Return to site

1-2-3 How to Give Donors Fulfillment


We’re human beings. Which means we can be altruistic and other-centered and focused on the greater good…

And, at the same time, we’re programmed to do things that make us feel good. That fill our needs and desires.

What do your donors get from giving to you? They get fulfillment. And for different people, that fulfillment comes from different places.

Over the years, I’ve seen donors fall into four different fulfillment “personas:”

  1. The Repayer
  2. The Difference-Maker
  3. The Personal Ties Giver
  4. The Hashkafa/Social Giver

The Repayer:

Repayers, as you might have guessed, want to give back. They’re usually beneficiaries of your organization, or similar organizations, and want to help because of hakaras hatov.

Repayers say things like, “If it weren’t for your work, I don’t know where I would be today. That’s why you get so much of my support.”

Repayers feel like they owe a debt of gratitude. They’re looking to pay off that debt. So when they give, help them feel like they’re doing a great job giving back.

That’s how you help them draw fulfillment from giving to you.

The Difference-Maker:

Difference-makers give because they dearly want to make an impact. They want to know that their gift is accomplishing something.

You can spot a Difference-Maker when you hear them say things like: “I only give to organizations where I can make a difference.” Or, “I give to projects where they’re using my funds to impact more people.”

How can you fulfill a Difference-Maker?

When you solicit them, make sure they’re super-clear on the impact their funds would be making. Emphasize how you simply couldn’t make as much of a difference without them. And, of course, echo those messages when you’re thanking them for their gift.

On to…

The Personal Ties Giver:

Personal Ties Givers give primarily because they’re connected to a player in the organization - very possibly, you.

What are these givers looking for?

Perhaps they want to know they’re taking care of their buddy effectively. Or, they’re after a sense of belonging or connection.

“I’ve been learning with the rabbi for a year. I’m heavily involved in supporting a great new project of his.”

“I'm a lifelong friend of the rosh yeshiva. I do as much as I can.”

How can you give them what they want? By making things personal. When you ask, focus on the connection. When you thank, bring on the warmth, the familiarity, the personal gratitude.

And finally…

The Hashkafa/Social Giver

What’s this type of giver looking for? And why do I lump them together?

Because both givers are looking to fit into something.

Hashkafa givers want to know they’re accomplishing something that fits their worldview -

“Our priority is supporting our son’s yeshiva.”

Social givers want to feel like they belong in the same circles as specific others; “Our good friends the _____’s invited us to join the dinner committee.”

When you engage with these types of givers, reflect their aspirations right back at them. Validate that they’re upholding their worldview. Confirm that in your book, they belong in the circles they identify with.

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of these donor “fulfillment personas,” take a minute to list your top 15 donors, and to think about which options fit them best.

Some might measure up perfectly to one of the four options. Others might match more than one. On your list, next to each donor’s name, mark the number or numbers that seem the most fitting.

Next time you engage with these donors, take out this list and think - how, in this interaction, can you give them what they want? How can you speak to their fulfillment personas - and see greater fundraising success?



© Avraham Lewis & Co.