The Psychology of Charity: Top Five Reasons Donors Give

Human psychology is the key to understanding the concept of donating, and it’s also the secret to developing the persuasive prowess that promotes giving. The five most common reasons that people donate to charitable causes and their alma maters are:

1. Sense of Obligation

Many people donate out of a sense of obligation. The desire to “give back to the community” may be present if a donor feels as if he or she got lucky in life or fell upon undeserved and unearned favorable circumstances. The obligation is the largest driver of alma mater donations. Alumni who have had success in their careers often feel the need to give back to where it all started.

2. Compassion and Empathy

The next largest group of people has a natural sense of compassion and empathy for people who are less fortunate than others are. These people give to charitable causes because they feel emotionally moved to do so. They give from their hearts, which is the best place from which one can give.

3. Personal Experience

Personal experience is a huge motivator, and many people donate to causes because of it. For example, a person who loses his home in a fire is likely to give to someone in a similar situation because of the familiarity of the struggle.

4. Pride and Ego

This may seem like a less noble reason to give to charity, but some people contribute out of pure ego. Giving to others may provide such people a sense of accomplishment, or it may boost their self-esteem for a short while. Givers like this often act on impulse and have a lot to spare. They are excellent motivators and trendsetters, as well.

5. Habit or Trend

Finally, there’s the “everybody’s doing it” donators who offer hefty portions of their earnings just because they have five or six friends who donate to people, too. Giving is a highly contagious gesture, and people who follow the trend are admirable.

We can help you put the psychological breakdown of donating personality types to great use and show you how to establish the right relationships to benefit your long-term fundraising goals. Call us soon, and share your vision is ASAP.

College students with donate art

Leave a Comment

We thought you might like...

Community College Summit Survival Guide Download
A community summit is a highly structured event whereby community and business leaders, elected officials and educators…
Downloaded 59 times.
Community College Fundraising Campaign
Preparing for a second campaign for any community college is in many ways similar to preparing…
Downloaded 52 times.
How to Prepare an RFP
It is a pleasure for a fundraising firm to respond to well-constructed RFP’s because it not…
Downloaded 55 times.
Have you adapted you fundraising methodologies to the status changes in your alumni? Recognizing the differences…
Downloaded 46 times.

More from Our Blog

Subscribe to Our Blog

Each week, our team of experts will put share their experiences, tips and viewpoints in all areas of higher education consulting, leadership, and fundraising. We're a team that consists of tenured individuals who have made it their life’s work to help solve some of the issues surrounding community colleges today. Some of our topics include:

  • How to connect and establish relationships with your alumni
  • Ways to create impact with all generations of people
  • How to raise more on a tight budget
  • How to properly manage your reputation online
  • Ways to prepare for a feasibility study
  • And more!