Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Inspiring, Amazing and Awesome - What motivates us to give?

I was reading an article in the September 2016 issue of Good Housekeeping (Awesome Women 2016 by Erin Bried) about 25 women who encountered situations that needed solutions.  Each of these women came up with an awesome and inspiring way to tackle them.  It got me to thinking, "What motivates us to give of our time and money?"

When asked "why people donate" the number one reason given is "to receive a tax credit."  Yet, nobody ever makes money from giving money.  Clearly, this is not the reason - not just because you don't make money by giving money away, but because many people give of their time and other resources, not just cash. So, why then do we give?  

While we all have internal motivations (such as a religious or moral imperative) and external pressures (the number of people asking and which causes are closest to your heart), research has found the most important reason for giving is the relationship with the person who is asking. That being said, there are other motivations for giving which loosely fit into six categories: impact, appreciation, mission, impulse, recognition, and benefit (http://pitchergroup.com/six-reasons-donors-give-away-their-money/).

ImpactEven when a donor says they want nothing in return, they want to know they are making a contribution for good.

Appreciation Appreciation can come from something an organization did for us directly, for someone we care about, or simply from gratitude for good work being done.

MissionWhen people have a vested interest in the work of a charity, they give because they share the same mission.

ImpulseCertain issues just have an emotional effect that causes people to give even when that gift could have greater impact elsewhere.  Emotional connection and giving in memory of a loved one are well-recognized triggers. 

RecognitionSome donors simply like the attention that comes from donating. This can be a company seeking exposure, but it can also be an individual that likes the events, project naming and publicity that can come from making a donation.  Some donors simply like the positive feeling they receive from being appreciated.

BenefitPerhaps the most controversial motivation for donating to a cause is for personal benefit.  The donor is looking to procure non-tangible benefits such as the opportunity to meet a politician or celebrity or be entered in a give-away.

Understanding what motivates others to give is crucial to a charitable organization's fundraising scheme.  Asking their donors this question often results in a wave of the hand, or a brush-off, but in truth it is critical to both the giver and the recipient because the donor wishes to feel satisfied with their giving and when they do, they will likely give again.

Regardless of what your motivations are for becoming a part of the 100+ Women Who Care NRV group, we are happy that you have joined us.  It is your relationship with the other women in the group and your connection to your community that will hopefully keep you coming back, and encourage you to invite others to join.


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