People give for many reasons, and knowing what has inspired them to support you is invaluable information. Each member of these categories has different motivations for giving to you; knowing what is behind the gift is powerful information for you.
A study done by Money for Good by Hope Consulting* , showed that there are six primary behaviors that cause giving.
1. The Repayer: high school or college alumni; something that has benefited the donor directly.
2. The Casual Giver: buying a table to host friends at a local event, automatic payroll deductions; not an emotional connection.
3. High Impact: supports smaller organizations that are often overlooked, or those that have high profile impact.
4. Faith Based: church, temple or congregation and organizations that are affiliated with religious beliefs.
5. Seeing the Difference: smaller, local charities that receive fewer gifts, or those with immediately visible results.
6. Personal Ties: causes friends ask for support; organizations where there is a connection with someone there.
Understanding why is a gift is being given is essential in allowing you to tailor your approach the donor going forward. Demographics such as age and income become less important than the nature of the connection they have, or may not have, with your organization.
Deciding who to pursue and what language and behaviors are most likely to resonate with them is smart fundraising. By tracking and identifying what donors respond to what appeals will allow you to decide where your best efforts will be placed and what will bring the greatest return.
Part II: more specific organization of your donor data
*The entire study is fascinating, easy to read and much more relevant information, check it out here: http://www.hopeconsulting.us/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/MoneyForGood_I.pdf