7 Reasons Why People Donate & How Knowing Each of
Them Could Increase Your Online Donation Revenue
last update: 8/21/2019
CharityAdvantage / Nonprofit Resource Index / Online Fundraising
Over the years we have helped thousands of startup and established nonprofit organizations establish their online real estate. For most, creating compelling content designed to achieve goals and objectives proved to be a gruesome time consuming chore, particularly when starting from scratch.

So it's important to always keep in mind that the content you publish on your nonprofit website is where the rubber meets the road. Needless to say content should be crafted in such a way to attract your audience, engage them and capture emotional cords to influence positive outcomes. Facts are, if you publish valuable content that connects with your target audience and helps guide them into decisions that make a difference, your online platform will play a major role in your nonprofit organizations long term success.

To help you better craft compelling content we thought it would be a great idea to put together of a list of reasons why people make donations. And since all of these people are your target audience, being consciously aware of them will help write content appeals to the reasons why people donate.

  1. Mission & Vision people want to be part of a movement that can demonstrate unshakable commitment in its long term goals, objectives and impact to the world. So create a compelling mission and vision statement that captures emotions and clearly defines the heart beat of your nonprofit organization.
  2. Help Make a Difference Some people are emotionally drawn to seeing and feeling the direct impact your organization brings to the cause you are supporting. In this case it is important to foster trust, confidence and emotion. Include clear and consumable information that will effectively communicate and demonstrate what youre organization is accomplishing as a direct result from donations and other support you receive.
  3. Personal Satisfaction Helping others makes people feel good and to contribute brings a warm sense of self satisfaction knowing they were able to help make a difference. To attract this segment of your audience specific information is more likely to catch their attention for example; testimonials from people & family you have helped, powerful videos that document the before and after and targeted fundraising campaigns. To win the hearts of this segment you need to reach out and capture their emotions, so explore creative idea and go social.
  4. Tradition Many charitable donors and voluntary workers emanate from family or business tradition, handed down from generation to generation. This type of behavior learned at a young age or adopted within a business stays with us well into the future. This segment of your audience is somewhat more complex and is more motivated by local association or strong belief in a specific cause or organization. To attract tradition driven supporters credibility and trusting relationships which usually need to be initiated and nurtured through association memberships, affiliations, events and networking.
  5. Emotional Success Stories Everyone loves to read a blog with a heart wrenching or watch a video that reduces them to tears, enough said. If you publish a blog or video promoting an emotional success story with a powerful call to action its most likely that this will be your most successful marketing arsenal to attract new donors.
  6. Religious Belief Religion is a powerful belief from within and donating to religious causes has been passed on from generation to generation. Religion provides a strong foundation for people and in return they offer financial donations and voluntary support. In the main, you will find most of your supporters within your local community unless of course you work on a national or international level. Marketing campaigns are great ways to encourage new and established followers to offer their support.
  7. Appreciation & Recognition Some Donors and volunteers simply like the attention that comes from donating and voluntary support. It might be an individual likes the events, group seeking exposure, project naming and publicity that can be a source of donation. Some donors simply like the personal touch of being recognized in a positive way and the feeling of appreciation. To attract this type of supporters you may need to implement some form of recognition incentive and craft content to express appreciation in advance all of which can be accomplished online without costing a dime.


These are just a few reason why people donate. Maybe you could run a small survey across your donors and supporters to find out what motivated them to support you. As a bonus we have also included 5 reasons why people do not donate which may also shed some light and lead you to new ideas.

  1. Financial & cant afford - Offer the opportunity to choose their preferred amount
  2. Havent been asked - Connect with relevant information and a positive call to action
  3. Time consuming - make your online donation process easy
  4. Dont know how - Tell people what to do rather than leave it to chance.
  5. Not part of the organization - Make your audience feel part of your organization with free memberships and email newsletters


We hope this article has given you a greater insight to understanding your audience. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so we urge you to learn more about your audience and find ways to attract, engage to motivate action. If you are looking to take your nonprofits online marketing and fundraising to the next level take click here
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Last Update: 8/21/2019

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