What Do Donors Look for in Giving

Jordan Patrick Nov 28, 2019
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When potential donors scout a nonprofit for giving their dollars, they seek honesty, clear focus, and connection to the need. Beyond that, donors yearn to make a difference and to support a cause close to their heart. To find returning supporters, nonprofits need to know what their donors are looking for in their giving experience.

1. Focus the Nonprofit Message

Simplicity wins. In today’s busy world, donors are moving quickly through life, and they will only give a nonprofit a few moments of attention. Your nonprofit’s cause and focus should be simple and clear. When someone gets confused, they give up. And they probably won’t be donating any time soon. You need a simple message that explains your nonprofit’s purpose clearly.

2. Offer the Chance to Make a Difference

Everyone wants to make a difference-especially donors. In a world where so much bad is going on, donors have the ability to use their funds to make a positive impact. The best type of messaging can succinctly inform a donor how their dollars will improve a situation. For example, use social math to break down statistics in an easy-to-understand way such as, “Your $40 feeds a child for a month.”

3. Ask for What You Need

People like to help other people. And most people would rather be on the side of giving than receiving. Your nonprofit might have the best story and most clear message, but it never goes so far as to make The Ask. Without specifically asking for what your nonprofit needs, you might just be holding your breath in hopes that the needed donation will come in. So ask!

4. Personalize Giving

The most generous donors are those who are actively involved in the nonprofit. While not every donor should be treated the same, nonprofits can offer a variety of ways for donors to support the work in a hands-on capacity. Some donors might like to volunteer their time on committees, lead fundraising efforts, or help out in some other way.

5. Build Connection Between Donors and the Org

Today’s social media world makes it easier and easier for users to be motivated by popular brands and their influencers. Social media users connect with strangers, admire them, and purchase what they purchase. Nonprofits need to find a way to tap into this type of emotional connection for their donors, their mission, and their giving.

6. Channel Honesty

Donors want to see that the nonprofit is doing what they promised to do. And in many cases, donors find honesty in their favorite non-profits as more of a reason to connect. While the government regulates certain standards for nonprofits, nonprofits should find creative ways to reveal their work to donors in real time.

7. Stay Grateful

Donors love to feel appreciated. And nonprofits can find many ways to make donors feel this way with thank you phone-a-thons, non-ask events, and handwritten notes. Donors who feel appreciated are more likely to continue giving and supporting the nonprofit in other hands-on capacities.

Donors seek nonprofits that they connect with on an emotional level, that work to be honest and transparent with their resources, and take the time to appreciate the value of their donors. As a nonprofit, you should be doing everything in your power to meet your donors with these qualities when they’re looking for information.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us!

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Best Practices
Written by

Jordan Patrick

VP of Product

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