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What Drives Donor Giving?

Donors give not for what you do, but for what their donation will do for them

Each and every donor needs a certain feeling of fulfillment from giving. We can pigeonhole donors into four types, based on the fulfillment they want when they give.

  1. 'RePayer'
  2. 'Difference Maker'
  3. 'Personal Ties’ Giver
  4. 'Hashkafa or Social' Giver

Some want just one and none of the others. Others want a combination. Let's look at them one by one.

  1. The 'RePayer'

The ‘RePayer’ has strong feelings for wanting to give back to the organization that impacted his life or the life of a loved one. 

You can identify a ‘RePayer’ when they say:  “If not because of this organization, I don't know where I would be today. That’s why they get a larger part of my support!”

  1. The 'Difference Maker'

The 'Difference Maker' wants to feel they're making a difference. Giving to (or through) your organization is how they get that feeling. 

You can identify them when they say: “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."

When you solicit them, you’ll need to show them how their gift will make a difference. Or how the project or outcome wouldn’t otherwise happen without them.

  1. The 'Personal Ties' Giver

The 'Personal Ties' Giver gives primarily because of a personal connection to the cause. Underlying this is a need for belonging, connection, status or something else connected with this personal relationship. 

You can identify him when he says: “I’ve been learning with the rabbi for a year. He has a great project which I support” or  “A lifelong friend founded the yeshiva I’m a major supporter of."

  1. The 'Hashkafa or Social' Giver

These donors want a feeling of status or belonging that comes through being part of something that fits their worldview or makes them feel a part of a specific social network.

You can identify them when they say:  “Our priority is supporting our son's yeshiva.”  or “We were invited to join xxx organization’s dinner committee by our good friends."

Consider - for each of your top 15 donors - which four donor drives they fit into? 

What can you do - next time you engage with each of these donors - to give them the fulfillment they need?

Have a great fundraising week,


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