Why do people donate to charities - lessons for crowdfunding?

Are they same reasons why people donate to charity? 


Wouldn’t we like to know!

There are numerous articles and tips on how to come up with ideas and make an effective pitch - but where is the information on the people who matter - your crowd?

Here are some reasons people donate to charity from Joe Saxton’s Gimmie, Gimmie Gimmie: a guide for organisations new to fundraising or just starting out raising money (nfpSynergy 2011)
  1. They are personally affected by the cause (think cancer or heart disease) 
  2. They are thankful that they aren’t affected by the cause (think cancer or heart disease!) 
  3. They want to have fun and be part of something (think Red Nose Day) 
  4. They share the values and ideals of the organisation (think human rights)
  5. They empathise with the victims or beneficiaries (think Haiti earthquake) 
  6. They can get a bargain (think charity shops) 
  7. They want to help their community (think school fundraising) 
  8. They trust or fancy the person asking (think street fundraising) 

Author Sandra Sims lists the top five reasons why people give to charitable causes:

  • Personal experiences,
  • They want to make a difference,
  • They want to do something active about a problem or take a stand on a particular issue,
  • They are motivated by personal recognition and benefits,
  • Giving is good thing to do.

And a back to basics list here from Network for Good

  1. Someone I know asked me to give, and I wanted to help them
  2. I felt emotionally moved by someone’s story
  3. I want to feel I’m not powerless in the face of need and can help (this is especially true during disasters)
  4. I want to feel I’m changing someone’s life
  5. I feel a sense of closeness to a community or group
  6. I need a tax deduction
  7. I want to memorialize someone (who is struggling or died of a disease, for example)
  8. I was raised to give to charity - it’s tradition in my family
  9. I want to be “hip,” and supporting this charity (i.e., wearing a yellow wrist band) is in style
  10. It makes me feel connected to other people and builds my social network
  11. I want to have a good image for myself/my company
  12. I want to leave a legacy that perpetuates me, my ideals or my cause
  13. I feel fortunate (or guilty) and want to give something back to others
  14. I give for religious reasons - God wants me to share my affluence
  15. I want to be seen as a leader/role model

Lessons for crowdfunding campaigns?

  1. It’s about the donor - their vision, experience, culture, peer group - it’s not about you
  2. It’s about the closeness of the donor to the campaigner or cause,
  3. They want something back,
  4. They want to feel good about donating.

Make sure you address their needs in your pitch.


 Join CrowdfundUK at a workshop

One Response to “Why do people donate to charities - lessons for crowdfunding?”
  1. BetterNow says:

    I think the points have been included with great considerations. Although, it might not sound very polite (which people are used to) but the truth is always bitter. The thought of fundraising is a far deeper concept than just paying few penny to the charities. Starting from the initial phase, when a fundraiser enter into the market and his journey throughout, is a matter to be applauded and to be proud of! Purpose may vary with individuals but one thing that everyone will agree on, is, “They all are serving the mankind!”

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