Many People Give to People, Not Logos

Buying local. Farm to table. Getting involved in your child’s school. Sharing videos on social media. All of these things have something in common. They are all dependant on a connection to a cause. 

If you buy local, you probably understand and care that a local entrepreneur’s business is going to succeed because you shop there. Farm to table is a concept you love, so you probably care about knowing where your ingredients are coming from. If you get involved in your child’s school, you probably want to be close to your child’s education. And when you share videos on social media, you probably care about what you’re sharing and want people to hear that message.

Typically, people won’t do those things unless they care. In the same way, people may be starting to move away from giving to organizations simply because it’s a name they recognize. Donors want to see exactly what their gift is doing. What is the end result? Who are they helping? And that helps them and others understand the question: why should I give?

Why Do People Give?

We recently attended a fantastic talk by Paul Nazareth with CAGP where he discussed the future of planned giving. He talked a lot about how people, especially younger generations, don’t want to give to a logo. They’d rather give to a cause they feel connected to.

The industry is changing with more and more small nonprofits forming every year. Every nonprofit has the opportunity to communicate their impact in a powerful way. So it’s important to ask the question: why are donors giving to us? 

Did you ask?

One significant reason many donors give, is because they were asked! Never underestimate the power of asking a person for a donation. Gone are the days of relying on word-of-mouth fundraising. You have to make sure donors know you exist, and why they should give to you. 

In this blog post here, the author explores why donors may give to nonprofit organizations. Some examples include: donors believe in your mission, their families donated in the past, they want to make a difference, people in their social network have also given. Understanding why a donor gives ensures you are meeting that person where they are. Now that you’re already used to asking for donations directly, this is also a great opportunity to consider doing a donor survey and asking donors exactly why they gave to you! This can give insight into future fundraising campaigns, donor communications, and more.

Donors Regularly Give to More Than One Organization 

There are more and more nonprofits forming every day. Now, I know what you may be thinking. But it doesn’t have to mean more competition! The fact that philanthropy is a growing industry is a positive thing. People care about the world around them and they want to see change. And so do you. Professional fundraising is a growing field as well, and if you follow along with organizations like AFP or APRA, collaboration is the future and the future is exciting.

The key to remember in the midst of so many nonprofits scrambling for funds, is that people give to people. So make sure that donors know there are people behind your nonprofit. The people running it. The volunteers. The people you’re helping. All the people you’re inspiring. And believe us, you are inspiring! 

Your Goal: Tell Your Story

If you tell your story honestly and effectively, people will care. For a great read on making donors feel connected to your cause, check out our iWave blog post here

And, make sure you know how to grow your donor base, find the people who care about your cause, and cultivate those relationships. Conveniently, iWave is a fantastic resource to help you fundraise with confidence. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.


About the author: Liz Corney is iWave’s Content Marketing Manager. She has a degree in Journalism, is a fiercely positive team-player and a creative self-starter. She has experience working in software technology, video/mobile games, learning & development, social & traditional media, and communications. Liz is also the co-founder of a local nonprofit organization working to better the lives of homeless women in her community.

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