donors stop giving…

They don’t know how their gift is being used.

Keep your donors in the loop! Vary your communications to engage donors more than simply when you ask for money. Send an update on a campaign congratulating them on helping you reach your goal. Make sure they know you couldn’t do it without them.

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