July 14, 2022

10 Reasons On What Motivates People To Donate To Nonprofits

10 Reasons On What Motivates People To Donate To Nonprofits

What motivates people to donate to nonprofits? Each of our contributions, as volunteers or benefactors, has the power to have a positive impact on society. We can dedicate time, effort, and resources for the betterment of others and leave a mark on this world with a better legacy. Getting to know the donors and the reasons for their giving can help charities solicit easy donations and nurture long-term relationships with them.

Once the donor intent is known, charities can plan to set up donation pages on online fundraising platforms and share the link through donor segmentation and personalized campaigns. For instance, if a donor is passionate about a cause, the charity can send updates and event invites related to the cause motivating the donor to continue giving donations or increase the amount.

Donor motivations have been surveyed and researched abundant times. The results are not straightforward nor are the answers or actions of the donors. Sometimes, the reasons for giving are understated or unreported. But it helps a great deal for charities to at least plan different approaches to solicit donations if they have an idea of the donor’s intent.

Let’s see the science and reasons behind what motivates people to donate to nonprofits.       

 1. Trust in the mission 

Charities that show people they are doing good work always attract attention. As a nonprofit, if you remain hidden about the way you utilize the donations, don’t expect donors to trust you. Donors come to you when they believe in your mission. Make them feel you are worth their commitment. Be true to your word when you say you are doing something for the cause. Believing in the mission of an organization is the key factor driving donations. About 54% of the people donate to charities that have a strong mission and genuinely work towards the causes they are associated with.

 2. Personal experiences

The reasons that motivate people to donate to nonprofits are diverse and personal experience is one of them. About 60% of the donors have had life-changing experiences that motivated them to donate to a cause or a charity associated with that cause. From experiencing hardships in life to witnessing their loved one battle a disease, people associate with their experiences and try their best to help others facing the same situation. Some may sponsor the education of children while some may donate to cancer initiatives.   

 3. Belief in a particular cause

Though similar to personal experiences, belief in a particular cause may not always be related to a donor’s life experiences. Nearly 75% of the people believe in associating with a cause they are passionate about instead of donating randomly to a nonprofit or religious organization. The causes vary in a diverse range and may be as simple as funding a sports team to as complex as international art development.  

 4. Altruism or selflessness

Scientific studies have proven that giving makes people happy. When people donate in cash or kind, the brain releases the “feel-good” chemical dopamine that makes the mind stress-free. Altruism or selfless concern for the well-being of others is a part of human psychology. It’s a human tendency to give back to others. When people are made to feel their donations have made a visible impact on the lives of others, they feel happy and satisfied about it. Donating time, energy, or money to the needy is one of the most direct ways to make us feel good and grateful in life.

 5. Finding a purpose

Spiritual or philosophical people are always finding a purpose in life. Such people desire to give back to others because it makes them feel connected to others and with themselves. It puts into perspective how important it is to effectively utilize their time on the earth. They feel a deeper connection to life and God. These donors usually donate to a variety of charitable causes. 

 6. Social interaction

While it’s intrinsic for us to give back to others, there’s one more human nature that motivates us to donate to nonprofits and that’s socializing or connecting with other people. No matter how much of a recluse you are, you secretly desire to connect with people who have the same aspirations and goals as you. Humans crave social interaction and donation helps them to stay connected to the people and community around them. It makes them feel better about themselves and their place in society.

 7. Faith and religion

Adhering to religious beliefs contributes to 25-30% of all the donations made. As per a survey, an average American gives $17 per week to their local place of worship. But the percentage of US households making charitable donations in the name of religion has declined from the previous years. The truth is that the younger generation today prefers to donate to nonprofits even if it is faith-based that identify with a cause instead of directly giving to religious congregations, missionary organizations, and religious media. Another interesting fact is even though the donations to religious-based charities have dipped, about 75% of the non-religious or non-affiliated Americans still donate to faith-based organizations.      

 8. Tax benefits

Some donate to nonprofits because they associate with the cause and some donate as they qualify for tax deductions. Charitable giving qualifies for a tax deduction only if it goes to a tax-exempt organization. People in the higher tax bracket are willing to donate more to get larger tax deductions. Another method they adopt is donating highly appreciated stocks to avoid taxation on gain altogether. People do not publicly accept the fact that they donate for tax benefits. But in a discussion survey, 67% of the people said they would decrease their donations if the deduction was eliminated.      

 9. Social recognition

Do you remember the famous 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge for the ALS Association where people were challenged to share videos of them dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads? With more than 17 million uploads, including video uploads from countless celebrities worldwide, the ALS Association was able to raise over $100 million in 30 days. Such viral challenges on social media motivate people to participate in it for social recognition. People tend to announce the charitable work they are doing on social media to gain recognition. While this may sound egoistic, the bottom line is charities have benefited from this type of giving.   

 10. Social pressure

People donate to enhance their reputation in the community. People who donate are held in high regard by their peers. This motivates them to continue their donations or raise the amount. They constantly like themselves to be associated with various causes and charities. While this may also act as a motivational force to others, surveys have found that donations can be strongly related to measures of social proof.


Concluding thoughts

People may have various reasons to donate to nonprofits. Your fundraiser campaign should be planned in a way to get the maximum number of people to donate to your cause. Start crowdfunding on a trusted online fundraising platform and see the difference.

GivingX, the best online fundraising platform, offers advanced features such as social media sharing, varied payment options to donors, recurring donations, peer-to-peer fundraising, and others to help you raise the money you need. As the years of uncertainty continues, American generosity shows no signs of slowing down. It’s time for charities to boost their cause by urging people to donate. Start by setting up a donation page on GivingX today.