Why do people give?

For an organisation that is trying to raise money, understanding why people give is useful. Here are a few of the most important reasons why people give:

  • They are personally affected by the cause (think cancer or heart disease).
  • They are thankful that they aren’t affected by the cause (think cancer or heart disease).
  • They want to have fun and be part of something (think Red Nose Day).
  • They share the values and ideals of the organisation (think human rights).
  • They empathise with the victims or beneficiaries (think Haiti earthquake).
  • They can get a bargain (think charity shops).
  • They want to help their community (think school fundraising).
  • They trust the person asking (think street fundraising).

This doesn’t cover every reason why people will give money, but perhaps the important thing to emphasise is that when you are raising money, it really helps to understand what might motivate the people you are appealing to. If you’re not sure what is motivating people, perhaps they won’t be sure why they should give.