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How your Donors View Money

Do you want more donors?

If so, you might wonder where your current donors came from.

But what makes your current donors give, and how can you get them to give more?

You can survey your donors of course, and the answers might range from, “Someone asked me” to “I feel it’s my duty to give back.” But what’s the reason behind the reason?

What does donating truly represent to your donors?

According to Jacob Needleman’s book, Money and the Meaning of Life,

Jacob Needleman quote

“Money can be treated as an instrument for exercising our sincerity. When this happens, money becomes an instrument of the search for truth.

Once you have enough money, then a life crowded with demands and anxiety suddenly has a margin of space and an amount of human time.”

“Money is modern man’s instrument of personality, the instrument of his emotions, his adaptive thought, his actions.”

If this is true, if once you have enough money, you consciously decide what to do with it, then your donors may view money as a way to exercise their sincerity, to give back to the world through your cause. The idea here is that when you activate your donor’s emotions, you can create action to help the donor see that exercising her sincerity means helping your nonprofit.

How can you convey what your donor’s money will help you do, in a concrete sense?

Is it about $24 will give us this, and $50,000 will give us that?

Or, your monthly gift of $50 will help us offer one more yoga class to those prisoners who want peace inside of the chaos of prison?

How can you start to have a deeper conversation with donors about money, what it means, and specifically, what it means to them when they give to you?

Simply asking “Why do you give to us?” isn’t enough.

You might want to ask more subtle questions, like

“What are your impressions of our programs?” or

“Why do you think what we do is important?” or

“Which of our programs do you feel is the most important?” or

“What led you to get involved with our cause?” or

“How has your perception of what the world needs changed over the years?” or

“When you think back over your life, was there one moment when you decided to give back? If so, what was it, and how did you decide what action you were going to take?”

Do you have any other deeper questions you like to ask donors?

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