While it’s commonly known that people donate to feel good, there are also many other reasons that can motivate them. It’s important to keep these reasons in mind in order to get a head start when planning your fundraising campaign. If you meet donors’ expectations, you’ll increase your chances for success and also enable your organization to stand apart.
Image: some donors are motivated, at least in part, by a desire to enhance their image or their company’s image. Therefore, publicizing the names of donors and implementing a system of donor categories could encourage larger donations. Furthermore, the flattering image that philanthropy procures could reflect well on a corporation, not only among its partners, investors and employees, but also among its clients.
The joy of giving: studies have shown that some people give for the sheer pleasure of giving, which procures an overall feeling of well-being. That “warm glow” effect has been studied in depth, notably by J. Andreoni. People are happy to know that their donation has had positive effects on your organization; don’t forget to thank them and provide follow-up information on the effects of their donation.
Tax deductions: one of the motivators for giving is obviously the possibility of obtaining tax benefits for donations, if the organization has a charitable registration number. A donation is a gift: donors make the decision to give something away and thereby enrich the done. An official tax receipt will allow them to donate twice as much, for the same net cost.
Professional experience: giving time on a volunteer basis can be beneficial on a professional level. Volunteering on a board of directors is good experience to have on a CV. Furthermore, giving time enables one to make contacts and develop references; it could also be a good opportunity to gain broader experience for someone starting their career or wishing to change careers.
Love of art: some people have a deep love of the arts in general or an art form in particular. Some fall in love with an organization, its work and its artists. Inviting potential donors to events, performances and meetings with the members of the organization could be a good way to engage their loyalty and support.
Leisure time activity: some people enjoy volunteering in their spare time. You never know who might be interested in giving you a helping hand, so don’t hesitate to reach out and communicate your needs in terms of volunteers. Meeting people who have similar interests can be another motivation to get involved in an arts organization and donate one’s time.
Investments: works of art can also be good investments. According to Radio-Canada, the value of the paintings of several Canadian and Quebec artists has increased exponentially these past years, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, an increase that can be higher than those of many stock portfolios.
What motivates donors? in Connect with donors: A guide for the arts to build relationships with donors, Australia Business Arts Foundation, pages 9-12.
Why Do People Donate to Charity? An American perspective.
"Donner son temps: les bénévoles dans la vie associative" Économie et Statistique, Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2004. Programme National Persée, vol. 372(1), pages 3-39.
Andreoni J. (1990), “Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving”, Economic Journal, vol. 100, pp. 464-477