5 Things Your Donors Wish You Knew
By Philantopia on May 16th, 2023 | Categories: Blog

Warm weather is just around the corner, and that means that many nonprofits are preparing for their summertime fundraisers. As you head into this exhilarating and fun-filled season, do you know what your donors most wish you knew?

Let’s take a look at five items on most donors’ wish lists. Hint: none of them are items, all of them are experiences!

#1: Your Donors Want to Feel They Can Trust You

Trust is huge! The more transparent your organization can be, the more trustworthy your donors will feel you are. And when donors feel they can trust who you are, what you’re up to, and what you’re doing with the money you raise, they’re much more likely to feel connected to your cause, participate more, and give often.

The good news is that building trust doesn’t have to be a big, difficult endeavor. Over time, you can build trust by reaching out to individual donors, and showcasing projects that raised funds are supporting your website, social media, and in your newsletter. For example, if your annual gala raised $15,000, link those funds to a tangible result for the cause.

Thanks to the generous donors who attended our gala this year, we’re able to support 50 more families in need of shelter this winter!

Hard numbers are good because they’re easy to understand. Share as much data as you can.

#2: Donors Wish You Knew They Want to Make an Impact

A huge reason why donors don’t return is that they can’t tell where their money went or whether it actually made a difference. From their perspective, they wrote a check (that may or may not have felt like a lot of money for them), and then didn’t get a good sense of what that money actually did.

Did it allow the organization to bring on new interns to support your day to day? Clothe more children? Feed more hungry animals? Or simply help pay the rent so the headquarters can remain open?

These little pieces of information might feel like “not a big deal” on the nonprofit end, but to the donors it makes all the difference.

#3: Donors Wish You Knew How Badly They Want to Connect

Every human being wants to feel like they matter, and your donors are no different! While it may be easy to personally reach out to your big-ticket donors, don’t forget about the grassroots donors, too.

Even if you can’t make a personal phone call or send a personalized email to each and every person who gives $10 to your cause, finding a way to connect with them is key. Maybe you have your social media person follow them on Instagram. Or maybe they get a shoutout in your newsletter.

Whatever you do, come to it in the spirit of acknowledging that each donation, no matter how small, is helping to support your important work.

#4: Donors Wish You Knew That They Want to be Asked

Everyone loves to be asked! A recent study looking at giving trends referenced in “Psychology Today” found that 85% of respondents gave simply because someone asked. Imagine that!

It all goes back to the idea that everyone wants to feel needed, and everyone wants to feel like their contribution will make a difference. Make sure your donors know this, and make sure that you’re regularly asking for what your organization needs.

#5: Donors Wish You Knew That They Love to Give!

From the Utah State University College of Science:

Studies using brain-scanning technology show increased activation in the reward area of the brain when giving to charities. One study demonstrated participants had “stronger activation in the brain when they freely donated to a local charity as compared to making a required donation.” Another study found “people experienced happier moods, when they gave more money away—but only if they had a choice about how much to give.”

There you have it: scientific proof that giving to nonprofits, under the right conditions, actually boosts our mood! Donors love to give because it makes them feel great. Human beings are wired to want to collaborate and give back.

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