posted May 26, 2016

Understanding What Drives Your Donors

by Katlin M. Gelber, CPA, Senior Associate

Since donations are an important source of revenue in the non-profit world, there are many strategies that exist for determining when and who to solicit donations from, and how this should be done. Data may be collected and analyzed about current donors, including the average dollar amount of someone donating for the first time versus a repeat donor, what time of year the most donations are received, which solicitation method generates the most donations, such as online payments orpayments that have been mailed in. These are all important factors to consider when soliciting donations, but they are not the only factors to consider.

Non-profit organizations rely on the goodwill and generosity of others to help reach the goals and mission that have been set forth by the organization. These organizations are fully cognizant of what drives the organization, which is most likely the primary message being provided to individuals when solicited for donations. Now consider this. Has the non-profit organization considered what drives those that make the contributions?

An article onThe NonProfit Timeswebsite, titled “Live From AFP: Donors Prove It’s All About Them”, summarizes the results of the 2016 Donor Loyalty Study performed and presented by Abila. As discussed in this article, the key driving factors for an individual to give a financial contribution are:

  • The individual is passionate about the cause
  • The individual knows the organization depends on their donation, or
  • The individual knows someone that has been affected by the cause

All three of these driving factors are centered around the motivations of the individual making the donation, not necessarily the organization itself. Organizations should keep this in mind when developing future donation solicitation documentation. Rather than focusing on the organization, it may be prudent to focus the content based upon the individuals who may make contributions.

See the following website to read the full article, “Live From AFP: Donors Prove It’s All About Them”: http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/news-articles/live-afp-donors-prove/


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