16 Reasons Why People Donate Money

Posted by on June 18, 2011 in charity, Entrepreneurship - 14 Comments

Nonprofits are always interested in learning about new ways to improve the financial results of their fundraising efforts, but before they even start planning their campaigns, it’s important for them to truly understand what makes people want to donate money to a cause.

The online fundraising platform from give2gether is supported by two co-founders who are economics professors from NYU and UC Berkeley in addition to ten years of research. That research has enabled give2gether to develop a platform that motivates people to give, and they’ve identified the following sixteen key points that are behind what makes people donate money.

The most important point on the list is the first one about pivotal involvement, the rest of these points regarding donor behavior, and the way their platform has been built to validate these points.

1. Pivotal involvement – Everyone wants to think that their contribution was necessary and sufficient for the success of a fundraising campaign.

2. Being asked – It’s very simple, but people need to know that they’re personally invited to contribute.

3. Guilt – People start to feel bad if they’re in a position to help but don’t act on opportunities.

4. Compassion – Seeing campaigns that need support can trigger an emotional response, especially if the donor feels attached to the recipients of a particular campaign.

5. Transparency – Donors are more likely to give if they know exactly where their money is going and how much of it will get passed along to the cause.

6. Urgency – When time is running out, individuals feel more pressure to give.

7. Recognition – Having a good deed made public can have an impact on how people view the donor in a positive way.

8. Simplicity – Campaigns that have clear and straightforward goals are easier to understand and support.

9. Euphoria – Making a difference makes a supporter feel good because they know they did something worthwhile.

10. Upbringing – People who were raised in charitable families are more inclined to follow the family footsteps when it comes to giving.

11. Time of the year – Holidays and the end of the year before tax season are times when donors are motivated to contribute.

12. Guaranteed success – Knowing that a goal will definitely be reached eliminates uncertainty and makes it easier to contribute.

13. Campaigns in the news (Japan, Haiti) Hearing about a specific fundraising campaign whenever a TV or radio is turned on, a newspaper is opened, or a website is loaded keeps the cause in the minds of potential donors.

14. Peer pressure – People are compelled to be a part of what their friends are involved in.

15. Celebrity endorsement – By contributing to campaigns that are championed by celebrities, donors feel like they’re more connected to their favorite stars because they’re supporting what they care about.

16. Ability to influence others – A contribution from one person can result in untold contributions from their network.

14 Comments on "16 Reasons Why People Donate Money"

  1. Tony Cappaert June 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm ·

    Interesting findings.  Quick question:  is the list in order of importance?  And can you share more details on the actual research, particularly 1) the number and type of participants and 2) the % of respondents that indicated each reason (to establish some sort of weight).

    Feel free to PM me.  Thanks

  2. Elle C June 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm ·

    From my own experience – people do not donate. Even ifyou ask them to donate £1 or $1. I tried it for a very worthwhile cause – posted my website link everywhere and received the sum total of zero. But if I set up a site and asked people to help me pay of my credit cards debts, they would donate then!

  3. nimra ahmed July 30, 2011 at 4:49 am ·

    we should should donate money.

  4. Goodfeeling4sale January 11, 2012 at 8:19 am ·


  5. japangold February 29, 2012 at 4:22 am ·

     Good list of reasons why people donate money, if you are rich and has a lot of money, then it is a blessing to give than to receive.

  6. Pgaddiction March 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm ·

    Check out this non-profit organization helping the fight to find cure. http://www.pokerforacure.com

  7. Hanukaushik June 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm ·

    Hi, All

    Raurica Foundation is a
    not-for-profit organization incorporated under Section 25 of the Indian
    Companies Act, 1956 (No. 1 of 1956) and is committed to achieving the MDGs
    of the United Nation. The goals, by their very nature, are a restatement of the
    people’s development needs and hopes.


    To mobilize underprivileged women and children
    to help themselves by empowering them with better health care, sanitation,
    primary education and better quality of life.


    We seek financial support from
    corporate / institutions / individual and would greatly appreciate support from

    If you would like to make a
    donation by bank transfer, here is the information you will need :

    Bank : ICICI
    Account holder : RAURICA FOUNDATION
    Account number :  629605015112
    IFSC Code : ICIC0006296

     Your precious
    contribution to Raurica Foundation demonstrates your humanity and goodness and
    it will be used to fulfill the aim and objects of the Foundation.

    Contact us

    Mr Anand


    Project Address :

    27 A, BRAHAMPURI – I,
    NEW DELHI 1100 41




  8. Someone July 14, 2012 at 5:21 am ·

    It’s better to give than to receive no matter how much money you have, rich or not.

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