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What I Learned Today About Fundraising

Friday, February 18th, 2011

I attended my local Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) meeting to hear Rebecca Tseng Smith talk about donor-centered fundraising. She offered many amazing tips from her many years of experience in fundraising for major universities. Rebecca currently works at Stanford University. The most interesting thing she pointed out were the top reasons people give to charitable organizations:

1.     To give back to society

2.     A strong belief in the cause

3.     To make a difference in the world or to change the world

4.     Their religious beliefs

5.     Tax considerations

6.     To continue their family’s tradition of giving

Rebecca Tseng Smith

The above motives are in the order of the most popular with giving back to society at 88%. Rebecca mentioned that the majority of these top motives have nothing to do with us. However it was our jobs as fundraisers of our organizations to tie our requests for support from individuals to these top motivators. In other words tie our requests to the donors interests. Now that’s something I’ve been saying in the arena of grant writing. Let’s continue this discussion in my next post.